1999 Federal Health Care Executive Special Achievement Award
The Award is sponsored by the American Hospital Association, Federal Health System Constituency Section, and recognizes a federal healthcare executive (commissioned officer 0-5 level or lower/GS-14 level or lower equivalent) who has distinguished himself/herself through singularly significant achievements which have contributed substantially to the mission of the federal health system.
The recipient of the 1999 Special Achievement Award is Vida Khow, RN, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Winslow Indian Health Center, Public Health Service. Ms. Khow has led the Winslow Health Center for the past seven years and, through a hands-on approach at all levels of the organization, has established numerous successful programs. She implemented a "people-centered" strategic planning process that puts patients first.
Her leadership has extended beyond the walls of the Health Center to wellness programs she has conducted in the community. In addition, Ms. Khow has incorporated traditional Navajo healers into the Health Center to allow for a healer to be part of the medical team. The Winslow Health Center received very high marks in 1998 from their Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations survey, even though several key quality and safety positions were vacant at the time and being handled by the management team in addition to their own responsibilities.
Ms. Khow also has proved herself resourceful in finding ways to renovate the Health Center. To allow for the badly needed renovation, she coordinated efforts with the Department of Defense to use a Deployable Medical System to provide care during the renovation. In addition to reducing costs through the transition, it represented the first time the system had been used within the United States and provided an ideal training ground for Department of Defense personnel to learn the system as part of a regular tour of duty. The system provided training to over 300 personnel from the armed forces during the renovation of the Health Center. Ms. Khow has also trained as a massage therapist and taught numerous courses throughout the southwest on massage, healing and traditional medicines.