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SIU/Memorial Earn Top Quality Award from World Hospital Congress


A collaboration of Springfield health care organizations took home top honors at an international meeting for health care leaders held Oct. 6-8 in Chicago. A panel of experts at the International Hospital Federation’s (IHF) 39th World Hospital Congress presented representatives from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Memorial Health System with first prize for the best presentation. The study, “Improving the Success of Strategic Management Using Big Data*”, explored how big data can be used to personalize health care.

The School of Medicine and Memorial teamed up through the Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance (MHQA) and SIU Outcomes and Analytical Research (SOAR) programs. The collaboration was recognized for innovation in medicine, quality of care and health care management, said Sapan Desai, MD, PhD, MBA, vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery at SIU, co-chair of SOAR and member of the MHQA board of directors.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Memorial and SIU,” said Desai. “The MHQA is transforming medicine and teaching doctors how to apply a vast body of knowledge to patients’ particular and unique medical histories using big data. International recognition for the pioneering work that goes on at SIU and Memorial Health System tells us that we are making a difference.” Desai has been invited to attend the next congress in Durbin, South Africa.

According to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Health System and Co-Executive Director of the MHQA Charles D. Callahan, PhD, “This top quality award from the World Hospital Congress is a testament to the potential of this unique Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance partnership to advance the level of health care throughout our region and beyond.”

About the World Hospital Congress

The World Hospital Congress is a unique global forum that brings together more than 700 health care leaders, including key drivers of national and international policy, management, financial trends and solutions in health care management and service delivery. The expert panel considered more than 100 presentations by representatives from 19 countries before selecting the award winners.

About the Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance (MHQA)

The MHQA, founded in 2014, is a unique partnership between Memorial Health System and SIU Healthcare, with a mission to foster healthy populations through innovative research, education and practice. In its first 18 months, the MHQA has launched the federally certified Quality Alliance Patient Safety Organization (QAPSO), been credentialed by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify physician Maintenance of Certification quality improvement projects, and presented its first annual Healthcare Safety and Innovation Symposium, combining lecture and simulation experiential learning in the new Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.

*The authors of the project include: Sapan Desai, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice Chair of Research, SIU and Director of the Quality Alliance and Predictive Analysis, Memorial Medical Center; Tiffany Whitaker, RN, MS, Assistant Director, Surgery Research and Clinical Outcomes, SIU; Todd Roberts, MBA, Administrator of Quality and Safety, Memorial Medical Center; Jim Wilkerson, System Director of Operations Improvement, Memorial Medical Center; and Chuck Callahan, PhD, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, Memorial Medical Center. This group meets on a regular basis to solve complex challenges in health care delivery that impact patients in central and southern Illinois and throughout the world.