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American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognizes the ICU at
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence


Fairbanks, AK (June 17, 2013) –  The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, the first ICU in the state of Alaska to be recognized with the prestigious award. Only 98 hospital units throughout the U.S. were recognized with a Beacon Award in 2012.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and a healthy work environment — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six standards for a healthy work environment. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver and bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

AACN President Kathryn E. Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, applauds the commitment of the caregivers in the ICU at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence. These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care.
“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as a role model to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” she explained.

The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care. The ICU at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital earned its silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:
• Leadership Structures and Systems
• Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
• Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development, Best Practices
• Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
• Patient Outcomes

Brenda Franz, RN, Director of ICU, Emergency Department and Procedures at FMH, described the award application process as very rigorous and comprehensive.  “This accomplishment represents one of many significant milestones on our unit's journey to optimal outcomes and exceptional patient care.  We are incredibly proud of this award.  This acknowledgement is just one more way to assure our community that they can get excellent patient care right here at home.”

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 240 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit, connect with the organization on Facebook at or follow AACN on Twitter at  Richard Howell, AACN Communications, (949) 268-7573,

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