Bassett Medical Center wins 2011 Magnet Prize®

At the National Magnet® Conference held October 4 to 6 in Baltimore, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and Cerner® Corporation announced Bassett Medical Center of Cooperstown, New York, as the winner of the prestigious 2011 Magnet Prize®. This award is sponsored by Cerner Corporation, a global supplier of healthcare technology solutions, and recognizes innovative nursing programs and practices in ANCC Magnet®-designated organizations. Cerner encourages cutting-edge nursing programs and practices by sponsoring the $25,000 purse attached to the Magnet Prize. The prize money may be used to continue, advance, or disseminate the innovation that was selected for the Magnet Prize.

The Magnet Prize is awarded only to Magnet-recognized organizations. Winning organizations must meet specific criteria, such as extraordinary nursing activities that have been sustained over an extended period of time, innovations beyond the characteristics of Magnet organizations, and positive outcomes that have been demonstrated and empirically linked to the innovation.

The winning entry from Bassett Medical Center highlighted its School-Based Health Program (SBHP), which works in schools to address health and social issues that make it difficult for children to learn. Bassett’s SBHP staff has been working “where the kids are” for the past 20 years. There currently are 18 school-based health centers operating in four counties, serving 6,000 students. An additional 10 schools have requested that Bassett establish a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) in their district.

“Bassett Medical Center’s School-Based Health Program is a tremendous example of a Magnet facility that supports the importance of promoting lifelong wellness in its community,” says ANCC Executive Director Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “The service the SBHP provides is invaluable and will continue to benefit children and their families with quality healthcare practices.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the ANCC Magnet Prize, sponsored by Cerner Corporation,” said Roy L. Simpson, C, RN, DPNAP, FAAN, Cerner’s Vice President of Nursing. “Given only the top of the Magnet hospitals, this year’s award recognizes nurses’ contribution to health in school children. The Bassett Medical Center School-Based Health Program is an exciting acknowledgement of awesome and great commitment to the essence of caring through community outreach.”

An SBHC is an innovative model for delivering health care, mental and dental health care, health education, and social services to children and adolescents on a school campus. The SBHP concept came from an experienced registered nurse. While working as a school nurse in Delhi, New York, and as a part-time nurse at the Bassett-affiliated Delhi Primary Care Clinic, Jane V. Hamilton, current SBHP clinical manager, discovered many children had limited access to health services due to financial, geographical, and other barriers. Hamilton partnered with Barbara Curran, then–vice president for nursing at Bassett, to launch the program and follow their vision to empower students and their families toward lifelong wellness. The Delhi school where Hamilton worked agreed to fund a pilot SBHC, which sparked the SBHP to grow and become the largest rural school-based health program in New York State and one of the biggest rural programs in the country. Last year, there were 22,000 visits at Bassett’s SBHCs.


The motivated Bassett SBHP team consists of 10 family and pediatric nurse practitioners, 2 physician assistants, 11 mental healthcare workers, and 5 Bassett physicians, who collaborate with the goal of providing high-quality care to students enrolled in the SBHP. Bassett’s community outreach workers, licensed practical nurses, dental hygienists, and medical office assistants also work to assist the program. SBHC staff are proud to be members of the school community, building strong relationships with families and adolescents alike.

“The School-Based Health Program is an important safety net for children and youth in our rural communities,” said Hamilton. “We strive to provide quality, comprehensive care by partnering with schools that recognize the importance of healthy learners. We are thrilled that Magnet has recognized this work.”

ANCC and Cerner Corporation also announced Abington Memorial Hospital of Abington, Pennsylvania, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital of New Brunswick, New Jersey, as winners of the 2011 Magnet Honors. This award recognizes two innovative nursing programs and practices worthy of distinction among ANCC Magnet-recognized organizations.

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