Sharp Transitions Awarded $100,000 2019 Hearst Health Prize for Its Outstanding Home-Based Palliative Care Program

Categories: People & Places.

Photo L to R: Gregory Dorn; David Nash; Daniel Hoefer; Suzi Johnson, Vice President of Sharp Hospice and Palliative Care.

Annual Prize Awarded at 2019 Population Health Colloquium for Outstanding Achievements in Population Health

(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hearst Health, a division of Hearst, and the Jefferson College of Population Health, part of Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), today announced the Sharp Transitions program as the winner of the 2019 Hearst Health Prize for its home-based palliative care program for patients with advanced and progressive chronic illness who are not ready for hospice care. The $100,000 annual award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in managing or improving population health.

The award was announced by Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health, and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, at the 19th annual Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.

“On behalf of the Sharp Transitions program, it is an honor to receive this award,” said Vice President of Sharp Hospice and Palliative Care Suzi K. Johnson, MPH, RN. “Providing proactive, team-based, comprehensive care management in a home-based setting is the future of healthcare for patients with serious illness. Our team is dedicated to caring for our patients to achieve better outcomes and improve their quality of life.”

Sharp Transitions, part of Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, provides home-based palliative care for patients with advanced and progressive chronic illness but who are not ready for hospice care. Bringing care to the patients and their families improves quality of life for the entire family. The impact of the Transitions program has resulted in a significant decrease in inpatient hospital mortality; emergency department visits and hospitalizations; and reduced healthcare costs for patients with cancer, COPD, heart failure and dementia.

“We are proud to present the Hearst Health Prize to Sharp Transitions in honor of its proven palliative care program, which has made a wonderful impact on the quality of life of patients and their families in the local community,” Dorn said. “The Transitions program serves as a leading example for population health programs across the country because it provides personalized, patient-centered care for those fighting their chronic illness.”

Hearst Health Prize applications were evaluated by Jefferson College of Population Health faculty and a distinguished panel of judges. The applications were scored based on the program’s population health impact or outcome demonstrated by measurable improvement; use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care; promotion of communication, collaboration and engagement; scalability and sustainability; and innovation. Sharp Transitions was the highest scoring in these criteria.

“We are thrilled to recognize Sharp Transitions for improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses and their families,” Nash said. “Sharp’s commitment to population health is demonstrated not only by its proactive care and patient education, but by the reduced financial burden of healthcare costs typically associated with the treatment of life-limiting conditions.”

In addition to the $100,000 award for the winner, $25,000 awards were given to two competition finalists:

  • Arkansas SAVES (AR SAVES): Administered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in partnership with the state’s Medicaid agency, AR SAVES provides real-time, interactive neurological consultation through its telestroke platform in rural and medically underserved areas across the state. Patients are primarily treated with alteplase, a clot-dissolving medication used to improve neurological recovery and reduce incidence of death and disability, before being transferred to a tertiary hospital for monitoring. In 2017, at three months nearly 70 percent of AR SAVES patients made a full recovery or recovery with slight issues from stroke. [Watch Video]
  • Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMSPartnership®: Emerging from the Yale School of Medicine, the Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership® interrupts intergenerational poverty by improving the mental health of overburdened and under-resourced mothers. The program meets mothers where they are in the community at grocery stores, after-school programs and community centers and provides mental health services paired with incentives that meet their basic health needs, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products and paper products. After participating in the program, 75 percent of mothers experienced a decrease in depression and a 67 percent decrease in parenting stress. [Watch Video]

About the Hearst Health Prize

The Hearst Health Prize is an annual $100,000 award honoring outstanding achievement in improving population health in the U.S., funded by Hearst Health and administered by the Jefferson College of Population Health. One winner is awarded $100,000 and up to two finalists each receive $25,000. The Hearst Health Prize provides a national platform to showcase successful programs and to proliferate best practices more rapidly. For additional information about the Hearst Health Prize, please visit

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