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Western Maryland Health System Selected as a Health Quality Innovator of the Year for Maryland

November 13th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

Western Maryland Health System was recently recognized as a Health Quality Innovator of the Year for Maryland. The award was presented by Health Quality Innovators, an independent, non-profit consulting organization. The Health Quality Innovator Awards are HQI’s program for gathering and sharing the best evidence-based, practical methods for enhancing quality of care across physician practices, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

    WMHS was selected as a winner in the population health category for its work to improve the health of patients and communities through prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

    WMHS provides health care services for residents in Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland and surrounding counties in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. With a focus on social determinants, WMHS has introduced a number of population health initiatives to the community focused on improving health and reducing the cost of care.

    “I’m thrilled that we were recognized for the efforts we do as a team,” said Jo Wilson, Vice President Population Health. “It is especially gratifying that these programs are being recognized as being beneficial to our community.”

    The health system has taken an active role in addressing food insecurity in the community— one of the biggest social determinants of health. WMHS offers a Food Farmacy that ensures diabetic patients are discharged with a 14-day supply of healthy food. They operate seven community gardens and orchards and participate in a summer backpack program to ensure school children go home in the summer with healthy food when schools are closed. 

    “The Health Quality Innovator of the Year Awards represent HQI’s commitment to improving health care in communities across Maryland and Virginia. We recognize health care organizations that deliver better care, better population health and lower health care costs,” said Donald A. Glozer, MHA, FACHE, President & CEO, HQI. 

    The health system’s annual pre-Thanksgiving feast involves hundreds of volunteers feeding thousands of the community’s most vulnerable citizens. Beginning this summer, WMHS will begin bringing produce from the gardens to additional food desert hot spots throughout the community through a mobile healthy food delivery service. When WMHS first began this program in 2010 they had 1,972 patients accounting for $140 million of costs. Today, that number has dropped to 834 patients accounting for $54 million of costs.

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