Multi-Trauma Intermediate Care 6 Wins Beacon Award

For immediate release: May 14, 2015

The Multi-Trauma Intermediate Care 6 Unit (MTIMC6) team has earned a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence – the most highly regarded national recognition for intensive and intermediate care units – from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

At UMMC, only one other unit currently holds the Beacon honor. The Cardiac Care Unit earned a silver-level Beacon Award in 2012, and will hold that distinction through November 2015. MTIMC6 is the first Shock Trauma unit to be recognized with this award. Throughout Maryland, only 5 other nursing units have been awarded Beacon status.

More than two years ago, Vanzetta James, MS, RN, CCRN, the MTIMC6 nurse manager, proposed to her leadership team that the unit set a goal of applying for the award by December 2014.

“I knew the staff of MTIMC6 was excellent, but I wanted the world to know it,” said James. “I also knew it was one of the few nurse-specific awards – maybe the only one -- given to an individual unit, rather than an entire hospital. I believed this was a goal we could set and achieve, as long as every member of the team was committed to it.”

The whole unit team embraced the goal.

“This would mean sustaining high standards 100 percent of the time, making sure we do the right thing 100 percent of the time for all patients,” James said. Along with the hospital-wide tracking of patient outcomes data, the nurses on MTIMC6 monitored their unit-specific quality measures and implemented strategies for reducing or eliminating central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). They also focused on fall prevention and maintaining compliance with hand hygiene.

All members of the MTIMC6 unit staff contributed to this effort: unit secretaries, patient care assistants and the entire nursing staff, more than half of whom completed certification as progressive-care certified nurses (PCCNs).

“I am thrilled,” said Karen Doyle, MS, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, vice president for nursing and operations at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “This is the first, but not the last, trauma unit to receive this prestigious award.

 “For nurses, a Beacon Award signals a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, as well as higher morale and lower turnover,” Doyle said. “For patients and families, the Beacon award signifies exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction.” 

Doyle praised James for her determination, leadership, mentorship, and commitment to her team, and thanked the senior clinical nurses: Elizabeth “Buffie” Wingo, BSN, RN, PCCN; Jessica Farace, BSN, RN, PCCN; Jennifer Motley, BSN, RN, PCCN; Samantha Dayberry, BSN, RN, PCCN;  Laura Bothe, BSN, RN, PCCN; Katherine McGinley, BSN, RN, PCCN; and Mari Shade, RN, PCCN.