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White Memorial Medical Center Earns National Recognition For Exemplary Community Service

Awards & Recognition



Los Angeles healthcare provider selected as finalist for 2014 Foster G. McGaw Prize

CHICAGO, January 15, 2015 – In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles was named a finalist of the prestigious 2014 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in healthcare.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation and the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust. As a finalist, White Memorial will receive $10,000 to support their community health initiatives.

“Through its community programs, White Memorial Medical Center strives to create opportunities for growth and development that will make a real, lasting impact on the health of its community,” said John O’Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Its initiatives encompass the life cycle of the population it serves, including a healthy eating lifestyle program, healthy baby initiatives, and a family medicine residency program that emphasizes culturally competent care.”

Founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1913 as a small neighborhood clinic, today White Memorial Medical Center is a full-service 353-bed acute care, not-for-profit teaching hospital serving more than 1 million people in East and South Los Angeles, a majority of whom are Hispanic and uninsured or underserved. The organization is devoted to its mission of providing quality care for the whole person – mind, body and spirit – with the goal of extending health and wellness to its community.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Foster McGaw Prize,” said Beth Zachary, president and chief executive officer, White Memorial Medical Center. “Our continuous commitment to providing our community the highest quality care is centered on improving the health and well-being of everyone we serve. Providing healing and wellness for the whole person is the cornerstone of our mission.”

White Memorial was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:

  • Healthy Eating Lifestyle Program – With 31 percent of children in East Los Angeles identified as obese, the organization launched this initiative in 2010 to teach children at risk for diabetes and their parents about the importance of eating a well-balanced diet and exercising. Kids and parents play, engage in hands-on cooking demonstrations and take a trip to the local supermarket, where a registered bilingual dietician teaches them how to read labels and buy healthier food. To date, more than 550 families have completed the six-week program, and White Memorial has the highest retention rate and largest number of participants of the six Los Angeles hospitals participating.
  • Baby Friendly and Welcome Baby – Part of an international initiative geared toward increasing awareness of infant nutrition and mother-baby bonding among pregnant women and mothers, since its launch in 2010, White Memorial’s implementation of the Baby Friendly program has resulted in significant increases in breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity. In addition, enrollees in Welcome Baby – a home visitation support program offered to pregnant and postpartum women – experience greater continuity of care and have a higher rate of return for critical follow-up visits.
  • TELACU Nursing Program – Given White Memorial’s predominately Hispanic population, it’s important for the organization’s nurses to deliver quality in-language and culturally sensitive healthcare. This initiative supports local bilingual and bicultural Hispanic nursing students in completing their education and becoming licensed Registered Nurses, providing financial assistance for books, tuition and living expenses, as well as professional development seminars, resume building and interviewing skills preparation, one-on-one counseling and an exam preparation course.

“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities,” said O’Brien. “This year’s winner and finalists exemplify what it takes to meet the unique needs of their communities. Through leadership and collaboration with community partners, they enhance the lives of their vulnerable populations and all those they serve.”

The 2014 winner of the $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is Palmetto Health in Columbia, South Carolina. It was recognized for its commitment to providing much needed care to underserved populations, encouraging community residents to take charge of their health, and addressing the mental and emotional well-being of its populations.

In addition to White Memorial, other finalists include Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

White Memorial Medical Center is a unique community-based teaching hospital serving East and South Los Angeles. The non-profit, 353-bed hospital is committed to improving the health of the community by providing high quality and comprehensive care with inpatient and outpatient services. White Memorial was established in 1913, and today is regionally recognized for state-of-the-art technology and specialty care services provided by some of the best physicians in Los Angeles whose credentials include pioneering research, ivy-league education, and a commitment to compassionate and culturally-competent care. For more information, visit

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, celebrating nearly 30 years of honoring excellence in community service, recognizes healthcare organizations committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information visit

The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to healthcare in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, focuses exclusively on increasing access to healthcare particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, visit

Founded in 1944, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education, and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, HRET collaborates with healthcare, government, academic, business, and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of healthcare. For more information about HRET, visit