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North Mountain Hospital Intensive Care Unit Earns Second Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence

The Intensive Care Unit at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital has become the nation's 30th hospital critical care department to earn a second Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the largest specialty nursing organization in the world.

The Beacon Award, specifically designed by AACN to recognize the nation's top hospital critical-care units, only has been given to an elite 158 of the 6,000-plus critical care units in the United States. North Mountain's ICU was the first in Arizona to receive the Beacon Award and is the first to be granted the Beacon for a second time. The ICU's first Beacon was for 2007-2008 and the second Beacon is for 2009-2010.

Critical care units that receive the Beacon Award have exhibited high-quality standards, including exceptional care of patients and their families, as well as healthy work environments.

A winning unit must meet 42 criteria in six categories. Criteria include: innovation and excellence in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; evidence-based practice and research; patient outcomes; creating and promoting a healing environment; leadership and organizational ethics.

Roberta Johnson, RN, clinical director of the hospital's Intensive Care and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units, said, "It's exciting to be recognized again at a national level for all the hard work and excellent care we provide. What makes us special is our team approach, the collaborative atmosphere we have built, and our commitment to our patients and their families."

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital is part of John C. Lincoln Health Network, an organization of hospitals, health care facilities and community programs in North Phoenix dedicated to high-quality patient care, medical education and human services. North Mountain has been recognized by experts for the quality of both its health care delivery and its business practices.

"North Mountain, the first hospital in the Valley to earn Magnet redesignation from the American Nurses Association for the top quality of its patient care, is proud to be the state's first hospital honored with a second Beacon Award from AACN for its critical care excellence," said Sue Hanauer, RN, vice president for Patient Care at North Mountain.

More than 60 registered nurses in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit care for critically ill trauma, medical and postsurgical patients. On a daily basis, nurses facilitate and coordinate the plan of care for patients and families in collaboration with the health care team.

"It is so important in any critical care area," Hanauer said, "that nurses support the family, keep them informed and show them the compassion they feel, because often the unexpected has happened. Our nurses act as advocates for their patients, placing themselves alongside the families."

"Our nurses do an amazing job in keeping track of all the pieces of the puzzle in order to provide the highest quality of care to our patients," Johnson said. "When you combine experience with advocacy, you can't help but succeed."

John C. Lincoln Health Network President and CEO Rhonda Forsyth said, "Our nursing leadership and the team members of our critical care departments deserve a standing ovation for their dedication to professional development and superior patient care. We are thrilled to congratulate the ICU on earning this extraordinary recognition."

"This award is a perfect example of what you can achieve when you put patients first," Johnson added. "Our critical care staff lead from the bedside out. Everyone has input, working together, so the plan for patient care is dictated by what the patient needs."

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