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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Honored with VA's Top Quality Award

September 19, 2005

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Honored with VA’s Top Quality Award

HOUSTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) to be this year's recipient of the Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Award -- the department's top award for quality achievement. Based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria, the award recognizes the MEDVAMC's commitment to the veterans it serves and to the community, as well as performance improvement efforts made by the medical center and its satellite clinics.

Awarded Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2004, the MEDVAMC serves as the primary health care provider for more than 137,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Including the satellite clinics in Lufkin and Beaumont, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged over 700,000 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2004. In 2005, the MEDVAMC opened new outpatient clinics in Galveston and Texas City, and a 21-suite Fisher House. A Fisher House is “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, ophthalmology, nuclear medicine, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases.

Carey Award competitors include VA medical centers and Networks as well as entities within the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration. The award is widely used as a model for running a successful organization. Winners must show they satisfy patients, empower staff, maintain financial success, and improve their community.  The award program centers on excellence in leadership; strategic planning; focus on patients, other customers, and markets; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; staff focus; process management; and organizational performance results.  The MEDVAMC’s focus on this approach, deployment, and results is evidenced through its pursuit of excellence through quality by design.

"I am ecstatic and extremely proud the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center was chosen by VA Secretary Nicholson to receive the Carey Award," said MEDVAMC Director Edgar L. Tucker, B.A., M.P.H., C.H.E. "This recognition speaks volumes about the outstanding people and programs at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and the high quality of health care we provide to veterans in Southeast Texas."

The Robert W. Carey Quality Award, presented annually since 1992, is named for the former director of the VA Regional Office and Insurance Center in Philadelphia who died in 1990. Carey led his office in initiating a total-quality management approach to serving veterans and their families. Through the Carey Award and other quality initiatives, VA is continually making improvements in its delivery of services and quality of health care to veterans.