The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) have announced the first recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards. For the 2002 year, winners were selected in each of the Award categories. The winners in the several categories are:

Individual Lifetime Achievement
Julianne Morath, R.N., M.S., Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis, Minnesota, "for her tireless and successful work at Children's Hospitals to introduce a culture of patient safety that promotes the sharing of information about errors to improve safety in the care of patients."

System Innovation (co-winners)
Concord Hospital, Concord, New Hampshire, "for developing and implementing a structured communications protocol, adapted from human factors science, which broke down hierarchical role boundaries and improved the care of cardiac surgery patients."

Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety, Ann Arbor, Michigan, "for innovation and leadership in developing and implementing a systems approach to error reduction within the VHA's 163 health care facilities."

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, "for its national leadership in openly, and voluntarily, disclosing health care errors to harmed individuals and/or their families."

David W. Bates, M.D., M.Sc., Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, "for his cutting-edge research in using information technology to measure and improve patient safety, particularly in the area of medication safety."

The initial awards will be presented at the National Quality Forum's Third Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 1, 2002. The new patient safety awards program—announced earlier this year by NQF and JCAHO—honors John M. Eisenberg, M.D, M.B.A., who was administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the time of his death in March of 2002. Eisenberg was also one of the founding leaders of the National Quality Forum and sat on its Board of Directors. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government's Quality Inter-Agency Council, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and personally led AHRQ's new grant program to support patient safety research.