Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit Receives Award

April 28, 2009

 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The cardiothoracic ICU 5A team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has achieved the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) for excellence.

The Beacon Award is given to critical care units that exhibit the highest quality standards in recruitment and retention, staff training, patient outcomes, healing environment, healthy work environment, evidence-based practice and research, leadership and organizational ethics.

“This is an exceptionally special and meaningful award for our ICU team,” said Melanie Williamson, R.N., unit manager. “This award recognizes the high quality of care provided by the multidisciplinary team on a daily basis and the highly collaborative relationship between nursing, medicine and other disciplines.”

The Wake Forest Baptist unit is one of only seven in the state and was the first of its kind in the region. Since its inception in 2003, 132 nursing units have received the Beacon Award. There are an estimated 6,000 intensive care units in the nation. The award must be renewed annually.

AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, representing the interests of more than 500,000 nurses who are charged with the responsibility members with the knowledge and resources necessary to provide optimal care to critically ill patients.

Media Relations

Bonnie Davis:, 336-713-1597