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2008 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Health Care Receives Nursing Excellence Award

Prestigious Magnet Redesignation Achieved

CLEARWATER, Fla., (May 2, 2008) - Morton Plant Mease Health Care has again received “Magnet” designation, the coveted gold standard for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet designation, first awarded to Morton Plant Mease in 2003 by the ANCC, is the culmination of a comprehensive process that evaluates the patient care, working environment, interdisciplinary relationships and processes of the entire organization. Magnet recognition is granted for a four year period, during which annual reports must be submitted to validate ongoing excellence.

“Magnet designation is the ultimate benchmark for our patients and visitors, and confirms the high quality of care that they can expect to receive,” said Philip K. Beauchamp, F.A.C.H.E., president and chief executive officer, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. “We are very proud to be among the elite four percent of U.S. hospitals and one of only a few health systems to receive this highest nursing award,” Beauchamp added.

“Ultimately, excellence in nursing care is all about the patient experience,” said Lisa Johnson, RN, MSN, CNAA, Chief Nursing Officer for Morton Plant Mease Health Care. “A hospital cannot be a Magnet organization without everyone supporting great patient care. We could not achieve the highest level of nursing recognition for the second time without the support of our entire organization. We are so very proud of all of our nurses and their dedication to patient care.”

This is the second time Morton Plant Mease has been recognized as a Magnet hospital. The Magnet recertification process included a five-day on-site visit by ANCC appraisers to each of the four Morton Plant Mease hospitals. The Magnet recognition program recognizes excellence in the management, philosophy and practices of nursing services, adherence to national standards for improving the quality of patient care services, leadership of the nurse administrator in supporting professional practice and continued competence of nurses, understanding and respecting the cultural and ethnic diversity of patients, their significant others and health care providers.

“Magnet recognition sets hospitals apart,” said Patti Rackstein, RN, MA, magnet program director for Morton Plant Mease Health Care. “We believe that our traditions of excellence in nursing practice and overall patient care result in better patient outcomes, as well as improved satisfaction for patients, nurses and physicians. We are guided by our Nursing vision statement: As a Magnet system, we will be responsive and innovative leaders in our nursing practice, providing evidence-based care in partnership with our patients, families and physicians.”

“During the site visit, Magnet appraisers commented positively on many aspects of nursing care at Morton Plant Mease including bedside nursing, nursing leadership, professional development opportunities offered to all employees and unparalleled community and physician support,” noted Darlene Ferenz, RN, MA, nursing strategist for Morton Plant Plant Mease Health Care.

Morton Plant Mease initiatives that best illustrate the non-for-profit health system’s commitment to nursing excellence and the standards of Magnet recognition include the Dr. George Morris Earn as You Learn scholarship program, which pays nursing students a salary while they are receiving their education; special recognition for certified nurses; discipline specific nursing internships for areas such as critical care; pay for skills that compensate nurses for their specialized training; and tuition reimbursement.

“To reapply for and receive Magnet status for an additional four years is confirmation of the hospital’s resolve to deliver the highest level of care in nursing today.” said Brenda Kelly, chairman of the Commission on Magnet. It is very challenging to bring one hospital to reach Magnet designation, much less four hospitals. For one health system to do it twice is quite an accomplishment.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the ANCC is the nation’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization in the world. ANCC certification exams validate nurses’ skills, knowledge, and abilities. More than a quarter million nurses have been certified by ANCC since 1990. The ANCC has awarded Magnet recognition to hospitals since 1994. Approximately 4 percent of hospitals in the United States have received Magnet recognition.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager