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University Health System Ranked One of the Very Best Learning Organizations Worldwide

Awards Recognize Organizational Commitment to Employee Learning

University Health System is ranked 18 in the American Society for Training & Development’s (ASTD) 2009 BEST Awards program, and is among just 39 organizations from Canada, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and the United States to receive a BEST Award this year.

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee learning and development. These award-winning companies have made a strong investment in learning, created a safe and engaging learning environment, and used new and innovative technologies to design and deliver learning.

University Health System was recognized for its efforts to develop and retain capable employees through its newly created Institute for Leaders, a multi-tiered leadership development program to develop its current supervisors into the health system’s leaders of tomorrow. Four programs operated by the institute are the Performance Leadership Academy, Management Development Academy, Directors’ Mentoring Program, and Leadership Academy for Physicians. Training initiatives provided by each program develop individuals with valuable communications and leadership skills so that they can confidently address the board, manage budgets and master project management assignments. “These are some of the biggest challenges in healthcare,” explains University Health System president/CEO George B. Hernández, Jr. “These and other learning programs have resulted in improved efficiency and financial performance, as well as employee satisfaction.”

According to Tony Bingham, ASTD’s president and CEO, “The ASTD BEST Award winners set the standard of excellence for exceptional learning practices, and demonstrate that a skilled workforce is vital to achieving results. They use learning as a strategic tool and have the support of senior leaders who champion a learning culture.”

Through an online application, the 2009 BEST Awards received entries from 93 organizations in 10 countries. These organizations submitted quantitative and qualitative information to ASTD about their learning and development practices and programs. Their applications were assessed by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a group of experts in the learning and development field.

This is the seventh year of the ASTD BEST Awards. More information about the 2009 ASTD BEST Award winners may be found in the October 2009 issue of T+D magazine and online:

About University Health System

University Health System, the public hospital district for Bexar County Texas, is the lead trauma center for south Texas. In 2008, University Health System was named one of the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems by the American Hospital Association and Hospitals & Health Networks magazine and, in 2009, University Health System was included among HealthImaging Magazine’s Top 25 Most Connected Healthcare Facilities.

University Hospital, a 498-bed acute care hospital, is the primary teaching hospital for the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and the only trauma center in south Texas equipped to provide lifesaving care to seriously injured children, including severe burn injuries. University Health System also includes 16 community clinics focused on primary, specialty, preventive health services.

About ASTD

ASTD (the American Society for Training & Development) is the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field. ASTD’s members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in 130 U.S. chapters and with 30 International Partners. For more information, visit

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