Press Release

AHA's Federal Hospital Constituency Section Honors Two Leaders

The American Hospital Association's (AHA) Section for Federal Hospitals today presented two hospital leaders with awards recognizing their outstanding service in the health care field.  These awards recognize federal health care executives who have distinguished themselves through singularly significant achievements, which have contributed substantially to the mission of the federal health system.  The Section supports federal hospitals as they build integrated networks that improve the health status of the people they serve.

"Today's winners are a testament to what leadership can represent," said Barbara Lorsbach, AHA's senior vice president of member relations.  "The commitment of these individuals has improved the lives of many and we thank them for their hard work and dedication."

The recipient of the 2008 Executive Special Achievement Award is MAJ Tammie M. Jones, MSC, Executive Officer, Department of Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.  MAJ Jones has had a widespread impact on the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) as a leader and health care administrator.  While serving as a resident in Baylor University's health care administration collaborative program with the Army, her detailed analysis on Community-Based Health Care Organizations helped shape the AMEDD methodology for supporting wounded and injured Reserve Component Soldiers.  She masterfully co-developed the Global War on Terrorism Tasking Analysis Tools which were briefed to all Regional Medical Commands, MEDCOM, and the Surgeon General.  Her organizational skills were so valued that she served as the primary planner for a behavioral health summit for AMEDD General Officers that was chaired by the Army Surgeon General.

MAJ Jones deployed in 2006 as the Operations Officer for the 21st Combat Support Hospital.  She combined her hospital administration background with superb skills to lead a multi-disciplinary working group responsible for tracking over 5,000 detainee releases and transfers in a one-month period.  These actions were critical for closure of Abu Ghraib Theatre Internment Facility.  She also helped to plan and execute movement of the Level III/IV medical facility at Abu Ghraib to Camp Cropper, where she worked to recruit and train 26 Iraqi correctional system medics setting the stage for a decreased reliance on Coalition Forces.  Her accomplishments resulted in the award of the Bronze Star Medal.

After MAJ Jones' return from deployment, she began serving as an Army Health Care Administrator, where her work ethic and innovation resulted in her department exceeding their business plan goals by 47 percent, equating to an additional $4 million in revenues.  Her contributions to Army Medicine have improved the quality of life, as well as the quantity and scope of care, for countless soldiers and beneficiaries.

The winner of the 2008 Executive Award for Excellence is COL William Beninati, Commander, 59th Medical Operations Group,Wilford Hall Medical Center in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.  Colonel (Dr.) Beninati has distinguished himself the past 20 years as a visionary Air Force Medical Service leader and driving force behind expeditionary aeromedical capabilities development, revolutionizing war and peace time patient care. 

COL Beninati has been integrally involved in the establishment and promulgation of the Critical Care Aeromedical Transport Team (CCATT) since he was a fellow in Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine.  His pioneering efforts enabled cutting edge changes in aeromedical evacuation doctrine, allowing transport of patients whose injuries are still evolving, directly contributing to a 14 percent reduction in mortality. 

COL Beninati has disseminated operational medicine improvements throughout the Department of Defense and to our allies. While assigned to the University of Maryland's Baltimore Shock Trauma Center staff, he commanded the Coalition for Sustainment of Trauma Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program that provides refresher training in shock trauma skills for deploying physicians, nurses and technicians. Later, he was one of four individuals who developed and established the International and Aeromedical Evacuation Critical Care Transport Course and personally deployed throughout Latin America and Asia to assist countries in developing systems to transport multiple critically ill patients.

Under COL Beninati's leadership, process improvement methodologies became an integral part of CCATT, including establishment of a CCATT database within the Joint Theater Trauma Registry and application of clinical practice guidelines, resulting in improvements in deployed environments and significant changes in the management of casualties across the evacuation chain.

COL Beninati currently commands a 1,850-member organization at Wilford Medical Center, with a $90 million budget.  As an organizational leader, he models the highest professional standards, inspiring others through his clinical excellence and advocacy for Air Force Medical Service competencies. 

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, 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 AHA website at www.aha.org.

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