VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Physician Receives VA's Top Award for Excellence in Clinical Care Delivery

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Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, Chief of Medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, has been named the recipient of the Mark Wolcott Award for Excellence in Clinical Care Delivery by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This award is the highest honor for healthcare providers in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, Chief of Medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, has been named the recipient of the Mark Wolcott Award for Excellence in Clinical Care Delivery by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This award is the highest honor for healthcare providers in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Saint is widely regarded as the international leader in the area of preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infection, one of the world’s most common healthcare-associated infections. As a top patient safety researcher in the United States, his transformative work has included his surprising findings that physicians are often unaware which of their patients have urinary catheters, and his novel methods of limiting catheter use, which are now being used in over 1000 hospitals across the nation. He is internationally known for his innovative approach to the study of translating scientific discoveries into improvements in the real world of patient care. Dr. Saint is also the George Dock Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan where he serves as Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

The Mark Wolcott Award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care practitioners who are deserving of special recognition for their contributions in enhancing clinical care. It was named after Mark Wolcott, M.D., who dedicated over 40 years of his life to serve and improve the quality of health care for VHA’s Veteran population.

Dr. Wolcott's vision, commitment, and dedication were noteworthy during his tenure on two separate assignments in VHA Central Office as the Associate Chief Medical Director for Clinical Affairs and as the Chief of Research in Surgery. His other Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) assignments included Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at the VA medical facility in Salt Lake City, UT; Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the VA medical facility in Augusta, GA; and Chief of Surgical Service at the VA medical facility in Miami, FL.

Two award categories have been established:

a.    Excellence in Clinical Care Delivery. The recipient of this award is to be a practitioner in any health care setting who has demonstrated excellence in “hands on” direct patient care.

b.    Excellence in Clinical Care Leadership. The recipient of this award is to be a health care practitioner in a leadership or management position who has demonstrated excellence through exceptional support for direct patient care providers, including support of innovations enhancing the quality of direct patient care delivery.

Each VA medical facility Director, VHA Central Office Chief Consultant, or Clinical Program Director may nominate one candidate in each category per year. These awards are given annually to honor care given the previous year. An evaluation committee appointed by the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services will review all nominations, and awardees are selected based on several criteria:

1.    Evidence that the nominee exemplifies Dr. Wolcott’s excellence in the delivery of care and has had an effective role in improving the quality of health care for Veteran patients.
2.    Evidence that the nominee has been a positive role model for the health care profession and is recognized by management and colleagues for excellence and dedication in the provision of care.
3.    Evidence that the nominee works effectively with the health care team to promote excellence in the delivery of clinical care.
4.    Evidence that the nominee is recognized by the patients served as an outstanding healthcare practitioner.

The award will be presented at the annual Patient Care Services Awards & Recognition Ceremony on February 17, 2016, in Washington, DC.

About the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Since 1953, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, including the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center, the VA Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), the VA Flint CBOC, and the VA Jackson CBOC, as well as the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, an HSR&D Center of Excellence, has provided state-of-the-art healthcare services to the men and women who have proudly served our nation. More than 65,000 Veterans living in a 19-county area of Michigan and Northwest Ohio utilized VAAAHS in fiscal year 2015. With 109 acute care beds and 40 Community Living Center (extended care) beds, there were over 6,300 inpatient episodes of care provided in the hospital and extended care center, and as a referral center for specialty care, there were more than 872,000 outpatient visits made at our facilities in fiscal year 2015.

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Derek Atkinson
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