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Paris Community Hospital receives 2015 'Innovation of the Year' Award


Paris Community Hospital Family Medical Center was awarded top honors in the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s hospital ‘Innovation of the Year’ competition for its Project Management Team. Participants were encouraged to submit innovations implemented at their respective hospitals which initiated a new approach to improve patient relationships, implemented a new process flow or life-safety improvement, found a creative way to motivate and inspire staff, or fostered a successful community project.

Erin Frank, Public Relations/Marketing/Grant Writing Manager, accepted the honor for PCHFMC during a ceremony held November 11th at The Crowne Plaza, Springfield, and attended by critical access hospital leadership from throughout the state. Project Management Team members include Ollie Smith, CEO, Leighsa Cornwell, Erin Frank, Elisha Farmer, Rachel Kelley, Lauren Stolz, Martin Adams, Dr. Philip Holloway, and Ed Weeks.

Originally, this project was entitled ‘Think Tank,’ which later evolved into the Project Management Team. This team meets about every three weeks to discuss revenue-generating and cost-saving projects and to prioritize facility and community needs. “The team brainstormed 68 ideas in 2013, and to date, nearly all have been completed, are still being considered, or have been dismissed without action,” said Frank. “All ideas are documented. Some are managed quickly, others take some time to think over, and still others are tabled for later discussion.”

The team is also used for management/oversight of stalled projects or initiatives that have had trouble becoming implemented. “The impact of the Project Management Team is best seen in the development of new service lines, recruitment, and initiatives engaging its employees and the community,” said Frank. “Some of the projects include the building of a robust Occupational Health program, led by a nurse practitioner; increased availability of the Infusion Clinic; development of the Women’s Health service line; implementation of a weight loss program; creation of an employee wellness program; and the expansion of radiology and respiratory services to offer 24-hour coverage.”

The hospital ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award is given annually to the critical access hospital project that ICAHN’s Education Committee and other esteemed judges deem the most innovative or inspiring for the hospital, its employees, patient, and community.

“The creation of this Project Management Team is seen as a best practice because it gives staff a voice, creates a channel for ideas that lack ‘ownership,’ and pushes the limits of what your organization can do,” said Pat Schou, ICAHN Executive Director. “A team with the right team members, who has the right focus, creativity, and determination, can result in major success, including increased revenue and cost-savings. This ‘out-of-the-box’ idea is what helps to keep our critical access hospitals relevant and secure in a time when the fate of many rural hospitals is uncertain. We applaud Paris Community Hospital for their fine work.”

Pictured is Erin Frank, PR/Marketing/Grant Writing Manager, accepted the award from Angie Charlet, ICAHN Director of Quality.