The Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care, a partnership between the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF, the parent organization of HCF) and the Fine Foundation, were established in 2008 to recognize and reward healthcare teams committed to quality improvement and patient safety. The award was inspired by Milt Fine’s core conviction that customer service, innovation, and quality—the key tenets of his success in the corporate sector—should also apply to health care.

Western Pennsylvania teams have launched Fine Award-winning QI projects in a variety of healthcare settings—from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities to primary care centers—while showing what it takes to spread and sustain their work. A few years ago, Fine Award winners began mentoring the multidisciplinary graduate students who take part in JHF’s Patient Safety Fellowship in order to spread excellence in quality and safety across generations.

In 2018, the Fine Awards and Patient Safety Fellowship will unify once again, with a twist. This year’s Patient Safety Fellows will systematically study past Fine Award winners to discover the key factors that drive sustained quality improvement and culture change. The Fellows will explore the emerging field of health improvement science and develop a scorecard of sorts that will determine which past Fine Award winners will take home recognition this year.

During weekly sessions in June and July, Fellows will learn about the Foundation’s signature QI methodology, Perfecting Patient CareSM, as well as a powerful tool that experts from around the world are wielding to understand the key elements of sustained improvement: The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). CFIR offers a practical guide for assessing what helps and hinders health improvement project implementation and sustainability, with a focus on the broader context in which QI work takes place. CFIR considers factors such as policies and incentives, organizational culture and structure, individual values and beliefs, and the planning execution, and evaluation of projects.

In partnership with JHF staff and a professional healthcare evaluator, Fellows will conduct in-depth interviews with past Fine Award winners to learn about their approach to sustaining and spreading quality improvement. The Fellows will share their findings during a final presentation, and they will collectively identify three winning healthcare teams for 2018 recognition that best exemplify the spirit and purpose of the Fine Awards.

Applications will be open for the 2019 program in the Spring of 2019. To learn more, contact Scotland Huber (