October 23, 2019

AMA recognizes Heartland Health Centers with Joy in Medicine award

Joy in Medicine 2019 Bronze Award seal from AMA

In September, Heartland Health Centers was one of 22 health care organizations that the American Medical Association selected as the first recipients of the inaugural Joy in Medicine™ Recognition for “outstanding efforts to address the systemic causes of physician burnout in areas such as assessment, leadership, teamwork and practice-environment efficiency.”

The new distinction offered by the AMA recognizes health care organizations that have committed to efforts that improve physician satisfaction and reduce burnout. This program is designed by the AMA to serve as a catalyst for organizations engaged in efforts to improve physician satisfaction and reduce burnout.  Heartland Health Centers is the only Federally Qualified Health Center, FQHC, in the first round of awardees. Part of the U.S. Public Health Service, FQHCs ensure access to primary care at all stages of life regardless of income.  

“It’s a real honor to be recognized alongside institutions such as Northwestern Medicine and the Mayo Clinic,” Heartland Health Centers CEO Gwenn Rausch said. “This recognition highlights our belief that supporting our medical providers and other care team members is essential to fulfill our mission of providing access to high-quality care.”

The Bronze level of recognition certifies Heartland Health Centers’ commitment to support its employees.  For example, in early 2019, we unveiled a new Innovation Center at HHC-Albany Park in which the medical assistant role was transformed into the care team coordinator position and the patient support specialist role became the patient navigator position. The new roles give care team members more responsibility and ownership over key aspects of patient care such as preventive care gaps and referral completion.  

Heartland Health Centers recognizes that in order for us to improve the care experience and health outcomes of our patients, we must focus time and attention on improving the practice environment so as to promote joy and meaning for care teams.  To this end, Heartland is beginning to measure and remove waste from our care processes so that our care teams’ valuable time is spent helping patients.

The organization is also offering more support and health classes for its employees.

At Heartland Health Centers on Chicago’s diverse North Side- home to many immigrants and refugees –  a third of patients are best served in a language other than English and 90% of patients’ family income is at or below the federal poverty line.