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Safety, quality leader recognized for achievements
Contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, 630-312-7508

Glendale Heights – For MaryAnn Palermo, RN, MS, director of patient safety and quality management at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, collecting data is much more than crunching numbers. Her measurement and analysis of performance outcomes is the grist for the daily work of improving patient care. Palermo works with hospital managers and staff to champion patient safety and leads initiatives to improve outcomes.

“I truly believe in providing outstanding and compassionate healthcare in a healing environment,” said the West Chicago resident. “My job gives me an opportunity to do this every single day.”

As the regulatory compliance officer, Palermo is responsible for ensuring that the hospital is compliant with all rules and standards of regulatory organizations. Her mission: provide the highest quality of care that leads to positive outcomes.

For her commitment to Adventist Midwest Health’s mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ, Palermo was one of five Adventist Midwest Health leaders to receive the organization’s pillar award at the quarterly leadership development institute held in January.

“MaryAnn works diligently to ensure the entire hospital is compliant in every way,” said Brinsley Lewis, chief executive officer of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “She will work into the night to meet a deadline and not complain.”

Palermo is a catalyst for change when leading committees and working with other clinicians. She drafts protocols for improving patient care and solicits feedback on identifying best practices and solutions to problems.

She’s also the hospital’s unofficial interior design consultant; she has chosen colors and furniture to create a welcome décor within the hospital.

“Design is a fun part of my job,” Palermo said. “It’s great to be able to create an environment for the patient that’s soothing and relaxing. Many of our patients have never been in a hospital before, and even under the best circumstances it can be very stressful.”

Palermo and her husband Peter, a physician who is affiliated at another hospital, have four teenage children, three sons and a daughter, who all participate in sports. If any of the children need to visit the emergency room, they choose “Mom’s hospital.”

“They think the people are nicer,” Palermo explained.  

Palermo earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at St. Xavier University in Chicago and her master’s degree in nursing from Rush University.

Pillar award nominations are solicited from Adventist Midwest Health’s senior leadership team. To be eligible, nominees must demonstrate commitment to the organization’s “S.H.A.R.E.” standards of behavior: Sense, Help, Acknowledge, Respect and Explain. They must also demonstrate measurable results on the quarterly goals set for their departments. These goals are organized under the seven categories, or pillars, of spiritual life, people, clinical, service, community, growth and stewardship.