Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder presents an award plaque to Karl-Heinz Spittler, MD, senior vice president and chief physician executive of Northern Light Health, at Leapfrog’s 20th anniversary Greenlight Gala held on March 16. (Courtesy photo)

In December the State of Maine was recognized for its success in patient safety measures by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog organization focused on health care safety and quality. At its annual meeting Gov. Janet Mills was presented with the Leapfrog Top State of the Decade for Patient Safety Award.

As a follow-up to the award presentation, The Leapfrog Group invited representatives from Maine’s healthcare organizations to its 20th anniversary Greenlight Gala, which was held on March 16 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Spittler attended the event and accepted a plaque on behalf of the organization. He commented, “We at Northern Light Health are incredibly proud to be included in such a wonderful recognition for Maine. This award helps validate our common purpose and provides inspiration to do better and accelerate our journey to provide the highest quality, safest care every day in support of our promise to make healthcare work for the people of Maine. Additionally, we offer a heartfelt congratulations to our healthcare colleagues throughout the state on an excellent achievement.”

The award recognizes the high percentage of Maine hospitals that consistently earn an “A” in Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade program. The program awards an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” to hospitals based on how well they prevent errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. Maine has been the top-ranked state in percentage of “A” hospitals more times than any other state. The state has ranked first among states in nine of 20 Grade updates, and it has been ranked in the top five among states for an additional seven grade cycles. This is the first time Leapfrog has awarded this distinction, and Maine is the first state to receive this award.