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Published on February 13, 2007

Valley West Receives Fire Starter Award

February 13, 2007

The commitment and passion of Valley West Community Hospital staff to making VWCH the best hospital for patients to receive care has set them apart.

The Studer Group, consultants in service and operational excellence in healthcare, named Valley West recipient of the prestigious Fire Starter Award in December 2006. The recipient, chosen from 400 hospitals nationwide, is chosen for exhibiting a passion for clinical, operational and service excellence and creating a culture focused on patients. With references to the importance of the village fire starter in early civilization in keeping the flame burning to allow the village to grow, the Fire Starter Award recognizes those who keep the essence of the organization alive and flourishing and light the fire in others.

While patient satisfaction results, as judged by the patients’ own evaluations through ongoing surveys, remain the most visible criteria, Fire Starter winners also must prove healthy financials, growing market share, and improvements in other indicators, such as clinical quality.

“The Valley West staff truly made it their own mission to make Valley West the best place for patients to receive care,” said Brad Copple, Administrator. “Their ownership, accountability, and consistency in optimizing every patient experience has been key to raising our patients’ opinion of their health care experience in our hospital.”

Patient satisfaction scores, as reported by Press Ganey, the health industry’s leading independent provider of patient satisfaction measurement, place Valley West in the top 10% of hospitals across the nation. One in every 11 American households returned a Press Ganey Survey in 2006, providing the best source of benchmarking for hospital data in the country.

Teamwork in problem solving has resulted in process solutions, streamlining multi-department outpatient visits, and greater work-group camaraderie, all benefiting the patients and their families. Employee satisfaction, which greatly affects how health care is delivered, is very high as reflected in a low turnover rate of 2.4% for the first quarter of fiscal year 07. “Satisfied employees deliver better care, resulting in better outcomes and more satisfied patients,” said Mike Muzzillo, Assistant Administrator for Valley West.

Valley West Community Hospital became part of the KishHealth System in 1998. The health system, which includes Kishwaukee Community Hospital and DeKalb County Hospice, proved their commitment to providing health care in Sandwich by immediately investing millions of dollars in technology and upgrades to the facility. A $15 million addition in 2002 expanded Emergency, OB, and Surgical services, and over $2 million a year is reinvested in capital technologies. A medical office building under construction north of the hospital will open in August 2007. The purchase of 30 additional acres of farmland north of the hospital within the last five years is evidence of the continued commitment of the KishHealth System has to serving the growing needs of this growing area.

Valley West Community Hospital invited the community to celebrate the award with the unveiling of the crystal flame in its case in the main lobby on February 9, at 3:00 pm. “The Valley West staff demonstrates the hospital’s motto every day: ‘Health. Heart. Home.’ They provide the highest quality health care, from the heart, close to home,” said Muzzillo.

Another recognition event awaits Valley West at the Studer Group’s “What’s Right with Health Care?” conference in Orlando, June 11-13, 2007.

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