Section: News



CHICAGO, January 16, 2014 – In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif. was named a finalist of the prestigious 2013 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in health care.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation and the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust. As a finalist, Queen of the Valley will receive $10,000 to be used to support their community health initiatives.

"Since its beginning, St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center has dedicated itself to serving as a catalyst in promoting and safeguarding the health of the community," said John O'Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. "Its initiatives include dental services for low-income children, a chronic-disease and care-transition network for chronically ill individuals, behavioral health services for three targeted populations, a school-based obesity-prevention program and community health education for Spanish speakers."

A Catholic non-profit, 191-bed acute care facility, St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center was founded in 1958 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and is part of the St. Joseph Health System. Queen of the Valley employs approximately 1,400, and key hospital services include a community cancer center accredited by the American College of Surgeons, a regional heart center, robotic and minimally invasive surgery center, acute rehabilitation center, women's health center and the area's only neonatal intensive care unit. While Napa is not considered a "poor" county relative to other counties in California, about 10 percent of the county's nearly 140,000 residents live below the federal poverty level, and many more live below 200 percent of poverty. Since its beginning, Queen of the Valley has been committed to extending its role far beyond the traditional medical model and has dedicated itself to serving as a catalyst in promoting and safeguarding the health of the community.

"At Queen of the Valley Medical Center, our mission calls us to care for all people, especially the vulnerable, both in the hospital and out in the community," said Walt Mickens, president and CEO, Queen of the Valley Medical Center. "Our community benefit programs bring health, healing, education and empowerment to people in Napa most in need. We are thrilled to be recognized for our work in building and strengthening our community."

Queen of the Valley was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:

  • Children's Mobile Dental Clinic – Launched in 2006, this mobile clinic provides free comprehensive dental services targeted toward children living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, including oral health screening in preschools and kindergartens, mobile clinic six-month examinations and cleanings and patient and parent/caregiver education. In 2012, the initiative served approximately 2,250 low-income Napa County children, providing 1,932 dental procedures including fillings, extractions and root canals as well as 2,625 exams and 2,579 cleanings. A random chart audit found that more than 80 percent of children who received treatment had reduced cavities at follow-up, and 87 percent of parents reported improved oral health behaviors.
  • CARE Network – Implemented in 2000, the CARE (Case Management, Advocacy, Resources, and Education) Network is a community-based disease management and transitional care program for patients who have been recently hospitalized or are most at risk for hospitalization or re-hospitalization. Services are focused primarily on those living at 200 percent of federal poverty level who are uninsured or underinsured and many are monolingual Spanish-speakers, homeless, lack access to medications, adequate food and social support and caregiving or are suffering from depression or substance-abuse issues. In 2012, the network served 383 clients and provided more than 900 referrals and navigation services for benefits and basic needs such as housing, food and transportation. The initiative has resulted in a 60 percent reduction in emergency room visits among CARE network clients and a 53 percent reduction in hospitalizations.
  • Healthy for Life – Launched in 2009, this school-based obesity prevention program is designed to emphasize lifelong fitness and health eating behaviors among children and adolescents. Children and their parents receive age-appropriate education around nutrition, aerobic exercise and resistance training to build core muscles. High-risk children are also referred to their physicians who may send the child for a full nutritional assessment. A 2012 survey of program results showed that 41 percent of student participants showed improved healthy lifestyle choices, and nearly 15 percent of those classified as overweight or obese at the beginning of the school year improved their weight status by year end.
  • Community Health Education – Queen of the Valley operates three programs that facilitate community education and empowerment: Parent University, which teaches critical parenting and leadership skills; a perinatal education series for parents and siblings; and a bilingual community health education curriculum focused on a variety of topics. All classes are offered in both English and Spanish, and post-class survey results show that 80 percent off class participants report improved knowledge and improved efficacy.
  • Integrated Behavioral Health Initiative Queen of the Valley has integrated mental health screenings into several of its already existing programs, including a postpartum depression program working with OB/GYNs to screen all pregnant and postpartum women in the county and provide free counseling. CARE Network clients also receive a free behavioral health assessment and mental health services. And in 2011, the center launched a "Healthy Minds, Healthy Aging," initiative for underserved older adults at risk for behavioral or cognitive health issues.

"The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes health care organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities," said O'Brien. "This year's winner and finalists embody the numerous ways health care organizations reach the distinct communities they serve. Through strong leadership, innovative partnerships, and unwavering commitment, these organizations provide a wide array of programs that make a positive difference in people's lives."

The 2013 winner of the $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is Crozer-Keystone Health System in Delaware County, Pa. It was recognized for its commitment to improving the health status of those they serve by providing a seamless, user-friendly continuum of quality health services including primary and health promotion, acute and long-term care, and rehabilitation and restorative services.

In addition to Queen of the Valley, other finalists include North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. and Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston.

St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 191-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. It is home to the area's only Level III Trauma Center, the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, and a Regional Cancer Center accredited with distinction by the American College of Surgeons. Specialties also include maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, acute inpatient rehabilitation, and imaging and wound care. In addition to providing hospital-based care, Queen of the Valley plays a large role in the community, providing health services, education, prevention and support to vulnerable populations through its Community Benefit programs. More information may be found at

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, celebrating more than 25 years of honoring excellence in community service, recognizes health care organizations committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at

The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to health care in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, focuses exclusively on increasing access to healthcare particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1944, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education, and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, HRET collaborates with health care, government, academic, business, and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of healthcare. For more information about HRET, visit

Share Your Story

Are you interested in sharing
your experience with us?

Yes I am
Share Your Story