Wendy Martinson, a registered nurse with the role of quality assurance specialist at the UConn Health Center, is a Connecticut Hospital Association 2013 Healthcare Hero.
Colleagues recognize Martinson as the driving force behind the Health Center’s initiative to help heart failure patients make the transition back home. It includes the establishment of what’s become known as “The Dream Team,” a group of community service providers that meets monthly to discuss care for heart failure patients. Two years later, the Dream Team has grown to nearly 50 community members and has received national recognition. The UConn Health Center has shown significant improvement in heart failure readmission rates, which are now below the state and national averages.
“Wendy’s outstanding work spearheading our heart failure program has improved the lives of hundreds of heart failure patients who come through the UConn system, and we are very lucky to have her as part of our team,” says Dr. Jason Ryan of UConn’s Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.
Ryan wrote in his nomination, “At the broader hospital level, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the care we provide to heart failure patients. None of this would have happened without Wendy’s dedication and hard work.”
UConn Health Center Chief Nursing Officer Ellen Leone says, “Wendy Martinson is a nurse leader in a nontraditional leader role within the Department of Quality Programs. She is steadfast and persistent in her approach to coordinating care for our heart failure patients, demonstrating the ability to pull a team of professionals together to improve the lives of our patients. We are very proud to have her as one of our nurse colleagues.”
CHA will present its 2013 Healthcare Hero awards at its annual meeting June 25 in Southington. The award goes back to 2002, intended to celebrate health care workers’ contributions to their field and community.
“I am so very honored to receive the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Healthcare Hero Award,” Martinson says. “I am humbled by Dr. Jason Ryan’s nomination and I am proud of all the work that the heart failure team has accomplished, and I share this award with them.”