Northwell Health and Four Other Hospitals and Health Systems Honored for Commitment to Quality

American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize Recognizes Hospital Leadership and Innovation in Quality and Performance Improvement


WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2018) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that Northwell Health, headquartered in New Hyde Park, N.Y., has been named as the 2018 recipient of the American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize.

Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private-sector employer, was selected by a multi-disciplinary committee of health care quality and patient safety experts based on its exemplary achievements in improving and preserving access to care, addressing the social determinants of health and encouraging innovation. Northwell Health is the first health care system to win the Quest for Quality Prize, which was first awarded to hospitals starting in 2002 and expanded to include health systems this year.  

In addition, four other hospitals and health systems will also be recognized for their leadership and innovation in quality and performance improvement. Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in Annapolis, Md. and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee will be honored as finalists while Atrium Health in Charlotte and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn. will receive the Citation of Merit.

The American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize recognizes health care leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities. All recipients demonstrate an alignment with AHA’s five commitments of access, value, partnership, well-being and coordination. The prize is supported by a grant from RL Solutions. This year’s recipients will be recognized on July 26 at the AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego. More information on the prize, including how to apply, can be found by visiting

“These hospitals and health systems have been remarkable leaders in elevating the quality of care they provide to their patients and communities while demonstrating an organization-wide commitment to excellence,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO. “The lessons provided by this year’s winner and honorees serve as an inspiration to the entire field.”

“This year’s winner and nominees exemplify the determination, compassion and commitment that is at the heart of quality improvement,” said Sanjay Malaviya, President & CEO, RL Solutions. “At RL we’re honored to partner with the AHA as their Champion Sponsor for Quality to recognize these innovative organizations and celebrate their dedication to advancing quality care.”


Prize Winner: Northwell Health – New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Northwell Health is deeply committed to the highly varied needs of its multicultural communities, working with community partners to address the social determinants of health, and empowering its workforce to innovate and excel. The system actively engages its many patient and family advisory councils in all aspects of quality improvement and work with its communities. The system is committed to improving value by reducing disparities and cost to the community and increasing access through such programs as free clinics, veterans’ services, behavioral health services and preventative health care education. Northwell also strategically integrates employees in all areas of improvement, encouraging innovation through a “shark tank” approach that provides funding for implementation and encourages staff members to come forward with inventions and ideas for funding.


Finalist: Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) – Annapolis, Md.

AAMC’s commitment to quality improvement starts with its board and cascades through its front lines. The hospital’s 40 physician leaders each have quality improvement goals and sophisticated information technology supports an array of improvement efforts, including reducing the cost of care and the use of opioid prescriptions. AAMC has many initiatives aimed at promoting wellbeing and accessibility in the community, including screening and prevention services and a program specifically for the LGBTQ community. The organization has more than 90 patient and family advisors, many of whom participate in AAMC’s main Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) or one of its specialized committees -- the Health Equity PFAC, Women’s and Children’s PFAC and Mental Health PFAC. Patients and families serve on committees throughout each service line, including committees of the board.   


Finalist: Aurora Health Care – Milwaukee

Aurora’s dedication to quality, diversity and community partnerships is embraced by its leadership and workforce, and is evidenced by its mission, “we help people live well.” The Aurora system is committed to continuous quality improvement and sharing data through a unique and transparent process utilized to identify gaps in care. Each employee is known as a caregiver and is encouraged to “bring your whole self to work” to not only provide a welcoming environment for patients, but also to feel safe to share innovative ideas to improve patient care and service. Since Aurora believes health care plays a major role in keeping communities healthy, it started performing community health assessments several years before they were required. Finding that a barrier to quality of life was behavioral health, Aurora has been integrating behavioral health into primary care since 2014. The system has a broad spectrum of community partnerships including high schools and universities, youth organizations, LGBTQ groups and law enforcement agencies. Through its Better Together Fund, Aurora has invested some $15 million in community programs to expand primary care and behavioral health services, as well as sexual assault and domestic violence treatment programs. Aurora is part of Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health system in the United States.


Citation of Merit: Atrium Health – Charlotte

Atrium Health has made access for all an integral part of all that it does – no small feat for a system that totals more than 40 hospitals and 900 care locations, serving both urban and rural populations. Sophisticated analytics, telehealth and virtual critical care, and hundreds of community partnerships allow Atrium Health to identify and better serve populations that may lack access to adequate health services. Core to Atrium Health’s strategy are programs to improve outcomes while lowering the cost of care, including initiatives to reduce harm and avoidable readmissions. Patients and family advisors remain engaged throughout the organization, and they join more than 800 internal attendees at an annual day of sharing that celebrates teammates’ own best practices in clinical outcomes and efficiency, safety and patient experience.


Citation of Merit: Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital – St. Louis Park, Minn.

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital has a long history of embedded quality improvement processes throughout all service lines and across settings, including with front line team members and patient partners as key participants with the care team. Methodist is part of HealthPartners, a large integrated health care system which includes a health plan, eight hospitals and a large multi-specialty group practice with a focus on the triple aim. Several of Methodist’s major strategic goals are directly aimed at improving affordability, reducing unnecessary variation, improving health equity and ensuring complex patients receive appropriate navigation to avoid unnecessary admissions or readmissions. Methodist is on a journey to become a high reliability organization, which includes daily safety calls, robust process improvement and continued focus on a culture of safety. Improving and expanding community access is a focus through use of local fire departments that provide post-discharge visits, mobile mammography units, operation of community and school-based clinics and increasing access to mental health support with schools to provide tele-mental health to at-risk children and teens.



Colin Milligan, AHA 202-638-5491

Mike Etzinger, RL Solutions 617-913-3241


About the American Hospital Association (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. 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


About RL Solutions

For over twenty years, RL Solutions has been dedicated to designing innovative healthcare software for patient feedback, infection prevention & risk management and more to support overall quality and experience in healthcare. RL Solutions has over 1,800 clients, including healthcare networks, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. RL Solutions is a global company with offices in Canada, the United States, Australia and the UK. For more information, visit