UnityPoint Health Receives National Circle of Life Award
July 23, 2013
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
UnityPoint Health today was named a Circle of Life Award® winner in recognition for its innovative palliative care program that improves the care of patients with serious or life-limiting conditions. UnityPoint Health is one of only three organizations in the country that were recognized as award winners and five others received citations of honor.
The Circle of Life Award celebrates innovative programs across the nation that have made great strides in palliative and end-of-life care. This is the fourteenth year for the Circle of Life Award.
UnityPoint Health has successfully developed an integrated palliative care program across its multi-regional health system in Iowa and Illinois. Part of its approach to chronic care management, palliative care ensures access to services for patients with serious illnesses and is provided across all care settings, from the hospital to home. The palliative care team works together to follow the patient and coordinates services in close collaboration with the patient's primary care provider and specialists.
"By creating a unified palliative care program we are better able to coordinate care at the right time and in the right place, relieving the symptoms and stress caused by a serious illness and helping patients and families achieve their goals of care," stated Lori Bishop, executive director of palliative care and hospice services at UnityPoint Health. "This system approach has improved patient outcomes and the overall care experience."
"UnityPoint Health is proud to receive the Circle of Life Award in recognition of innovation in palliative care," said Eric Crowell, President and CEO. "Providing the type of care, comfort and support that helps seriously ill people achieve their best possible quality of life is important and noble work, and we applaud our palliative care physicians and team members for their commitment to excellence."
The 2013 awards are supported, in part, by the California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, California, and Cambia Health Foundation. Major sponsors of the 2013 awards are the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization & National Hospice Foundation. The awards are cosponsored by the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing, The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the National Association of Social Workers. The Circle of Life Award is a program administered by the AHA's Health Research & Educational Trust.
"This year's Circle of Life honorees exemplify the best in health care - providing compassionate care and helping patients and families facing complex health challenges," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "These innovative programs address critical needs so that patients can manage their health and live as fully as possible. They also reflect the different needs of their communities as they provide the best care possible for those they serve." The UnityPoint Health palliative care program was chosen by a selection committee made up of leaders from medicine, nursing, social work, ethics and health administration.
Circle of Life nominations were received and reviewed by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration. The committee visited programs that
• provide effective, timely, safe, efficient, equitable patient and family-centered palliative and end-of-life care;
• use innovative approaches to critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for the field;
• seek to address multi-faceted needs of persons living with serious illness; and,
• are actively working with other health care organizations, education and training programs, and the community
For more information on the Circle of Life Award, visit www.aha.org/circleoflife.
About UnityPoint Health
UnityPoint Health is one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Our physician-led team of professionals communicates clearly and effectively to address a patient's health care in the most appropriate setting: whether that is a clinic, a hospital or at home. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 29 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its 8 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois.
UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 24,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year, through more than 4 million patient visits, UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint at Home provides a full range of coordinated care to patients and families. With annual revenues of $2.7 billion, UnityPoint Health is the nation's 15th largest nonprofit health system and the fifth largest nondenominational health system in America. For more information, visit www.unitypoint.org.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information visit the Web site at www.aha.org.