BRETTON WOODS – The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) and Foundation for Healthy Communities recently honored health care leaders at their recent Annual Meeting at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods.  Every year at the Annual Meeting, the Association and Foundation honor health care leaders, executives and partners from across the state who have made significant contributions to their hospital or the health care field.

Al Montoya, Director, VA Medical Center in Manchester, was presented with a James A. Hamilton Founder’s Award, the New Hampshire Hospital Association’s highest honor, for outstanding service to health care on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.  Montoya was recognized for being a tremendous advocate for New Hampshire’s 115,000 Veterans and their families, and for his dedication, commitment and support in improving the health care delivery system for Veterans throughout New Hampshire.  The Association also named Dr. Holly Mintz of Elliot Health System in Manchester with a James A. Hamilton Founder’s Award in recognition of her extraordinary achievement and exceptional contribution to human health and well-being, her reputation in delivering high quality health care to children and families of greater Manchester and her ethical commitment to the practice of medicine.

Cindi Coughlin, RN, most recently the Senior Vice President of Patient Care / Chief Nursing Officer at Cheshire Medical Center, received the Leslie A. Smith President’s Award, bestowed upon an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the New Hampshire Hospital Association, and in recognition of their dedicated service to the affairs, management and growth of the Association and its affiliates.   Coughlin was recognized for dedicating herself and her career to enhancing the quality of patient care in her organization and community, and for her tireless service to high quality care throughout the region.

Lawrence Schissel, MD, of Newport Health Center and New London Hospital, was the recipient of the Medical Staff Award for outstanding service to his hospital and his community, an honor bestowed upon a medical staff member from an NHHA member institution whose professional performance has strengthened the cooperation between the hospital and the medical staff, and who brings credit to the institution and the community.   Revered by his friends and colleagues for his devotion to delivering compassionate, quality patient care, Dr. Schissel was nominated for dedication and commitment to his patients, his community and his colleagues.

Anne-Lee Verville, Chair, Board of Trustees, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, was recognized for her exemplary performance in hospital governance with the Outstanding Trustee of the Year Award.  Verville was recognized for her commitment, leadership and guidance which her colleagues have described as invaluable and intrinsic to shaping the organization as well as her profound dedication to the organization and by extension to the health and wellness of the people of the region.

Elliot Health System was named recipient of the Noah Lord for Patient & Family Engagement Award, which recognizes the innovative work being done to better engage patients and families with Patient Family Advisors and Patient Family Advisory Councils to improve patient safety, quality improvement and the patient experience in a hospital system.   Elliot Health System was recognized for their Service Recovery Task Force project that outlined their efforts to identify unmet patient expectations, with the overall goal of improving patient experience and patient engagement.

And Dartmouth-Hitchcock was named the recipient of the inaugural Honoring Excellence in Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Award.  This award honors a team of health care professionals within New Hampshire hospitals who demonstrate a continued commitment to providing quality care to their patients, lead the charge for quality improvement, promote transparency to improve health care, and achieve better outcomes through the implementation of a strong culture of safety.   Dartmouth-Hitchcock was recognized for their organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, patient-centered care, and their successful efforts to develop and promote improvements in quality of care for the patients they serve.