PRLog - April 26, 2012 - TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Margaret Leonard, MS, RN-BC, FNP, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services at Hudson Health Plan (Hudson), is recognized nationally as an advocate for the nursing profession and innovative models of care coordination. Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester & Putnam (VNSWP), a community-based home health care provider that has worked with Ms. Leonard to improve the health and well-being of community residents, is honoring Ms. Leonard with their Community Leadership Award. The award will be presented to Ms. Leonard at VNSWP’s Spring Benefit Gala on May 10th at the Historic Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson.
Margaret Leonard MS, RN-BC, FNP
Elias M. (Lou) Nemnom, President & CEO of VNSWP, says Ms. Leonard was chosen to receive the award in recognition of her “dedication and commitment to advocating for health care policies and practices aimed at raising standards of excellence in patient care – a mutual goal of our respective organizations.”
At Hudson, Ms. Leonard leads a team of nurse case managers to oversee the care of members with complex or chronic conditions and frequently refers and authorizes VNSWP to provide all clinical home care services in a member’s home. She points to the values her team shares with VNSWP. “Nurses serve as a linchpin to patient-centered coordinated health care,” she explains. “Nurse case managers and visiting nurses look at patient care holistically, across all settings. They develop a relationship with a patient and an understanding of the patient’s needs that few other health care providers can share.”
Ms. Leonard notes that VNSWP’s Community Leadership Award is particularly meaningful for her. “The professionals at Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester & Putnam understand what it takes to provide quality care. Both of our organizations are in the trenches everyday, trying to make the health care system work for our patients. They are a wonderful partner, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together,” she explains.
Nationally recognized case management
Hudson’s innovative case management programs have won national recognition from the March of Dimes and the Center for Health Care Strategies, and in 2006, Ms. Leonard received the National Case Manager of the Year Award from the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). Thanks in part to her efforts, Hudson has been ranked twice as Number One in Quality Assurance Reporting by the New York State Department of Health and is the only plan in the Hudson Valley to receive three stars for overall satisfaction by consumers, nine years in a row.
Ms. Leonard also serves as Executive Director of the Westchester Cares Action Program (WCAP), which was created by Hudson and its managed behavioral health partner, Beacon Health Strategies, to integrate care for 250 of Westchester’
Ms. Leonard is a member of the New York State Nursing Board; the National Quality Forum (NQF) Quality and Measures Council; and the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) where she chairs its Public Policy Task Force; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Technical Expert Panel on Hospital Readmissions within 30 Days; and CARF International Accreditation. She is a past president of the Case Management Society of America; past Chair of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Nurse Case Management Expert Panel; past Chair of New York State Nurses Association Legislative Council; and a past member of NYSNA Political Action Committee Board of Trustees and the NQF Steering Committee on Care Coordination. With the Medical Director of the New York State Department of Health's Office of Managed Care, Ms. Leonard co-chaired the statewide Case Management Work Group. She is an adjunct faculty member at the College of New Rochelle School of Nursing, where she teaches a course on politics and health care.