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SEATTLE - (Sept. 29, 2009) — Virginia Mason Medical Center has been selected to participate in a National Initiative to Improve Patient Care through Graduate Medical Education. The Initiative is sponsored by the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC), a national membership organization based in Chicago, IL.

The AIAMC National Initiative (NI) is the first national and multi-institutional effort that focuses on the alignment of graduate medical education with hospital quality and safety strategies. The Initiative provides critical education, team training and support to participating hospitals, and equips participants with the tools and infrastructure necessary to accomplish meaningful improvements to patient care. Thirty-four AIAMC hospitals and health systems were selected to participate. Virginia Mason is the only hospital from Washington state.

Virginia Mason was selected based upon its demonstrated leadership in utilizing graduate medical education as a key driver to improve quality, patient safety and the cost-effectiveness of care.  A leadership team from VM will collaborate with select hospitals from across the United States in designing and implementing a quality improvement plan that integrates graduate medical education and patient safety. Participants will attend four on-site meetings beginning Oct. 9 and monthly conference calls during the 18-month period of the National Initiative. 

"Those of us in academic medicine realize that resident physicians play an important role in patient care at teaching institutions; however, residents are generally not visible in safety and quality efforts", said Kimberly Pierce-Boggs, Executive Director of the AIAMC. "Through our work in the National Initiative, we have found that resident-driven quality improvement efforts — when shared across programs and systems — result in improved patient care and improved education programs."   

The Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers was founded in 1989. Its membership includes approximately 70 major academic medical centers and health systems representing more than 350 senior medical academic leaders from Seattle to Maine. Membership in the association is unique in that AIAMC members are affiliated with medical schools but are independent of medical school ownership or governance. AIAMC members regard medical education and research as strategic assets in providing patient-centered care. For more information on the AIAMC and its National Initiative, visit

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health-care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety.

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Alisha Mark, (206) 341-1509

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