Williams also created the Integration and Alignment agenda for the Norton Healthcare system, which drives quality, safety, and service achievement of goals throughout the system and has resulted in a 1.5 standard deviation improvement in results in fewer than four years.
As a result, Norton Healthcare was recipient of the 2011 National Quality Forum National Quality Healthcare Award for its exceptional leadership and innovation to achieve quality improvement.
Williams inspires nurses in her organization by her commitment to education. She returned to school and successfully obtained her doctorate in nursing practice. Now she guides other senior nursing leaders in appreciating the value of the advanced practice degree and seeking enrollment themselves.
As well as visionary leadership, the awards also recognize clinical excellence. This year's winner of the Image of Nursing in Clinical Practice Award is Cheryl Lillegraven, a clinical nurse specialist with expertise in neuroscience. She is at Iowa Health Des Moines (IH-DM), in Des Moines.
Lillegraven is the first adult clinical nurse specialist to be hired by IH-DM and she has demonstrated how vital the role is to the neuro unit on which she works.
Lillegraven is being recognized for raising the bar for the care of neuro patients, which she does by educating nursing staff and role modeling excellence. She makes a difference in the lives of patients and staff in less visible ways—such as serving on the hospital pain committee, trauma committee, stroke committee, and nursing research—and through being present in patient care—such as rounding with staff, consulting on specific patients, and providing staff education regarding care of stroke patients.