Cary Medical Center in Caribou receives award for patient care

Posted July 06, 2011, at 3:47 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — For the fifth year in a row, an Aroostook County hospital has been recognized by a national health care organization for excellent patient care.

Officials with Cary Medical Center announced Tuesday that the hospital had once again secured Avatar International’s Exceeding Patient Expectations award.

Avatar International is an industry leader in health care quality improvement services. David Medvedeff, CEO of Avatar, congratulated the hospital, saying it had succeeded in its goal of “putting the needs of patients first.”

Kris Doody, CEO of the Caribou hospital, agreed. She said the award represents the quality of customer service provided by front line staff at the hospital.

“Like our patients we have high expectations for the people who work at our hospital,” said Doody who has worked at the hospital for the past 26 years. “The fact that Cary has won this award for five years in a row speaks to the consistently high level of customer service provided by our staff. We are very grateful to our staff for the constant attention to serve the needs of our patients and families.”

The award is handed out based on results from Avatar surveys completed by patients who have received services at Cary Medical Center.

Shawn Anderson, the hospital’s chief operating officer, coordinates the Avatar survey program and will accept the award for the hospital. He said maintaining consistency in the care provided by hospital staff is a key goal of the hospital’s quality program.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to improve customer service, patient safety and clinical quality,” Anderson said. “We believe that exceeding the expectations of our patients for five years in a row means that our employees understand the important role they play in caring for patients and families and that the public does have a high expectation before coming to Cary. It is our goal to live up to that impression and for five years in a row we have.”

The Caribou hospital has been caring for patients for 87 years and has been honored with a number of state and national awards in recent years. Late last month, Betty Walker, director of volunteer services at the hospital, was named Maine’s Caregiver of the Year for 2010 by the Maine Hospital Association, and the hospital received the Award of Honor from the American Hospital Association at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. The hospital’s senior management team was awarded the Top Leadership Team — Small Hospital Division by HealthLeaders Magazine in 2009.

“This Avatar Award is a special recognition of the work being done by the more than 500 employees at our hospital,” said Rob Kieffer, chairman of the hospital’s board. “The hospital has really performed well in recent years and the level of statewide and national recognition is well deserved.”

Avatar, a research and consulting company based in Orlando, Fla., serves health care organizations nationally, including small community hospitals, academic medical centers, large regional medical centers, integrated health care systems, long-term care and behavioral health organizations.

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