MARTINSBURG – Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs honored Kirby Anderson and Andrew Frye of Martinsburg VA Medical Center with the Veterans Health Administration’s National HeRO Award for their contributions to VHA’s journey to high reliability.
“VHA’s enterprise-wide journey to high reliability aims to continually improve its processes by maximizing patient safety and minimizing harm to restore trust and ensure that every veteran receives the highest quality care. he deserves,” a statement read. “The winners were recognized for their safety efforts and process improvement initiatives to provide the best possible care to veterans every time.”
Anderson and Frye were nominated for the award after identifying a potential emergency while in the community on a routine ambulance transport. The team noticed a car driving along Interstate 81 with its hazard lights on. They pulled over and immediately knew something was wrong.
A man was holding a 2-year-old child in his arms, who was in distress. The team immediately administered first aid and the family was on their way, the statement said.
The winners’ fire chief, Chief Eric Gray, said working with Anderson and Frye was an “honor.”
“It’s a humbling experience,” Gray said. “Every day when firefighters walk through the fire station door, I have no doubt that they will give 100% behind every call we receive, whether it’s here on campus or helping those in need. in the community.”
The release explained that the National HeRO Award is the highest level of HRO recognition available within VHA and is reserved to honor employees who advance VHA’s journey to high reliability by demonstrating VHA’s HRO principles in action.
Sarah Tolstyka, public affairs manager for the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, said this is the first time the award has been presented to someone from the Martinsburg VAMC.
“We are honored that they have been recognized for the work they have done,” Tolstyka said. “One of the things that we are proud of here, especially the firefighters, in particular, in this situation, is that they not only provide a tremendous service here at the medical center, but it really extends to the community that supports us. ”
As one of 18 VA Medical Centers with fire departments in the United States, Martinsburg VAMC provides inter-facility transportation, firefighting, and mutual aid to Jefferson and Berkeley counties , and it also offers a 911 ambulance service in the community.
“If they hadn’t been on the inter-facility transport to Hagerstown, they wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time,” Gray said.
“I am immensely proud of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Frye,” said Kenneth W. Allensworth, Director of VAMC Martinsburg. “These actions demonstrate our commitment not only to our veterans, but to the community. Receiving a HeRO award signifies that our staff members have embraced the principles and practices of high reliability by continually improving our processes to ensure that VHA provides the best care possible.