Recognizing Best of the Best in Health IT - 2009 National Davies Awards Announced

Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2009) - Health information technology - specifically electronic health records - is an integral component of quality patient care for the recipients of the 2009 HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence. For the first time, HIMSS announced these award recipients during National Health IT Week with Barry P. Chaiken, MD, MPH, HIMSS board chair, recognizing the honorees during a press conference on Sept. 22 at the House Triangle on Capitol Hill.

"The recipients of the HIMSS Davies Award are leaders in EHR implementation as they prove that technology can be leveraged to produce value and achieve patient safety and quality outcomes with a positive ROI," said David Collins, HIMSS director, healthcare information systems. "As the country moves closer to nationwide use of the electronic health record, these healthcare leaders should be considered as valuable examples and resources for EHR success."

These award recipients also serve other organizations by sharing lessons learned in EHR implementation to help them achieve their vision.  In addition, the healthcare organizations earning the award, which recognizes excellence in the implementation of and value from health IT, offer a valuable example of EHR success in organizational, ambulatory, community health and public health settings. 

Following are the names of and background on this year's recipients.

HIMSS Organizational Davies Award:
MultiCare Health System is an integrated not-for-profit organization in Tacoma, Wash. with four hospitals, including a children's hospital, primary and urgent care clinics, home health and hospice programs serving four counties.  

"This is an incredible honor," said Florence S. Chang, chief information officer and senior VP of Clinical Support Services at MultiCare Health System, "and wonderful validation for the work we have been doing to create an electronic health record that follows the patient with a commitment to providing patient safety and quality." She went on to say, "MultiCare has been using this technology from Epic Systems for over 10 years. Without the strong foundation set early on in our clinics, the implementation in our hospitals would not have been as successful and we would not have reaped the benefits of seamless, connected care."

HIMSS Ambulatory Davies Award: 
Virginia Women's Center is central Virginia's largest provider of individualized obstetric and gynecologic care, with 26 physicians and 12 nurse practitioners at five clinical sites. Subspecialties include urology, clinical research, mammography, bone health, nutrition counseling and mental-health counseling.

Kathryn K. Stout, M.D. of Virginia Women's Center, said, "Our practice decisions have always been strictly guided by the question, ‘What is best for the patient?' This commitment has served us well as we have navigated the many challenges facing medical practices today. We continue to raise the bar for ourselves in patient care, education and safety, customer service and workflow efficiencies. Adopting electronic medical records has been a successful means to that end, and it's truly gratifying for our efforts to be recognized."

Community Health Davies Award:  The Davies Community Health Organization Awards go to Urban Health Plan in Bronx, NY, and Heart of Texas in Waco, Texas. 

Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a network of federally qualified community health centers based in the South Bronx and Queens that was founded in 1974. Its mission is to improve the health status of underserved communities with 13 practice sites that are within the highest 2 percent of U.S. counties in poverty.

"We at Urban Health Plan are honored to receive the distinguished Davies Award," said Paloma Hernandez, president and CEO, Urban Health Plan, Inc. "Since 2006, when we successfully implemented our EHR system, we have been able to transform our health care delivery system in how we treat our patients, track their health care outcomes and more importantly, continuously work towards improving the health of the communities we serve, namely the South Bronx and Corona, Queens. Our work will go a long way in aiding the elimination of health care disparities in these communities," she said.

Heart of Texas is a Federally Qualified Health Center, supporting the oldest family medicine residency west of the Mississippi and serving the target population of 90,200 residents of McLennan County, Texas living at or below 200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

"Since implementing the EHR system in 1997, Heart of Texas Community Health Center has tripled the number of patients served, expanded from a single location to 10 sites, and shown improvement in important quality indicators such as childhood immunizations.  The EHR has been a cornerstone of our expansion and quality improvement efforts," said Roland A. Goertz, MD, MBA, CEO of Heart of Texas Community Health Center in Waco, Texas. "We are honored to be recognized with the HIMSS Davies Award as we continue to expand access to high quality health care services in McLennan County."

Public Health Davies Award: Two public health systems received the Davies Public Health Award:  the Boston Public Health Commission and Denver Public Health is a division within Denver Health and Hospital Authority. HIMSS announced the recipients of these awards in August; read the news release.

More about the Davies Award:
Since 1994, the HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence program has honored more than 60 healthcare organizations that have implemented health IT, specifically EHRs, in their respective locations.  These include:

  • Organizational Davies Award
    • Initiated in 1994, 27 healthcare organizations recognized
  • Ambulatory Care Davies Award
    • Initiated in 2003, 19 practices recognized
  • Public Health Davies Award
    • Initiated in 2004, 13 public health entities recognized
  • Community Health Organization Award
    • Initiated in 2008, 6 community health organizations recognized

Visit the HIMSS Web site for more information on the Davies Award of Excellence program.

Davies Award recipients will share their success stories of EHR implementation at the 2010 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition on March 1-4, 2010 in Atlanta, Ga.  Visit the education page of the HIMSS10 Web site for more information.

About HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence
The HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence recognizes excellence in the implementation and use of health information technology, specifically electronic health records (EHRs), for healthcare organizations, private practices, public health systems, and community health organizations.  Created by CPRI-HOST in 1994, the first three recipients of the Davies Organizational Award were recognized in 1995.  In 2002, CPRI-HOST merged with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and now, HIMSS manages the award program.  The Award honors Dr. Nicholas E. Davies, an Atlanta-based practicing physician, president-elect of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Improving the Patient Record, who died in 1991 in a plane crash. Visit for more information, including educational resources.