We seek programs that focus on
outcomes, measurable achievements to a specific community
group, rather than outputs which can be a laundry list of
All nominees are judged by an independent Awards Board using the
following five criteria:
- Impact: Demonstrate the outcomes (i.e.
achievements not activities) the program has achieved in the
past 12-24 months. Share metrics on the total number of people
served, quantifiable improvements in patient health status
and/or access, community support, etc. Also share the program's
impact through the individual eyes of beneficiaries. (Accounts
for 40% of nomination)
- Collaboration: Demonstrate how the program
collaborates with other community entities to fulfill
its mission, including work with physicians, healthcare
organizations, government agencies, businesses, etc. (Accounts for
20% of nomination)
- Innovation: Demonstrate how the program is
exploring and using new models and approaches to serve others.
(Accounts for 15% of nomination)
- Best practices: Demonstrate how your program
sets a standard others can successfully follow and measure.
(Accounts for 15% of nomination)
- Transferability: Demonstrate how your program
could be successfully replicated by
other hospitals/communities (Accounts for 10% of
Here are six factors that each of the Programs of Excellence
have had in common:
1. A well-written application that carefully tells
the program's story.
We received applications that read like they were a collection
of pre-written blurbs copied and pasted together into the
Tell your program's story. Use reason AND emotion.
You only have one shot to engage the review Board. Command
2. A well-defined, measurable community
A good example is the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area
around Huntington, West Virginia. It was named the fattest
and sickliest in the nation. Cabell Huntington Hospital
launched a community-wide initiative to change that.
And it did. The hospital's work has received national
attention and recognition, including being named a 2010 Program of
Excellence by the Hospital Charitable Service Awards.
3. A clear vision on future impact.
What is it your program is working to accomplish? How will
you know you've "made it"? How long will it take? What
resources do you have? What resources are you missing?
A mission describes why you exist. A vision is different
than a mission. A vision describes where you are going.
Your strategies describe how you will get there.
Make sure your application communicates all of these.
4. The beneficiary's perspective.
When you hear a mother share the story of losing her newborn,
you quickly understand the importance of St. Johns Providence
Health System's Infant Mortality Program, another 2010 Program of
Let us hear what your program means to those you serve.
Share their stories, in their words.
5. A track record of measured
Show how your program has set specific goals and met them.
Show how it has made measurable improvements to community health,
patient access, or some other critical challenge to the health of
6. A unique twist or
We receive many applications each year that share the stories of
incredible charitable programs and initiatives. However, many
applications are almost identical to those of other nominees.
So be sure to tell us how your program is unique. This may be in
the impacts you're achieving or approaches you are taking to
solving a complex health problem.
What makes your program different from the other programs at the
5,000+ hospitals in the U.S.?
It's important to understand that these are not "hard"
criteria. The Board reviews numerous applications in a short
span of time.
What makes one program stand out over another is dependent on
the quality and power of the application at the moment it's being
reviewed, relative to the other applications.
We hope this has helped you prepare a strong nomination
application in 2013.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us
Please write "Application Criteria Question" in the subject
We look forward to receiving your nomination!
Make sure you read the stories of our past Program of Excellence
recipients. Download our eBooks from 2012,
2011 and 2010.
Contact information for each of the programs is included in
their chapter. We encourage you to reach out and learn from
them as you prepare your application.