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Sharp Performance Earns Health Care System National Award

Sharp HealthCare is one of five organizations that received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award this year, the San Diego-based health care system said Nov. 20.

The award is the nation’s highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance, according to Sharp’s Web site.

“It’s an affirmation of great work,” said Mike Murphy, president and chief executive officer at Sharp. “It’s a great confirmation of what we do to our peers in health care and our peers in all industries.”

Six types of organizations can receive the award , manufacturers, service companies, small businesses, education organizations, nonprofits and health care organizations. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal agency based in Gaithersburg, Md., that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness, manages the awards program.

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This year’s other award-winners were Pro-Tec Coating Co. of Leipsic, Ohio; Mercy Health System of Janesville, Wis.; the city of Coral Springs, Fla.; and the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center in New Jersey.

Sharp applied for the award at the state level three times and received the award in the second year it applied at a national level, according to Nancy Pratt, senior vice president of clinical effectiveness at Sharp.

There were more than 80 applicants, which were evaluated on leadership, strategic planning, and customer and market focus, among other things, according to the award’s Web site.

“We’re not shocked,” Murphy said. “But it is very, very difficult to achieve.”

Applications were submitted in May and a site visit was conducted in October. The award’s clear criteria and availability of feedback were two reasons that Sharp decided to pursue the honor.

“The goal is not a win/lose,” Pratt said. “It’s a process to get better on a continual basis.”

Sharp, a nonprofit organization, has more than 14,000 employees, seven hospitals, three affiliate medical groups and 40,000 enrollees in its health plan in San Diego County.

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Former Hospital Employees Receive Missed Pay:

About 50 former employees from Rady Children’s Hospital in Kearny Mesa received payments Dec. 4 for missed second meal breaks during work shifts, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations.

The $2.7 million settlement came after a three-year investigation by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, a state agency that works to enforce minimum labor standards. The agency is one of five divisions of the Department of Industrial Relations.

A total of 728 former employees will receive checks of up to $25,000; the 1,236 current employees who were employed during the investigation period received payment in October, according to Dean Fryer, deputy director of communications at the Department of Industrial Relations.

Rady Children’s Hospital is a pediatric hospital with 3,300 full- and part-time employees that serves San Diego and Imperial counties.

An employee complaint first brought attention to the fact that hospital employees were not taking a second meal break during a 10-hour-or-longer shift, according to Fryer.

After the investigation began, a self-audit revealed that the hospital owed its employees nearly $3 million. The average amount for each check is $1,000.

Staff members in the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement are still trying to track down other former employees. Other past staff members who now live as far away as Australia and Germany will receive checks by mail, according to Fryer.

He added that it is one of the only settlements in the state regarding payment for missed meal breaks.

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Local Nonprofits Get Grants From Kaiser:

Kaiser Permanente, an Oakland-based health care organization with about 500,000 enrollees in San Diego County, said Nov. 30 that it had awarded $1.3 million in grants for HIV/AIDS services in California this year.

Eleven organizations in the county received money, along with 30 other nonprofit organizations in Southern California that provide services to people with HIV or AIDS.

Each nonprofit received between $7,000 and $10,000 for a total of $93,000 awarded to organizations in the county, according to Socorro Serrano, the Southern California media representative for Kaiser.

The local recipients were Auntie Helen’s Fluff’n Fold, Being Alive San Diego, Christie’s Place Inc., Fraternity House Inc., Mama’s Kitchen, Neighborhood Healthcare, North County Health Services, Operation Samahan Inc., San Diego Youth & Community Services, Special Delivery San Diego and Vista Community Clinic.

Services range from providing free laundry services or residential and hospice care to operating primary care clinics or kitchens that provide meals for delivery.

Kaiser provides treatment for 5,000 patients in Southern California who are HIV-positive.


Send health care news to Jaimy Lee at

jlee@sdbj.com

. She may also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3107.

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