Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Awarded the 2018 Foster G. McGaw Prize

Finalists from California, Texas and Georgia also Honored


LANCASTER, Pa., January 30, 2019 – Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health is honored to receive the 2018 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service for its leadership role in improving care for the individuals and families in its community. The health system will receive $100,000 toward programs that further these goals.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by the Baxter International Foundation, the American Hospital Association and its non-profit affiliate Health Research & Educational Trust. Every year, the prize is given to a health care organization that has shown exemplary commitment to establishing and facilitating programs that improve the overall health and well-being of its community.

LG Health is a not-for-profit health care system governed by a community-based Board of Trustees, serving as the largest health system and safety net in Lancaster County, PA. The county is home to urban, suburban and rural areas, representing a unique set of health care expectations, needs and challenges that the health system addresses by collaborating with a broad network of community organizations. LG Health coordinates all community health improvement work with the end goal in mind, helping it develop a collection of strong programs and initiatives that successfully impact the overall well-being of its community.

"LG Health illustrates how moving from understanding that the social determinants of health - sociocultural, built, and economic environments - have a significant impact on communities to action with community partners beyond the walls of the hospital improve the health and well-being," said Robert O. Valdez, Ph.D., Chairman of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “The impact and effects of its initiatives is a model for all hospitals and local organizations when going above and beyond to respond to its community’s identified health priorities and address access to care.”

 “We are honored that the American Hospital Association has recognized our community health improvement model as a way to improve health and well-being of a community like ours,” said Jan Bergen, LG Health’s President and CEO. “We are grateful for the partnerships we have with many local organizations that enable us to collectively pursue health initiatives that will improve the well-being of individuals and the community at large.”

LG Health utilizes a community health improvement model and strategic approach to identify and address health priorities and to focus not only on programs and services, but in policies, systems and government changes that impact health. These principles have guided the health system in addressing the unique needs of its diverse community. By partnering with local organizations, LG Health was able to establish its programs with five dynamic goals: 


  • Serving as a Catalyst for Mental Well-Being: The Let’s Talk, Lancaster Coalition was implemented to evaluate strategies that improve the mental well-being of the Lancaster County community. The coalition’s purpose is to increase awareness of mental health and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness, helping shape the culture of mental health on both a local and societal level.


  • Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice: Lighten Up Lancaster County is a cross-sector coalition dedicated to combating obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles. It uses collective resources of schools, businesses, government, health care, faith-based groups and other organizations to improve access to healthy food and safe spaces for physical programs.


  • Going Upstream: LG Health implemented programs like Care Connections to address the social determinants of health with some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Care Connections provides medical and behavioral health, along with additional services, to chronically ill and complex patients who consume disproportionate amounts of care. Since 2011, Care Connections has enrolled 475 patients.


  • Responding to the Substance Use Crisis: The Tobacco Free Coalition of Lancaster, of which LG Health is a key driver, brings together multi-sector partnership that includes hospitals, schools, health and human services, municipalities and more. Using the same strategies to expand beyond tobacco to reduce opioid deaths LG Health partnered to create two new coalitions that combat the opioid epidemic, South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition and Lancaster Joining Forces.


2018 Finalists

Three Foster G. McGaw finalists also were recognized for their significant community health programs and will each receive $10,000. These finalists include:


  • Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston for its pledge to be a steward for health in its community, not only by delivering high-quality services for the adults and children who seek care at Memorial Hermann facilities, but through programs and collaborations committed to making the Greater Houston area a healthier and more vital place to live. 


  • Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Calif. for delivering exceptional health care services and compassionate care to not only patients, but to the communities in which their patients live, work and play.


  • Tanner Health System in Carrollton, Ga. for establishing and leading a multi-sector community wide coalition that works towards educating, promoting and developing sustained conditions for healthier lifestyles in west Georgia.





Gabriella Valentine

American Hospital Association

(202) 626-2264



Mary Ann Eckard

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

(717) 544-5044





About the Foster G. McGaw Prize

The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that are committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit

About the American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare 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. Its not-for-profit research and education affiliate, the Health Research & Educational Trust, aims to create new knowledge, tools and assistance in improving the delivery of healthcare by providers and practitioners within the communities they serve. For more information, visit

About Baxter and Baxter International Foundation

Baxter and Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on three core areas including improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities. Baxter International Foundation supports initiatives and organizations that make a positive, lasting impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved. For more information, visit


About Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), is a 786-licensed bed not-for-profit health system with a comprehensive network of care encompassing Lancaster General Hospital (LGH), Women & Babies Hospital, Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital (in partnership with Kindred Healthcare) and the Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital (in partnership with Universal Health Services). Its membership in Penn Medicine brings together the strengths of a world-renowned, not-for-profit academic medical center and a nationally recognized, not-for-profit community healthcare system.

Outpatient services are provided at fourteen ambulatory and Express and Urgent Care locations throughout the region. Lancaster General Health Physicians is a network of more than 625 physicians and advanced practice professionals across primary care and medical and surgical specialties, at more than 50 offices throughout four counties.

Designated four times as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, LGH has been recognized regionally and nationally for clinical excellence and patient safety; and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as Pennsylvania’s sixth best hospital in 2018-19.




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