Dr. Ed Wagner receives Picker Award for Excellence

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Seattle—Dr. Ed Wagner, director of the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation at Group Health Cooperative, is this year's individual winner of the Picker Award for Excellence® in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care.

The Picker Institute is honoring Dr. Wagner for advocating that health care be delivered to chronically ill patients in ways that respect patients' values, preferences, and perspectives. The mission of the MacColl Institute, founded in 1992, is to link the worlds of research and clinical quality improvement by developing, evaluating, and disseminating innovations in health care delivery, particularly those that advance Group Health's commitment to "population-based" or "planned" care.

Dr. Wagner pointed out common elements in the work of the MacColl and Picker institutes: "We recognize that high-quality health care is not only about technology—and that the most important person in health care decision-making is always the patient."

Dr. Wagner was the founding director of the Group Health Center for Health Studies, Group Health's public-domain research organization, which houses the MacColl Institute. He is best known for his leading role in developing and disseminating the Chronic Care Model through Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC), a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Model is an evidence-based framework that describes what a health system must provide to help patients with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression to get the kind of care they need, when they need it. More than 100 million Americans live with at least one chronic condition, and that number will rise as the population ages.

Dr. Wagner also serves as principal investigator for the Cancer Research Network (CRN), a National Cancer Institute–funded consortium of 13 health-plan-based research organizations. The CRN is part of the HMO Research Network, a larger consortium of health care delivery organizations that have formal recognized research capabilities and a shared commitment to public-domain research. Among his many local and national committee involvements, he served as co-chair of the task force that led to the creation of the Puget Sound Health Alliance, a regional multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to improving quality and reducing costs.

Dr. Wagner and his colleagues are now also focusing their attention on identifying and fostering innovative ideas devised by health care providers at Group Health.

The Pioneer Network and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality received this year's organizational and special Picker Awards. The Picker Institute will present all three awards on Oct. 2 at the Celebrating Quality event during the annual International Society for Quality in Health Care conference in Boston.

The Picker Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing patient-centered care globally. Its motto is "through the patient's eyes." Picker Institute sponsors research and education in patient-centered care and recognizes "best practices" in fostering continued improvement in health care from the patient's perspective. The Institute has offices in Boston, Germany, and Switzerland, and a sister organization, Picker Institute Europe, in the United Kingdom. Together, they advance patient-centered care through education programs, research grants, annual best-practices recognition awards, publications on patient-centered care, designing scientifically valid survey instruments, research databanks, and an annual international symposium.

In March, Dr. Wagner was one of four winners of the 2007 Health Quality Awards from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Those awards, which are given every two years, honor individuals and organizations for helping to improve U.S. health care quality substantially.

Group Health Center for Health Studies
Group Health Research Institute does practical research that helps people like you and your family stay healthy. The Institute is the research arm of Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative, a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system. Founded in 1947, Group Health Cooperative coordinates health care and coverage. Group Health Research Institute changed its name from Group Health Center for Health Studies in 2009. Since 1983, the Institute has conducted nonproprietary public-interest research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating major health problems. Government and private research grants provide its main funding.

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