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Newton Doctor Nominated for ‘Healthcare Worker of the Year

NMC Health Medical Center in Newton Ks entrance with yellow bar hospital and glass panel front entrance newton medical center

September 22, 2015
The Newton Kansan

Dr. Jennifer Koontz has worked to improve the safety and quality of care received by patients of Newton Medical Center, and that work is getting recognition. Koontz was recently recognized by the Kansas Hospital Association as a nominee for the Healthcare Worker of the year award.

“Newton Medical Center has always had patient safety and care quality at the top of their list. I have done a lot of work on patient safety and quality over the past few years,” Koontz said. “The medical center has a number of initiatives to make patient safety a priority.”

Koontz said one of the newer initiatives she has been involved with is a program that places all doctors and therapists in the room with a patient at one time.

“You hear what the patient believes is going well and what is not, and patients get to speak with the whole team at once,” Koontz said. “I have been lucky enough to be a part of all of that work.”

Other efforts include integrating family into patient care, follow up phone calls and patient surveys.

“We started patients and family focus groups last spring. We are asking patients and families who have been in the medical center to come back in and tell us about their experience,” Koontz said. “I think that was a big piece of why I was nominated for the award.”

Tammy Bird, MT, Meade District Hospital/Artesian Valley Health System, Meade, and Lisa Harrelson, RN at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, were awarded the 2015 Health Care Worker of the Year Awards at the recent KHA Awards Luncheon during the KHA Annual Convention in Wichita. They each received a cash award of $500.

Six additional hospital employees were nominated and recognized: Karen Bally, RN, BSN, Via Christi St. Teresa Hospital, Wichita; T. Lois Stolifer, RN, BSN, McPherson Hospital, McPherson; Promise Grissom, CNA, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hutchinson; Mary Ann Magnuson, RT(R)(M), ARRT, Coffey Health System, Burlington; and Heather Heiman, APRN, Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, Wichita.

The Kansas Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. KHA membership includes 216 member facilities, of which 127 are full-service community hospitals.

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