Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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

October 19, 2007

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

In his congratulations call to MEDVAMC Director Edgar L. Tucker, Acting VA Secretary Gordon H. Mansfield expressed his thanks and appreciation to the staff of the medical facility for their dedication and on-going efforts to provide high quality health care to veterans in southeast Texas. He also mentioned the importance of the facility’s Magnet status in recruiting and retaining only the best nurses to care for our nation’s heroes.

The MEDVAMC is one of the largest and most complex medical centers in the VA. Awarded Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2004 and the Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Award in 2005, the MEDVAMC serves as the primary health care provider for more than 116,000 veterans in southeast Texas. 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, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lufkin, and Texas City, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged more than 870,000 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2007.

Carey Award competitors include VA medical centers and Networks as well as entities within departments under 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 satisfied patients, enabled staff, maintained financial success, and improved 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.

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 continually makes improvements in its delivery of services and quality of health care to veterans.

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