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SSM Health DePaul Hospital Honored For Health Improvement Innovation


Dave Dillon Crop LR

Dave Dillon

Vice President of Public and Media Relations



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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — SSM Health DePaul Hospital’s Long-Acting Injection Clinic has been honored with the Missouri Hospital Association’s Aim for Excellence Award. Established in 2016, the Aim for Excellence Award recognizes hospital innovation that improves patient outcomes. SSM Health DePaul Hospital received the award on Nov. 2 at MHA’s 101st Annual Convention in St. Louis.

“The clinic represents the exact kind of innovation we want to celebrate and replicate,” said Jon D. Doolittle, MHA President and CEO. “Their work not only helps patients live healthier and more productive lives, it also significantly reduces hospitalizations to stabilize these patients.”

Rich Liekweg, MHA Board Chair and President and CEO of BJC Health Care, presents MHA's Aim for Excellence Award to Michelle Schafer, Regional Vice President of Behavioral Health at SSM Health in St. Louis.

The Long-Acting Injection Clinic focuses on treating patients with behavioral health disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disease and substance use disorder. These conditions can make it difficult for patients to adhere to a daily medication regimen. The clinic allows patients to substitute monthly injections for oral medications to experience long-term symptom relief and stabilization. In establishing the clinic, the team at SSM Health DePaul Hospital prioritized improving patient access to providers, removing barriers in health insurance coverage, reducing inpatient hospitalizations, and helping patients gain and maintain health and quality of life.

“We are humbled to be recognized by MHA for the incredible transformational care our clinicians are providing,” said Jeremy Fotheringham, Academic, St. Louis & Southern IL Regional President at SSM Health. “Our teams are following in the footsteps of our founding sisters and their desires to serve where there is significant need in our communities. The greatest success of the LAI clinic is allowing individuals to return to their healthiest lives possible.”

The results have been two-fold. Patients and their support systems report a significant increase in function among the clinic participants, including a return to work, improved relationships, and normal life function and skills. In addition, the clinic has contributed to reduced cost of care overall by mitigating inpatient hospitalizations that often result from noncompliance with daily medication regimens for individuals with serious mental illness.

A video honoring SSM Health DePaul Hospital is available here.

Photo caption: Rich Liekweg, MHA Board Chair and President and CEO of BJC Health Care, presents MHA’s Aim for Excellence Award to Michelle Schafer, Regional Vice President of Behavioral Health at SSM Health in St. Louis.



The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 140 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.

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