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After a nearly three decades-long joint effort with the College of Southern Maryland to further health care education, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will be recognized as the CSM Partnership in Education at this year’s Leading Edge Awards ceremony.
The ceremony will take place today, June 13, at the Jaycees Center in Waldorf and will also acknowledge other area businesses that have benefited the Southern Maryland community by stimulating economic growth locally.
The CSM Partnership in Education award rewards a community organization or business that has both functioned as a resource for the college and used the college as a resource, and the award is sponsored by the CSM Foundation, which works to support CSM through fundraising and advocacy work.
“We saw [the hospital] as a very valued, high-level valued partner in that they not only provide resources to the college and the students but [in] that they also use the college as a training source for their employees,” said Michelle Goodwin, vice president of advancement and the executive director of the CSM Foundation.
Since 1984, nursing students from CSM have obtained clinical experience working at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital under the supervision of both CSM clinical instructors and hospital nurse preceptors.
“Each semester, CSM instructors work with MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital department leaders and the volunteer and student services coordinator to ensure that students in the program meet the clinical learning objectives that reinforce their classroom instruction,” said Joan Gelrud, vice president of the hospital.
Through their instruction at the hospital, student nurses practice patient care, develop relationships with other health-care professionals, and “rotate into the acute care setting on inpatient medical surgical units, the women’s health and birthing center, emergency department and express care,” Gelrud said.
“Our students then graduate, walk out the door, then start work at the hospital,” Goodwin said.
This spring, 53 nurses graduated from CSM, some of whom found employment at MedStar St. Mary’s, though many went to other area hospitals.
Outside of the nurse training program, the hospital provides ongoing support and sponsorship of other CSM programs, such as phlebotomy and paramedic training, free summer concerts, scholarships and community wellness programs. The hospital, in turn, uses the college and its corporate center to train its employees in topics such as leadership, IT and process improvement methods.
“It’s really a win-win all the way around,” said Jay Lilly, president of the CSM Foundation. Lilly credited CSM’s community partnerships with strengthening both the quality of education at the college and improving the local labor force. “I think that the bottom line is through scholarship dollars the college has been able to provide more scholarships to more students, which has made the workforce much stronger,” he said.
In addition to the Leading Edge Award, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has previously earned the Silver Award for Excellence in Stroke Care from the American Heart Association, the Health Grades Patient Safety Excellence award, the Delmarva Foundation Award for Quality Excellence for the fifth consecutive year and sixth year overall and the Alliance for Workplace Excellence’s Workplace Excellence, Health & Wellness Trailblazer and EcoLeadership awards for the fourth consecutive year.
“As a community hospital with a mission to promote, maintain and improve health through education and service while maintaining fiscal integrity, we believe that supporting educational programs in the community is an important way to meet the health care needs of Southern Maryland today and advancing health for tomorrow,” Gelrud said.
Although Goodwin acknowledged wishing for a closer relationship with the hospital’s parent company, MedStar, she emphasized that the mutually beneficial partnership between the hospital and CSM is what garnered MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital the Leading Edge Award.
“It’s not just them giving or us doing; it’s continuously working together to see what we can do together and the return on investment is a healthier community,” Goodwin said. “They’re lucky to have such an outstanding hospital.”