Hearst Health Prize

Sharp Transitions Awarded $100,000 2019 Hearst Health Prize for its Outstanding Home-Based Palliative Care Program


Hearst Health, a division of Hearst, and the Jefferson College of Population Health, part of Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), today announced the Sharp Transitions program as the winner of the 2019 Hearst Health Prize for its home-based palliative care program for patients with advanced and progressive chronic illness who are not ready for hospice care. The $100,000 annual award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in managing or improving population health.

The award was announced by Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health, and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, at the 19th annual Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.

“On behalf of the Sharp Transitions program, it is an honor to receive this award,” said Suzi K. Johnson, MPH, RN, vice president of Sharp Hospice and Palliative Care. “Providing proactive, team-based, comprehensive care management in a home-based setting is the future of healthcare for patients with serious illness. Our team is dedicated to caring for our patients to achieve better outcomes and improve their quality of life.”

Sharp Transitions, part of Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, California, provides home-based palliative care for patients with advanced and progressive chronic illness who are not ready for hospice care. Bringing care to the patients and their families improves quality of life for the entire family. The impact of the Transitions program has resulted in a significant decrease in inpatient hospital mortality; emergency department visits and hospitalizations; and reduced healthcare costs for patients with cancer, COPD, heart failure and dementia.

“We are proud to present the Hearst Health Prize to Sharp Transitions in honor of its proven palliative care program, which has made a wonderful impact on the quality of life of patients and their families in the local community,” said Dorn. “The Transitions program serves as a leading example for population health programs across the country because it provides personalized, patient-centered care for those fighting their chronic illness.”

Hearst Health Prize applications were evaluated by Jefferson College of Population Health faculty and a distinguished panel of judges. The applications were scored based on the program’s population health impact or outcome demonstrated by measurable improvement; use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care; promotion of communication, collaboration and engagement; scalability and sustainability; and innovation. Sharp Transitions was the highest scoring in these criteria.

“We are thrilled to recognize Sharp Transitions for improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses and their families,” said Nash. “Sharp’s commitment to population health is demonstrated not only by its proactive care and patient education, but by the reduced financial burden of healthcare costs typically associated with the treatment of life-limiting conditions.”

The other finalists for the 2019 Hearst Health Prize were each awarded $25,000.

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