National award recognizes exceptional patient care and healthy work environments

The surgical intensive care unit treats the most complicated cases in health care, whether through trauma or disease; a place where lives hang in the balance, literally, on any given day. The SICU at John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston has been recognized recently for its exceptional care with a gold Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes,” said Vicki Good, AACN president. “Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. The SICU at John Sealy Hospital achieved the gold standard by meeting evidence-based criteria in leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement.

“We’re thrilled to receive this recognition,” said David Marshall, Chief Nursing and Patient Care Services Officer for UTMB Health System. “For patients and their families, the gold Beacon Award signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction. For critical care nurses, a gold Beacon Award can mean a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, higher morale and lower turnover.”

In 2012, UTMB received Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center of the American Nurses Association. Only a small percentage of hospitals in the United States have earned this distinction.

“It is important to remember that this recognition is for both nursing excellence and quality patient care,” Marshall said. “Magnet recognition also means that UTMB is a magnet for the best and the brightest nurses.”

ABOUT UTMB HEALTH: Texas' first academic health center opened its doors in 1891 and today comprises four health sciences schools, three institutes for advanced study, a research enterprise that includes one of only two national laboratories dedicated to the safe study of infectious threats to human health, and a health system offering a full range of primary and specialized medical services throughout Galveston County and the Texas Gulf Coast region. UTMB Health is a component of the University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center.