Patient Advocacy Group Honors North Shore-LIJ as “Sepsis Hero”

NEW YORK – The North Shore-LIJ Health System was recently chosen to receive a Sepsis Heroes Award by the Sepsis Alliance, a patient advocacy group, in recognition for its leadership role in improving care for sepsis patients across all of their hospitals.

As one of the nation’s 20 largest healthcare providers with 16 hospitals in the New York metropolitan area, the health system mounted an aggressive sepsis prevention and early identification initiative that has reduced the health system’s sepsis mortality rate by 35 percent since 2010, which translates into thousands of saved lives. North Shore-LIJ President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dowling accepted the award on the health system’s behalf at an emotional ceremony in Manhattan that featured former patients who survived sepsis and relatives of those who didn’t.

Other Sepsis Heroes honored by the Sepsis Alliance were sepsis survivor Jennifer Ludwin, the annual Spike Out Sepsis event, and Jennifer Anderson, who after losing her sister to sepsis initiated the BUGS Classic annual fishing tournament to help raise awareness of the disease and funds for the Erin K. Flatley Foundation.

“On behalf of North Shore-LIJ, I am honored to accept this award,” Mr. Dowling said during the Sepsis Heroes event. “We need to talk about sepsis openly, educate our clinicians and the public, and devote as many resources as we can muster to fix it. I applaud all of the Sepsis Heroes awarded tonight and those at this event for joining this fight – and I know you will remain committed to the cause.”

Maureen Bisognano, president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), also attended and spoke at the event. North Shore-LIJ and IHI began a strategic partnership last year to build on the success the health system has had in reducing sepsis and share best practices with other healthcare organizations. North Shore-LIJ and IHI are actively pursuing additional efforts together to reduce sepsis mortality by 50 percent over the next five years. “IHI and Maureen Bisognano should be applauded for the amazing leadership they have shown on thorny issues like sepsis that have been such a vexing problem for hospitals,” said Mr. Dowling.

In 2010, North Shore-LIJ’s The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research hosted an international Merinoff Symposium dedicated to Sepsis. This symposia attracted researchers, policymakers and other opinion leaders from around the world who identified that sepsis should be categorized as a medical emergency treatable with fluids and antibiotics within one hour of recognition. “We believe the Merinoff Symposium was a launching point from which we can unravel the mystery of sepsis in the laboratory by identifying the root causes of sepsis, while continuing to achieve progress through better early detection in our hospitals,” Mr. Dowling said. “We are committed to patients who suffer from sepsis and are working diligently to improve the outcome of sepsis and prevent sepsis mortality.”

About North Shore-LIJ Health System

The nation’s third-largest, non-profit, secular healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education, highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals, long-term care facilities and more than 270 ambulatory care centers throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 44,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City.  For more information, go to

About Sepsis

September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection or injury. It occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. The result is that organs become damaged, including liver, heart, lungs, kidney, and brain. If excessive damage occurs, it may be irreversible.

Media Contact: Emily Ng