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Skiff named winner of first-ever innovation award

Published: Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 11:01 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 2, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT

Skiff Medical Center’s ongoing aim for excellence was recently recognized when the hospital was named winner of the Innovation award at the 2013 Celebrate Business and Economic Impact Awards.

Skiff was among a select few award recipients honored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership at a luncheon held Nov. 13 at the Des Moines Marriott. Celebrating 31 years of local economic impact, the awards commemorate the influence recognized companies have had on the local economy in terms of job creation, capital investment, and facility expansion. Fellow winners in a variety of categories included FedEx, John Deere and Bankers Trust.

The Innovation award was new to this year’s ceremony and, according to Janette Larkin, publisher of event sponsor the Des Moines Business Record, was put in place “to recognize organizations that, through a process of development, knowledge sharing and learning, produce meaningful change to improve products, processes or organizational effectiveness.”

The award was sponsored by Bridgestone and presented by Alissa Russelburg, training specialist.

“At Bridgestone, our vision is to be the best at all we do,” Russelberg said. “We believe that to achieve this vision, we must foster a culture of innovation. This focus on innovation sparked the idea to sponsor the first annual Innovation award. Skiff has created a strategic partnership with Philips Healthcare, allowing them the ability to establish a world-class imaging center, with state-of-the-art technology and better equipment to provide patients with fast, accurate diagnoses. The technology provided in the imaging center is without comparison in the state of Iowa and has been a mechanism to expand the market for Skiff’s diagnostic imaging services outside the borders of Jasper County.”

Several Skiff employees attended the ceremony, including Chief Operating Officer Brett Altman.

“It is my pleasure to accept this award on behalf of our two dozen radiology employees and our dedicated 360 employee back at the hospital,” Altman said. “This came about with an innovative business plan, as well as the innovative technology that came along with it, and was the vision of Jane Hettinger, our Radiology Director, our radiologist Dr. Paul Groben and our CEO Steve Long, to form a strategic partnership with Philips, which helped us to obtain the best imaging equipment available in the world, right down the road in Newton.”

The technology that was put in place during the transition to the Philips Imaging Center at Skiff included a 1.5 Tesla broadband digital MRI, one of the first installed in the United States with the Ambient Experience, a package of video, lights and sound designed to make the scan as relaxing as possible for patients. The upgrade also featured the installation of a 128-slice CT scanner, with about 50 percent less radiation than comparable machines on the market, and a digital X-ray room.

“We’re very blessed to have received this award,” Altman said. “Newton is very proud to be part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.  Our tagline at Skiff is ‘The Best Care is Close to Home’ and with this award, that tagline holds true.”