(BREESE, IL) – The efforts of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese to advance patient care and safety earned a 2019 Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) Quality Excellence Achievement Award in the Small and Rural category, recently presented at the IHA Leadership Summit in Lombard.
The award recognizes an impactful hospital initiative titled Our Journey to Zero Surgical Site Infections.
A national panel of quality experts judged 57 hospital and health system projects for this year’s IHA Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Out of the 57 submitted, they chose HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese as the awardee.
To decrease surgical site infections (SSIs), HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese conducted a hospital-wide risk assessment of infection prevention practices. This initiative focused on:

  • collaborating with general surgery providers on patient education for pre- and post-operative care;

  • elevating infection control risk assessments during construction projects; and

  • implementing pre-operative skin preparation protocols for high-risk patients. 

As a result, the hospital’s SSI rate fell from 1.16 in 2017 to 0.34 in 2018, and physicians and staff are more engaged in promoting patient safety.
“I am very proud of our colleagues and their accomplishment in decreasing the number of surgical site infections,” said Chris Klay, president and chief executive officer of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese. “As an organization we are committed to providing high-quality care. The successful work of this team demonstrates their dedication to improving our clinical practices and keeping our patients healthy and safe.”
IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi recognized the project team from HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese at the association’s annual Leadership Summit. The St. Joseph’s Breese project team consisted of Melissa Cates, director of quality; Allison Satterthwaite, manager of infection prevention; Zach Yoder, chief nursing officer; Danielle Trame, manager of surgical services and Lisa Jones, facilitator for central sterile.
IHA’s Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality spearheaded this effort to highlight the quality improvement work of IHA-member hospitals and health systems. The Institute is a strategic center actively engaged in implementing evidence-based quality and safety initiatives while creating innovative member programs to measurably strengthen the quality of health care across Illinois.
“Illinois hospitals and health systems are leaders in advancing care. It’s so important to take a moment to celebrate their efforts and successes,” said Helga Brake, vice president, Quality, Safety, and Health Policy, who leads the Institute. “IHA’s Institute works alongside hospitals and health systems to advance quality care and patient safety for all Illinois residents.”
Photo: Representatives from HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese who attended the IHA Leadership Summit to accept the award were (left to right) Allison Satterthwaite, manager of infection prevention; Zach Yoder, chief nursing officer; Danielle Trame, manager of surgical services; Lisa Jones, facilitator for central sterile and Melissa Cates, director of quality.

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Ashley Gramann

Manager, Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 526-5439

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