The founder of Collaborative Healthcare Strategies and a nationally recognized thought leader in the field of reducing readmissions and improving care for high-risk patients received the annual Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence on Tuesday, March 19 at RISE National 2024 in Nashville, Tenn.

Amy Boutwell, M.D., MPP, founder and president of Collaborative Healthcare Strategies, was awarded the Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence at RISE National 2024.

The award, sponsored this year by Nymbl, is presented annually at RISE National and acknowledges an individual's effort to advance the lives of America's seniors through clinical leadership, policy vision, and by superior example of the RISE mission to promote continuous improvement in the health care system.

The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Martin L. Block, who passed away in October 2013 of brain cancer at the age of 62. Dr. Block was a regular speaker at RISE National and an expert in the risk adjustment industry.

RISE received 12 worthy nominations for this year’s award. The field was narrowed to three finalists: Dr. Boutwell, Sarita Mohanty, president and CEO, The SCAN Foundation, and Ray Prushnok, executive director, UPMC Center for Social Impact; AVP, government programs, UPMC Health Plan.  

Laura Davis, director of strategic accounts, Nymbl Science, presented the award to Dr. Boutwell, who was chosen for her work and commitment to transform health care delivery, developing models to reduce readmissions, accelerate the development of community hospitals’ ability to transition to value-based payment models, and transform care for multi-visit patients (MVPs) who experience a cycle of recurrent acute care utilization.

More than 275 hospital-based cross continuum teams have taken part in the MVP Implementation Coaching Program to date. As an example of the program’s impact, the Harris Health System, the third largest safety net system in the nation, was able to reduce emergency visits for MVPs by 15 percent and lengths of stay by 30 percent.

“Dr. Boutwell's work speaks volumes about her commitment to transforming health care delivery, especially for multi-visit patients, who are so often America's seniors. She's challenged the notion that recurrent acute care is insurmountable, proving that impactful change is achievable,” Ana Handshuh, principal at CAT5 Strategies, who was on the Block Award committee that selected Dr. Boutwell as this year’s winner, told RISE. “Dr. Boutwell's been at it for over 15 years, setting a remarkable example of how clinical leadership and practical policy vision can make a real difference in people's lives.”

After accepting the award, Dr. Boutwell said she felt privileged to be honored in Dr. Block's legacy. She described her work in the last 15 years as fun, helping health care teams and those who pay for health care improve the care of people with cognitive impairments and mobility issues. "Every single initiative starts with a team," she said, adding that she believes health care transformation occurs from cross-continuum team providers and those who share in their care.