St. Luke’s Wood River has been included on a list of the top-rated health-care organizations in the nation, St. Luke’s announced this week.

Press Ganey, an analytics and consulting firm that works with more than 40,000 health-care facilities, has named St. Luke’s Wood River a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award winner. The award recognizes health-care organizations that have achieved the 95th percentile or above of performance in “patient experience” for care in emergency departments and inpatient settings.

The Guardian of Excellence Award honors organizations that have top rankings in the categories of patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement and clinical quality.

Angela Brady, associate chief nursing officer at St. Luke’s Wood River, said the staff at the hospital south of Ketchum persisted in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to pose challenges to their work.

“Despite the immense effects of the pandemic, this team is dedicated to their community and to each other,” she said. “The entire health-care team consistently comes together with mutual respect for each other to care for their neighbors, friends and families. They are a tight-knit team that have a sense of family and will step up to help each other despite the continued stresses they experience every day.”

Patrick T. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of Press Ganey, said he believes it is important to recognize top-performing health-care facilities, especially during the pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the strength and resiliency of these dynamic health systems across the nation who, despite facing enormous challenges, have continued to provide their communities with safe and exceptional care,” he said.

Almita Nunnelee, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of St. Luke’s Wood River, said she believes the hospital’s staff is deserving of the award.

“They sincerely care about the patients they serve and each other, going above and beyond every day for each other and our patients as if they were their own family members,” she said.

Elizabeth Steger, chief nursing executive for the Boise-based St. Luke’s Health System, said the Wood River staff are “an exceptionally competent team across the board.”

“The staff feel a commitment and loyalty to their community—they go above and beyond to take care of their patients in and out of the hospital,” she said.

It is not unusual for staff to provide clothing for some patients or even feed their pets when there is a need, Steger said.

“There is a unique presence when they interact with patients and families—being fully present, actively listening and involving patients in their care,” she said. “Teamwork and mutual respect are evident across numerous departments, ranging from building services to clinicians and many others, all keeping the patient in the center of their care.”

St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center also received the Guardian of Excellence Award in the “patient experience” category. 

By Percy