BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In Biloxi, employers at Keesler Medical Center are celebrating a big win for the Air Force's Hospital of the Year award.
Colonel Keith Higley with Keesler Medical Center says, "I think we got the award because of our people. Our people love coming to work here."
Higley says positive patient feedback along with innovations in technology and community partnerships helped Keesler win this coveted award.
"The win for us is really a win for the Gulf Coast. Keesler Medical Center is a huge asset for the Gulf Coast," Higley noted.
Colonel Jeannine Ryder agreed. She says holding a leadership role at this hospital is a dream come true for her.
"It's a huge deal, and you are competing with other great hospitals across the Air Force. There are approximately 14 to 16 hospital platforms, and that's who we are competing against. I think we were recognized because of our patient outcomes and how our patients are satisfied with our care. We happen to be in the top ten percent in the nation in regard to our in-patient satisfaction."
According to Keesler's web site, competing hospitals were judged across four categories: full spectrum readiness, integrated operational support, Air Force medical home, and trusted care.
CMSgt. Julie Bottroff says, "To know how incredibly valued our medical folks are out on the battlefield is also very rewarding and to watch us grow the next generation. We have our phase two enlisted students who are going through additional training here. And we're preparing them to carry the torch, and take care of airmen, soldiers, marines - out on the battlefield. So, it's a pretty amazing experience for us, and I'm very energized by the people we get to serve every day."
The award also recognizes Keesler for the swift action they took triaging people after last year's train/bus collision and sending teams to help with rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.