Community Involvement

In addition to traditional patient care, the nurses of Rochester General Hospital and Rochester Regional Health are committed to serving the community through independent initiatives. The following are examples of this public service.

Honor Flight

Honor Flight Rochester, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization that salutes our country’s Greatest Generation for their service as war veterans. Developed by a physician assistant and retired Air Force captain after the completion of the National World War II Memorial, the Honor Flight Network’s mission is to salute U.S. military veterans who are aging or infirm by providing them with a free-of-charge escorted trip to Washington to visit the memorial. Honor Flight’s current focus is on World War II veterans, but the program is already expanding to include those who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well.

Since the first Honor Flight in May 2005, it has grown to over 100 chapters and served more than 63,000 veterans nationwide. Locally, more than 1,800 Rochester-area veterans have been escorted to Washington since our chapter was founded. The average age of participants is 89, so this program requires the coordinated efforts of thousands of committed volunteers, including those with highly specialized skills who serve as guardians for veterans on these missions.

Sally Sackett, BSN, RN, CAPA at Rochester General Hospital is the Veterans Health and Safety Leader for the Rochester chapter. She is responsible for the overall safety of the organization, including veteran and guardian safety on flights, appointing flight safety leaders, managing nurses who make calls to veterans and their guardians to prepare for flights and organizing the medical needs of veterans on flights. She also conducts preliminary evaluations of their medical needs to assess their ability to travel. The group makes every effort to accommodate a broad range of conditions, so it’s vital that they carefully evaluate, document and follow through on any medical precautions.  

While healthcare itself is an act of generosity — applying your talents to help others — volunteering to provide healthcare is truly above-and-beyond. We want to recognize those who regularly volunteer their time!


Exemplary professional practice

Rochester General Hospital provides nursing care with evidence-based outcomes while incorporating professional practice that’s grounded by interdisciplinary collaboration, safety, quality, monitoring and process improvements.

The professional practice model

PPM Nursing Research Team

Donna M. Tydings, MS, RN, CNS-BC, CCRN

Sue Nickoley, MS, RN, GCNS-BC
Maureen Krenzer, MS, RN, ACNS-BC

Our PPM is unique because it was created by registered nurses for registered nurses through focus groups at Rochester General Hospital. The PPM describes who nurses are (identity), what nurses do (roles), and what Rochester General Hospital nurses want their professional practice to be.

The new PPM consists of four main components:

  • Caring
  • Knowing
  • Navigating
  • Leading

Nursing strategic plan

Rochester General Hospital has developed a nursing strategic plan that incorporates our organizational core values and strategic direction as well as the Magnet model components. With this plan, we are strategically positioned to deal with healthcare reform efficiently and effectively. The plan is aligned with our PPM as follows:


  • Deliver value-focused healthcare in response to the needs of our community
  • Enhance the patient experience
  • Support the health and well-being of all nursing team members


  • Recruit expert nurses and nursing service support team members
  • Promote certification, advanced education and lifelong learning, using new skills and integrated innovative technology


  • Develop an evidence-based, integrated interprofessional approach to care which will improve transitions in care


  • Provide safe, high-quality care while improving the health of our community using the best evidence and implementing proven best practices
  • Develop a leadership succession plan utilizing best practice recommendations
  • Collaborate with nursing team members across all areas of the health system to standardize our nursing practice

Nursing strategic priorities

Our current strategic priorities include:

  • Analyze and address the health needs of the community
  • Focus on the patient’s healthcare experience
    • Promote a culture of safety
    • Consistently create a relationship with the patient and significant others
    • Use a collaborative approach to strengthen nursing care
      • Continuously building physician/nurse relationships
      • Use evidence-based practice to guide all care decisions
      • Integrate technology with nursing care
      • Support new skill development and recognition within the clinical nurse advancement system

Clinical excellence and performance improvement

This collaborative program continues to focus on enhancing antimicrobial stewardship efforts as well as novel and enhanced environmental cleaning procedures. In an effort to reduce rates of Clostridium Difficile infections (CDI), we’ve made the following progress in collaborative CDI rates:

  • Collaborative Healthcare Facility-Onset (HO) mean CDI rate: The rate significantly decreased by 24% (Rate Ratio .76 [95% CI .67, .86]); from 10.8 cases in 2011 (baseline) to 8.2 cases per 10,000 patient days during Q4 2013 to Q3 2014.
  • Community-Onset Healthcare Facility-Associated (CO-HCFA) (readmitted for CDI within one month of hospital discharge) mean CDI rate: The rate decreased by 21% (Rate Ratio .79 ([95% CI .63, 1.00]), from 2.9 cases in 2011 to 2.3 cases per 10,000 patient days during Q4 2013 to Q3 2014; however, this decrease was not statistically significant.

Our successes include:

  • Sustained decrease in HO CDI rates across the majority of collaborative hospitals. These are statistically significant decreases compared to the baseline and have been consistent over the past three quarters, likely representing a sustainable downward trend.
  • In October 2014 we received the first-ever Platinum Award for Excellence in Teamwork from the Greater Rochester Quality Council. Our team won for city-wide use of a quality improvement principle called the “Four E’s” (Engagement, Education, Execution, and Evaluation), which we employed to reduce CDI rates and establish a more collaborative patient safety effort in the community.