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Gwinnett Medical Center Acknowledged for Critical Care Excellence


Gwinnett Medical Center’s (GMC) Intensive Care Units at Duluth and Lawrenceville were recent recipients of silver level Beacon Awards for Excellence from The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). This is the first year Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth has received the Beacon Award. Gwinnett Medical Center-Lawrenceville was previously recognized by the AACN for its commitment to critical care quality improvement in 2007, 2008, and 2009. This association created the award to spotlight units that distinguish themselves by improving every facet of patient care.

AACN applauds the success of the GMC system, which includes hospitals that provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. Of the nearly 6,000 critical care units nationwide, 121 have been recognized as Beacon Award winners. Half of those have received the Beacon Award more than once.

The Beacon Award was created in 2003 to help set the standard for distinction in acute and critical care environments by collecting evidence-based information. The scoring system addresses how far a unit has come on the journey compared to a measurable baseline. 

Units receive points for leadership structures and systems, appropriate staffing and engagement, effective communication, knowledge management and best practices, evidence-based practices and processes and patient outcomes.The award features three levels so that a unit can chart its excellence journey over time. Each of these levels, bronze, silver and gold, receive a three-year designation.  

“The Beacon Award provides the community with a benchmark comparison when seeking quality medical care,” said Carol Danielson, chief nursing officer of GMC. “From a clinical perspective, the Beacon Award provides critical care nurses national industry standards and helps set goals while attracting top talent.”

For GMC’s patients and their families, the Beacon Award signifies exceptional care and great overall satisfaction. For critical care nurses, it means a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, higher morale and lower turnover.


About Gwinnett Medical Center

Recognized by HealthGrades™ as America’s 100 Best Hospitals, Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth.  Offering cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services, GMC’s 4,200 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, visit or follow us at, or


About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 230 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit