Welcome Letter


AwardsWelcome to the 2018 Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Nursing Annual Report. It brings me joy to describe the accomplishments of Spectrum Health nurses during a year of great change. This annual report is an affirmation of the perseverance and dedication of our nursing staff to provide high-quality care to the communities we serve.

The nurses at Spectrum Health have a profound impact on the outcomes for patients and the organization. Their contributions have led to Spectrum Health receiving national recognition for a number of accomplishments, including:

  • Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals earned Healthgrades® 2018 America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award™ and Healthgrades® 2018 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.
  • Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Hospitals 2018-19, earning recognition as “high performing” in six specialties and in areas called Common Adult Procedure and Condition Ratings.
  • Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals earned an “A” Hospital Safety Score for Spring 2018 from The Leapfrog Group.
  • Butterworth Hospital earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center.
  • Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital was named one of U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-19 Best Children’s Hospitals in six pediatric specialties. This is the sixth consecutive year the hospital was ranked among the nation’s best.
  • Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for patient care and outcomes. The Children’s Hospital is one of only 11 in the country to receive a three-star rating.

Notably, FY 2018 marked the launch of the Epic electronic health record as part of our NEXUS journey. Endless hours of hard work and planning went into this endeavor. Like all transformations, this monumental change brought with it challenges, opportunities, and lessons as well as many Epic Wins.

Most importantly, the implementation of Epic created new connections between individuals from all areas of our delivery system to interact and work together toward a common goal.  Many relationships were built through the process. The teamwork and collaboration that came out of the Epic build and go-live were the biggest wins of this endeavor.

Spectrum Health nurses continue their commitment to professionalism and patient-focused care. This is evidenced by the number of certifications, re-certifications, continuing education attainment, and Daisy awards. Each month, we have over 100 Daisy nominations describing patients’ appreciation of our nurses.  I look forward to the new Daisy awards that recognize the teamwork and everyday leadership in our nursing staff.

Undeniably all disciplines and departments at Spectrum Health contribute to the synergy that results in patient and organizational success. I respect and honor the contributions of all. That said, as a nurse I have witnessed the influence of outstanding nurses who stand vigil and intercede on behalf of our patients. No report, nor graph, nor data can capture the impact of the care and compassion that is expressed minute-to-minute at the bedside. This is the fiber of Spectrum Health nurses; this is the “secret in the sauce” of our success. It is the commitment you bring to each hour of each shift; to do your best to ease suffering and promote healing for the patients and families entrusted to our care.

Thank you for your efforts and contributions. Together we have, and will continue to make, a difference for our patients, colleagues and community.

Shawn Ulreich, DSc, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nurse Executive/Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations
Spectrum Health Hospital Group