The Patient Engagement and Activation category recognizes organizations that have made the commitment to partner with patients, families and caregivers to adopt effective patient engagement strategies to ensure care processes are patient-centered.

Category Winner

Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens offered Options Counseling to all of their clients. This program follows a person-first concept in all aspects of counseling and services. Eleven care coordinators were trained to assess clients to evaluate support services such as home-delivered meals, personal care and adult day center care. Care coordinators incorporated components of diversity, equity and inclusion into the interactive process and encouraged individuals and family members to make informed, long-term choices based on their preferences, values and circumstances. Options Counseling is a state-wide initiative, funded by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. During the most recent fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2022), the program served 1,124 clients and logged 1,520 hours.

First Runner-Up

The Virginia Geriatric Education Center/Geriatrics Workforce Education Program (VGEC GWEP) partnered with Health Quality Innovators (HQI) to deliver community-based programs on the safe use and proper disposal of opioids as well as general medication safety. The VGEC’s GWEP team works to identify older adults’ gaps in opioid safety education, then develops and implements frontline education and programs that meet the needs of culturally diverse communities in a variety of settings. GWEP Co-Director Patty Slattum, PharmD, PhD, BCGP, helped spread the program statewide, including single-handedly engaging the Chickahominy Indian Tribe to provide education to their community. In the past year, Dr. Slattum has engaged in over 12 meetings or events and impacted over 350 patients directly.

Second Runner-Up

Minneapolis Health and Rehabilitation Center in Kansas injected cultural competency into everyday care practices. The center created an open line of communication in all aspects of their community, such as asking residents’ relatives about their culture and traditions. They strived to incorporate diverse values, beliefs and behaviors to tailor healthcare delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural and linguistic needs. The facility collaborated with family and community members by inviting volunteers, local businesses and organizations to provide residents with opportunities to participate in activities. This encouraged residents to remain active and involved, which improved outcomes and decreased depression symptoms. As a result, the center improved from a 1-star to a 5-star facility, despite challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2022 Nominees

This year’s outstanding nominees represent a wide range of organizations throughout the United States including acute care hospitals, clinician practices, community-based organizations, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, associations, public health, rural health clinics, and health education centers.