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Luke McDaniel named 2015 'Outstanding Young Leader'


Luke McDaniel, Quality Analyst for Fairfield Memorial Hospital, was named the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s 2015 ‘Outstanding Young Leader’ during ceremonies held November 11 at The Crowne Plaza, Springfield.

“ICAHN’s ‘Outstanding Young Leader’ award is granted to those role models, agents of change, and health innovators who not only shape policy but engage others in successful teamwork,” said Pat Schou, ICAHN Executive Director. “Luke is one of those people who shows great promise, and we are honored to give him this award.”

"The employees and medical staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital are honored to be blessed with Luke's leadership. He is a young man of character and integrity. He is passionate about his work in quality and is extremely detail-oriented, always searching for the root cause of an issue and putting together a well-formulated process to address future needs," said Katherine Bunting-Williams, Ph.D., Fairfield Memorial Hospital CEO. "Luke is genuine and sincere and has what some might describe as the 'IT' factor, which is hard to define, but it is prominently visible and obvious in those who possess the natural quality. Luke takes great pride working in healthcare as he is aware of the difference his efforts can make, and he makes it his daily mission to be a positive influence with his work."

McDaniel's most successful leadership project resulted in reducing readmissions at Fairfield Memorial Hospital. As the FMH Boost Committee Chairman, he has FMH to be ranked 12th out of 202 hospitals in lowest readmissions in the state of Illinois. Fairfield Memorial Hospital's program has been greatly enhanced by the following interventions which contributed to its reduced readmission rate: stratification of patients at high risk for readmission, post-hospital transitional (Care Check) program, and changes in the discharge phone call program.

"Mr. McDaniel cultivates relations well and rewards staff for their efforts in very innovative ways, which has led FMH to greater compliance with many quality improvement initiatives. He has an ability to energize staff to embrace state and federal safety and quality initiatives," added Bunting-Williams. "Daily team huddles on the Medical/Surgical Unit have been key, and he is able to help bring together the many disciplines that are involved in patient care to heighten awareness of how to work together. His presence in the meetings often results in the best possible outcome for patients by providing an outside non-clinical point of view that is at times needed by the more seasoned staff."

FMH's administrative team had tasked McDaniel with the respponsiblity of improving staff's compliance with the Hospital Compare Initiative. As a result of his leadership, staff's documentation of a patient's influenza and pneumococcal vaccination history has improved tenfold. In addition, there has been an increase in compliance with discharge insturctions and patient education for congestive heart failure patients.

After leading these many efforts, Fairfield Memorial Hospital was named among the Top 20 scoring hospitals through the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), which resulted in a financial boost to the hospital. In addition, McDaniel was the recipient of an all-expense paid trip (sponsored by the HEN) to the national IHI convention as recognition for this efforts in the Hospital Engagement Network quality initiatives.

His most significant contribution to the success of the organization is personal ability to relate to individuals, whether an employee, medical staff member, community member, or fellow colleague at a neighboring healthcare facility. He is adept at building relationships which have resulted in better quality outcomes.

"It is rare to find someone that everyone agrees is an asset to an organization, but our staff and our organizational leaders will quickly tell you what a phenomenal young man Mr. McDaniel is and how fortunate we are to have him on our team," said Dana Shantel Taylor, LCSW, ACSW, Director of Organizaitonal Development.

Luke is pictured Dana Shantel Taylor (left) and Katherine Bunting-Williams.