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JAHVH Earns National Award for Patient Safety

We are so proud of Team Tampa’s Patient Safety Program team
We are so proud of Team Tampa’s Patient Safety Program team: (Standing) Megan Neiding, Laura Smith, Chris Thrasher (seated) Janet Carnero, John Rack, Erin Bohannon-Chenault

Tampa, Fla. – The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital announced today that it has received a 2024 Patient Safety Program of Excellence designation from the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety. Only nine hospitals out of over 170 VA medical centers received the award.

The Patient Safety program at JAHVH has three main responsibilities to Veterans in their mission to prevent harm to patients. First, there is an emphasis put on the system of care to prevent errors. Second, there is a focused effort centered on learning from the errors that do occur. Finally, the system is built on a foundation that nurtures a culture of safety involving every health care professional, departments, program, and service throughout our health care system.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our healthcare system and underscores our collective commitment to ensuring we are providing safe care that promotes positive health outcomes,” said David Dunning, the hospital’s executive director.

Established in 1999 to lead the VA’s patient safety efforts and develop a culture of safety throughout the Veterans Health Administration, the NCPS emphasized the importance of nationwide reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm from administered care. To be considered a Program of Excellence, the Patient Safety Program met the criteria of having individuals and experts with leading-edge knowledge and competency in their commitment to patient safety. To receive the designation, the team submitted a comprehensive portfolio both demonstrating meeting and excelling at the following requirements:

  • Facility leadership that empowers patient safety professionals.
  • Interdisciplinary teams that exceed minimum Patient Safety Program requirements.
  • Work efforts align with clearly defined patient safety objectives focused on accountability.

“Patient safety is truly a team sport infused into every facet of our organization,” said Laura Smith, Patient Safety manager. “We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the safety of the care we provide.”

Included in the portfolio were innovations and advancements that made JAVHH stand out. By implementing quarterly safety forums, formulizing processes that prioritize and ensure follow-up of patient safety incidents, our Patient Safety Program rose Team Tampa to a new standard. They also led the way with improving specimen labeling and design, began the use of Tele-Retina Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and more to go above and beyond in service to the Veterans we see every day.

“Without every employee having a hand in committing to quality care for the heroes we serve, this designation would not have been possible,” said Smith. “The bottom line is that we want every Veteran to know that when they enter our doors, they will get exceptional, safe, and Veteran-centered care.”

To learn more about the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, please visit:

To learn more about the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics, please visit