SwedishAmerican is the 2018 recipient of the Illinois Risk Management Services (IRMS) Award of Excellence in Employee Safety. The award was announced at the annual Workers’ Compensation Symposium Reception hosted by Illinois Compensation Trust (ICT) and IRMS on May 3, in Springfield. The hospital received a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 check in recognition of this accomplishment. The plaque, along with an individual gift, was presented to Ruth Chance, manager of SwedishAmerican’s Associate Health Services, for her efforts in reaching positive results in hospital's workers’ compensation program.

“Under Ruth’s leadership in 2018, SwedishAmerican had an excellent loss experience and lost days experience rating,” said IRMS Vice President Mike Baiardo. “Ruth’s proactive effort to return injured employees to work after an accident resulted in a very low lost days experience rating.”

“Ruth leads the Safe Patient Handling program at SwedishAmerican, conducts monthly Safe Patient Handling Rounds on clinical units and is responsible for training all super users of Safe Patient Handling Equipment in each department,” he continued. “She insures that all clinical staff is properly trained on how to use the patient handling equipment. In addition, Ruth recently initiated a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. She works closely with the risk management department in collaborative efforts to improve safety both for patients and staff.”

“This is such an honor,” Chance said. “It is a team effort. Everyone who works in Associate Health has contributed toward this success.”

The award is given annually to an ICT or IRMS hospital with the best overall performance in their workers’ compensation program and risk management procedures from the prior year. The award of excellence is a model for other hospitals and exhibits to the winning hospital’s staff the benefits of maintaining a safe environment. This is the 11th year the award has been presented.