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NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Units Recognized with American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Gold and Silver-Level Beacon Awards for Excellence

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County MICU and CCU have proudly earned the prestigious Gold-Level Beacon, while the NICU Unit has attained the esteemed Silver-Level AACN Beacon Award for Excellence

Jun 18, 2024

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County nursing staff and leaders celebrate with Chief Nursing Officer Opal Sinclair-Chung (middle, in pink) and Dr. Annie George, Senior Director of Nursing Excellence/Research (on her right) in a moment of shared achievement and camaraderie.

Brooklyn, NY — NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County proudly announced today that the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Critical Care Unit (CCU), and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have recently been honored with the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The MICU and CCU have been bestowed with the prestigious gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence, while the NICU has been granted the esteemed silver-level recognition. The Beacon Award for Excellence symbolizes exceptional care in a unit prioritizing patients and encompasses three distinct modules: Patient Outcomes, Work Environment, and Nursing Workforce.

The MICU, CCU and NICU at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County earned a gold and 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, and Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

“I am bursting with pride for our incredible teams at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County for their remarkable achievements,” said Sheldon McLeod, Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has been honored with the prestigious AACN Silver-Level Beacon Award for Excellence, a testament to our unwavering commitment to high standards of patient care and nursing excellence. Moreover, our Critical Care Unit/Medical Intensive Care Unit on D3 South has been awarded the esteemed AACN Gold Beacon, recognizing our exceptional outcomes and comprehensive quality care. These accolades reflect our dedication to creating a supportive and collaborative environment that promotes healing and health, setting a national benchmark in critical care. Our teams’ passion, expertise, and hard work have truly made a difference, and I am profoundly grateful for their contributions to our community’s wellbeing.”

“It gives me great pleasure to commend NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Critical Care and Medical Intensive Care Units for combining their efforts and attaining the highest honor in acute and critical care nursing, the gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN),” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Executive Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Earning a Beacon Award represents a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments. This impressive designation is a clear indication that Kings County CCU and MICU nurses are working to maintain and build upon the Kings County’s world-renowned reputation as a Level 1 Trauma Center, collaborating closely with colleagues and leaders to successfully improve patient outcomes. I am also delighted to congratulate the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County for attaining the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence. This momentous achievement demonstrates the commitment and dedication of our Kings County nurses in caring for patients and their families in the Brooklyn community. Our NYC Health + Hospitals nurses continue to distinguish themselves by earning international recognition for providing superior quality care and promoting better patient outcomes. This silver-level Beacon Award is a strong indication that our Kings County NICU maintains a positive and supportive work environment, nurturing empowerment and leadership among the nursing staff, and providing compassionate and patient-centered care.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the MICU and CCU at Kings Countysignifies an effective and systematic approach to policies, procedures and processes that include engagement of staff and key stakeholders; fact-based evaluation strategies for continuous process improvement; and performance measures that meet or exceed relevant benchmarks. The NICU that earned a silver-level award demonstrates an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that include engagement of staff and key stakeholders; evaluation and improvement strategies; and good performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks.

The nursing staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County burst into cheers for the Beacon Awards Gold & Silver unit winners.

“Kings County is honored to receive the Gold and Beacon designation awards from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Chief Nursing Officer Opal Sinclair-Chung, RN. “The D3 South units (MICU and CCU) received Gold designation on March 10, 2024, and Neonatal Intensive Care unit received Silver designation on January 16, 2024. We are proud and excited for our nurses, interdisciplinary team, and patients to join an elite group of Beacon-designated healthcare organizations. The above ICUs satisfied the rigorous requirements for a prestigious designation. The team has proven that they can inspire each other and work together to achieve this distinguished title. We appreciate the ICU nursing leadership for engaging, empowering and ensuring that their staff’s voice matters in every aspect of patient care and practice. This designation is a gratifying achievement and will create a beneficial impact to the community we serve.”

Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“We are proud to announce that D3 South (MICU and CCU) earned the most-coveted Gold Beacon Award from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN),” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Director of Nursing Silvanus Michel, MS, BSN, CCRN. “The units have satisfied the arduous designation requirements with extensive collaboration with different departments such as nursing quality, risk management, education, informatics, infection prevention, occupational health, patient guest relations, pastoral care, and hospital police. Amidst long hours of writing and putting the documents together, it was all worth it after receiving the good news from AACN on March 10, 2024 that we earned the Gold Beacon Award. This designation is a testament to our team’s commitment to excellence in critical care. Thank you to everyone involved in making this achievement possible!”

“We are so proud of our exceptional nurses in the Kings County NICU and their receipt of the Beacon Award for Excellence,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Director of Neonatology Dr. Ivan Hand, MD, FAAP. “Our NICU patients are amongst the most fragile patients in the hospital, and our nurses’ attention to detail and compassion lead to the great outcomes we have achieved. Our nurses do an extraordinary job every day to support our patients, families, and community and deserve this recognition as true leaders in the field.”

“Receiving the Beacon designation for excellence in our NICU not only honors our current practices but also motivates us to continue striving for improvements in care delivery and patient care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Director of Maternal-Child Services Vera Appiah-Agyemang, RN. “Our commitment to excellence is unwavering, and we are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in neonatal care. This designation confirms the excellent nursing care our staff provide to are vulnerable patients.”



MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Davis davisa34@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County is a 639-bed acute care teaching hospital located in Central Brooklyn. Among our highly specialized programs are a Level I Trauma Center, Pediatric Emergency Room, Level 3 Perinatal Center, Heart Health Center, Stroke Center, Sickle Cell Program, Behavioral Health Center, and Diabetes Education Center of Excellence.  Many of our programs have received national recognition, including our cardiac, stroke and diabetes services. The hospital offers a broad array of primary and specialty care, including practices in neuroscience, orthopedics, urology and cardiology. Annually, our ambulatory care practices see well over 500,000 visits, and more than 150,000 visits in the Behavioral Health outpatient program, in addition to close to 23,000 inpatient discharges. NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County has played a major role in providing health care to vulnerable populations in Brooklyn since 1831, and is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the nation. For more information visit, www.nychealthandhospitals.org/kingscounty and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KingsCountyHosp or X (formerly known as Twitter) at @KingsCountyHosp.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence
Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. and Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, and learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call (800) 899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 chapters in the United States. 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 www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at @AACNme.