Northside wins statewide patient safety award for tele-mental health program

The Georgia Hospital Association Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA) presented its prestigious Patient Safety and Quality Award to Northside Hospital for its implementation of a tele-mental health program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project “Implementation of a Tele-Mental Health Program in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” won third place in the Specialty Hospitals category. 

“Accepting this award is symbolic to how our staff are really connected and committed to providing patient care,” said Nikeisha Whatley-Leon, Director of Behavioral Health Services. 

These annual awards recognize Georgia health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

Behavioral health telemedicine“I knew that we had put a great program in place but it’s always validating when others acknowledge it,” recalls Nikeisha Whatley-Leon. “We had strong support in place from the top down and everyone worked to do what we had to do. Our outpatient clinic looked like a supply chain room, getting everyone the computers and resources needed. It was all hands-on deck and has been since.” 

The hospital was also presented with a Circle of Excellence Award, an honor given to hospitals and health systems that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to quality and patient safety as evidenced by not only winning a patient safety award in 2021, but by earning three or more PHA Patient Safety Awards within the previous five years. 

“Ensuring care of patients even when they cannot be seen in person is essential to their wellness,” said Georgia Hospital Association President and CEO Earl Rogers. “We applaud Northside Hospital for its innovation in the area of mental health and for ensuring the best and safest care possible for its patients.” 

About PHA
The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA), an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities.

About GHA
Founded in 1929, GHA serves more than 150 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit


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