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News from Unity

Unity Health System Recognized for Pinnacle Award Entry

Unity Health System has been recognized for its entry into the Healthcare Association of New York State’s (HANYS) 2009 Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety.

The Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety, established in 2001, recognizes significant achievement by members in quality improvement and patient safety. Unity’s submission, Culture Change: Transition from Infection Control to Infection Prevention, was ranked in the top tenth percentile.

“It’s an honor for Unity to be recognized by our peers for excellence in clinical practices,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stewart Putnam.

Culture Change: Transition from Infection Control to Infection Prevention, explains a shift in focus at Unity, from a reactionary response to infections, to a pro-active prevention attitude. This culture change became a system-wide goal starting in 2006, and included a hand-hygiene campaign.

“We’ve really made a big change to focusing on infection prevention,” said Ruth Curchoe, director of Infection Prevention and Control at Unity Health. “We needed to make the public, our patients, and our colleagues more aware that what we’re really aiming to do is prevention infections, not just treat them when they happen.”

“The changes in practice by our clinical staff, and the change in focus led to a reduction in the number of hospital acquired infections (HAI) at Unity,” said Curchoe.

Unity’s submission will be posted on HANYS’ website, and in their 2009 Profiles in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety publication.
For more information on HANYS and the Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety, visit www.hanys.org.


Unity Health System provides a complete network of health care services from the Unity Park Ridge Hospital Campus in the town of Greece, the Unity St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, and at numerous other sites throughout Rochester and western Monroe County. Services include inpatient and outpatient hospital care and surgery, a family birth place, women’s health services, chemical dependency and mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, adult day health and home health programs for older adults, retirement communities, child care, and laboratory services, among many others.