CHRISTUS St. Vincent Honored as “Top Hospital” at New Mexico Hospital Association Awards


October 28, 2022

Santa Fe, New Mexico – CHRISTUS St. Vincent is one of three hospitals to have received the New Mexico Hospital Association’s (NMHA) 2022 Quest for Excellence award and was selected as “Top Hospital” overall at the NMHA annual meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. The Quest for Excellence award is NMHA’s premier acknowledgement of exceptional efforts to advance quality and patient care for the people of New Mexico. CHRISTUS St. Vincent was chosen to receive the awards by its peers and a panel of judges from state hospital associations outside of New Mexico.

“These awards represent the level of dedication our clinicians and support teams have to ensure that our patients receive the very highest quality of care,” said Lillian Montoya, CHRISTUS St. Vincent President and CEO. “We are so incredibly proud of our team and the work that they do.”

The project submitted for this year’s competition is the work of one of CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s multidisciplinary Clinician-Directed Performance Improvement (CDPI) teams. Over the span of one year, Lynore Martinez, MD, Anna Maes, RN, Megan Serrao, RN and Jill Etre, M.Ed. worked to improve recovery after cesarean section for both moms and babies at CHRISTUS St. Vincent.

The project’s focus was reducing opioid usage by incorporating scheduled, non-opioid medications for pain treatment and optimizing mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding with skin-to-skin contact in the operating room. At the conclusion of the study, there was an 80% reduction in opioid usage and a statistically significant reduction in moderate and severe pain scores after surgery.

“The best observational result from our study was seeing how quickly our moms could be up and moving, able to care for their babies after surgery due to reduced pain,” said Dr. Martinez.

Since 2015, CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s CDPI program has provided paid, protected time and training for physicians and nurses to perform performance improvement studies that directly lead to more effective treatments and better patient outcomes at the hospital.

“We bring all the stakeholders to the table – nurses, physicians, therapists, and ancillary services – and give them the tools they need to work collaboratively,” said CDPI program director Theresa Ronan, MD. “At any given time, we have approximately 8-10 performance improvement projects in process. Very few hospitals invest in improving care at the level we do here at CHRISTUS St. Vincent.

“We appreciate the opportunity that the New Mexico Hospital Association Quest for Excellence has given us,” Dr. Ronan added. “It allows all New Mexico healthcare organizations to learn, grow, and celebrate successes together.”