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James W. Varnum National Quality Award presented to Project SEARCH
Date:12/2/2010

LEBANON, NH - The inaugural James W. Varnum National Quality Award was presented to Project SEARCH, a program of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), in a ceremony held on Wednesday, December 1, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Receiving the award were Project SEARCH co-founder Erin Riehle, MSN, RN, Sr. Clinical Director for Disability Services; and Dr. Linda Workman, Vice President of the Center for Professional Excellence at CCHMC.

The Varnum National Quality Award, named in honor of Jim Varnum, president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital for more than 28 years, was established by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Board of Trustees to recognize "an outstanding national leader or team in health care quality improvement initiatives, especially improvements in which patients, families and staff work together to achieve organizational culture change." This inaugural award includes a dynamic, fully produced documentary video about Project SEARCH to serve as an educational tool and to help promote this pioneering program as it continues to evolve.

In presenting the award to Riehle and Workman, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Co-President Dr. James N. Weinstein, observed that Project SEARCH "is a bold, innovative venture that clearly embodies the spirit of Jim Varnum's legacy of service leadership, and the culture he created and fostered at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center: one of support, respect, and trust."

Since its founding in 1998 by Riehle and Susie Rutkowski, MEd, Project SEARCH has profoundly changed the culture at CCHMC. Through this visionary collaboration among health care, education and support services, many young people with cognitive or physical disabilities (including Down syndrome, Asperger syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury or cerebral palsy), some who are former patients at CCHMC, have found meaningful jobs and more fulfilling lives. Participants n
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Contact: Rick Adams
clarence.r.adams@hitchcock.org
603-653-1913
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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