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Transforming health care through research and education.

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Leveraging research and education to create a society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.

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The Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award
for Allied Association Leadership

America's hospitals and health systems are making a significant commitment to improving health care quality and have demonstrated notable progress in recent years. As evident in numerous local and national efforts, health care outcomes across the six IOM aims (safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient and patient-centered) have improved. At the same time, allied (state, regional and metropolitan) hospital associations have played an increasingly important role in facilitating and promoting health care quality improvement.

The Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership will be presented annually to a state, regional or metropolitan hospital association which, through its programs and activities, demonstrates exceptional organizational leadership and innovation in quality improvement and has made significant contributions to the measurable improvement of quality within its geographic area. The 2011 inaugural award will be presented at the 2011 AHA/Health Forum Leadership Summit on July 17-19 in San Diego. The award recipient will receive an award figurine, complimentary registration to the Leadership Summit and an invitation to the TRUST Award reception hosted by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). The association will also be the subject of an article that will appear in Hospitals & Health Networks.

The award is named after AHA President Emeritus Dick Davidson, who strongly promoted the role of hospital associations in leading quality improvement initiatives during his tenure as AHA president from 1991 to 2006 and as president of the Maryland Hospital Association from 1969 to 1991.

The goals of this award are to:

  • recognize outstanding efforts among allied hospital associations to improve quality;
  • encourage allied hospital associations to play key roles in raising the level of hospital and health system performance to achieve care that is safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient and patient-centered; and
  • spread the learning and progress toward national health care improvement that are being promoted by allied hospital associations.

The award criteria include the following:

  • Coherent strategic and tactical plan for setting improvement priorities, getting buy-in, executing quality improvement activities, aligning with national initiatives, using evidence-based measures and practices, and spreading and sustaining the efforts
  • Measurable improvement in quality measures-related to specific quality improvement activities and initiatives of the association-among health care providers in its geographic area during the past 12 to 24 months Extent of spread of improvement across the region, settings of care and various populations
  • Evidence of sustainability of the improvements, including the engagement and contribution of key stakeholders
  • Innovativeness of the intervention(s) that achieved improvement

All allied (state, regional and metropolitan) hospital associations in the United States are eligible to apply for the award. Regional and metropolitan hospital associations that are part of or managed by a state hospital association may apply separately or as part of a state hospital association application.

An award committee will review all applications and select the award recipient, subject to approval by the AHA Board of Trustees. The committee is chaired by an AHA trustee and includes allied hospital association executives, hospital and health system clinical/operational leaders and at least one representative from a national organization (outside the AHA) involved in quality and performance improvement. In future years, the committee will include executives from award recipients. The award program is administered by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET).

The award committee will identify a set of award finalists and conduct telephone interviews with the finalists' leaders and/or members. Finalists will be expected to identify and help make individuals available for the interviews in a timely fashion. Additional information may also be requested by the award committee. Site visits will not be conducted as part of the application evaluation process.

All applications become the property of the American Hospital Association and may be used in AHA's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence activities to provide best practices and examples of different approaches to achieving the quality aims.

Submission of Applications
Completed applications may be either e-mailed (preferred) or mailed. E-mailed applications must be submitted by midnight, Tuesday, March 15, to We strongly encourage you to convert your application to a PDF file to minimize possible distortion in graphs, charts and layout. If your application includes charts/graphs and you do not have access to software to convert the application to a PDF file, please plan to send a hard copy of the application via regular mail or delivery service. Paper applications may be mailed to Maulik Joshi, DrPH, Health Research & Educational Trust, 155 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60606. All applications sent via mail or delivery service must be received by the above deadline.

Application Materials
This application can be downloaded directly from Questions can be directed to Maulik Joshi, DrPH, at or (312) 422-2622.

Each submitted application should have three parts:

  1. A cover page signed by the association CEO
  2. Completed demographics section
  3. Responses to specific questions about quality improvement in your association's geographic area and about your association's activities and initiatives to improve and sustain quality

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