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Catholic Health East President and CEO, Mercy Health System's Mercy Philadelphia Hospital Receive 2011 Healthcare Innovation Awards

November 8, 2011

A few of the Hand Hygiene Project team members from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, from left: Tom Turco, PharmD, pharmacy coordinator, James Hunter, RN, MSN, CIC, infection control manager and Lynn Kleina, PhD, MPH, CIC, infection control analyst.

Sue Schick, president and CEO, UnitedHealthcare and Nora Triola, CHE’s executive vice president and chief nursing officer who accepted the award on behalf of CHE President and CEO Judy Persichilli.

Newtown Square, Pa., Tuesday, November 8, 2011 -- Catholic Health East (CHE) is pleased to announce that Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., CHE’s president and chief executive officer and Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Mercy Philadelphia Hospital are recipients of the 2011 Healthcare Innovation Award.

Presented by UnitedHealthcare and the Philadelphia Business Journal, (PBJ) the 2011 Healthcare Innovation Awards recognize those individuals and organizations who contribute to their community while navigating through challenging health care times.

“Created this year by the Philadelphia Business Journal and presented by UnitedHealthcare, the awards recognize innovative ideas that support the health care system as it moves through rough seas,” said Sonja Sherwood, associate editor, special reports, PBJ. “With hospitals and care professionals as stretched as they are, every effort that saves lives, reduces costs and makes these difficult jobs easier deserves a hand.”

Persichilli was awarded the bronze in the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is president and chief executive officer for Catholic Health East. Under her leadership Persichilli has introduced electronic health records to CHE, formed the CHE Ministry Leadership Academy with Seton Hall University and has provided close to $400 million in community benefits to the ministries we serve.

Persichilli joined CHE in 2003 as the executive vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Division. She was promoted to executive vice president of acute care for the System in 2008 and then to executive vice president and chief operating officer in December 2009 before assuming the role of CEO. Persichilli received her nursing diploma from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in 1968, a bachelor of science in nursing summa cum laude from Rutgers University in 1976, and a master of arts in administration summa cum laude from Rider College in 1980. She also received an honorary doctor of health degree from Georgian Court University in 2009. In May 2011, Persichilli received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

“Judy’s contributions to the Catholic health care ministry and the broader health care community are both outstanding and inspirational. Judy has always considered herself first and foremost as a nurse and caregiver, and as she has worked her way into executive leadership positions, always remains focused in ensuring the delivery of consistent, quality health care, particularly to those who are poor and marginalized. Judy is a leader with drive, compassion and an unwavering commitment to do all we can to best meet the needs for the communities we serve. This award is so well deserved,” said Pete DeAngelis, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Mercy Philadelphia Hospital was awarded the bronze in the Patient Safety Award for their “Hand Hygiene Compliance” hand sanitizing program. By raising awareness and accountability, in addition to empowering staff, community members and patients of the importance of effective hand hygiene, the program exceeded expectations and reduced device-associated infections by more than 80 percent. This level has been sustained for more than two years resulting in significant savings for the hospital and keeping more patients safe. Staff, community members and patients were educated and hand-sanitizing dispensers were distributed throughout the hospital.

The project was acknowledged with an honorable mention by the Health Care Improvement Foundation during the 2009 Delaware Valley Patient Safety Award Program. In addition, it received the 2011 Patient Safety award from the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).