Medical Center Wins First National Award from Prestigious Nursing Group

For immediate release: March 08, 2010


Karen E. Warmkessel | 410-328-8919

Award from AORN is for Outstanding Facility Achievement in Perioperative Nursing

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is the first hospital in the nation to receive a newly created award from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), a professional organization dedicated to high standards in perioperative nursing. The award will be presented at the AORN 57th Annual Congress on March 14, 2010, in Denver, Colo.

Starting with UMMC, the association will give the Outstanding Facility Achievement in Perioperative Nursing award annually to a hospital that exemplifies the AORN's mission, which is to adhere to the highest OR standards and evidence-based practice. The UMMC perioperative team is led by James McGowan, DHA, MBA, RRT, vice president of perioperative services at the medical center.

“This is a wonderful recognition of Dr. James McGowan's leadership, as well as a tribute to the skill, knowledge, teamwork and commitment of the entire multidisciplinary perioperative team,” says Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“We were able to achieve this first-of-its-kind honor only through the effort and dedication of each individual in the perioperative environment. Regardless of role or clinical specialty, every member of the team has contributed in a unique and vital way to earn UMMC this outstanding recognition,” Rivest says.

Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, says, “This award recognizes that our leadership model encourages and empowers perioperative nurses to take a more direct role in managing their practice. The result has been significant improvements on several safety measures. The nurses collect and analyze data and generate excitement with a process that has enabled them to integrate evidence into practice changes.”

In making the award, the judges looked at measurements that reflect excellence across the board in these categories:

  • Evidence-based perioperative practice

  • An effective recruitment and retention program 

  • Innovative leadership 

  • Perioperative teamwork 

  • Commitment to perioperative patient safety 

  • Education programs for perioperative staff, other disciplines, patients and the community 

  • Staff AORN membership and certification

  • AORN, Inc., the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, represents approximately 41,000 registered nurses in the United States and abroad who facilitate the management, teaching and practice of perioperative nursing, or who are enrolled in nursing education or engaged in perioperative research. Its members also include perioperative nurses who work in related business and industry sectors. AORN promotes quality patient care by providing perioperative education, standards, services and representation. For more information, visit

    The AORN award is the latest honor for University of Maryland Medical Center nurses. Last year, the medical center achieved Magnet designation in recognition of the hospital's nursing excellence. Only about 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have that prestigious designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  For more information about UMMC, go to:


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