Chief Operating Officer
Access Community Health Network
Janie Gawrys is Chief Operating Officer at Access Community Health Network (ACCESS), where she began as Deputy Operations Director in 2007.
In this position, Gawrys is responsible for the clinical operations of ACCESS' nearly 40 Joint Commission-accredited community health centers located in the Chicago area's most underserved communities. During her tenure at ACCESS, Gawrys has been leading several of the network's critical initiatives to prepare for health reform and the changing landscape of the health care industry.
She has been instrumental in the planning and implementing the network's electronic health record system (Epic), which now is transforming the way ACCESS interacts and engages with its patients. In her role, Gawrys is also forging new, innovative relationships with hospital partners to leverage ACCESS' Epic technology to extend the continuum of care beyond the health center walls and help ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time.
Always looking for new ways to link ACCESS' vulnerable patients to the critical resources they need, Gawrys is also working to ensure ACCESS health centers create new partnerships to offer more direct resources to patients. To improve access and support medication adherence, ACCESS currently has four Walgreens co-locations and is taking part in an innovative pharmacy kiosk pilot at one of its suburban locations.
Gawrys also has worked tirelessly to develop the overall strategy for ACCESS' journey to Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition, including not only the traditional aspects of PCMH, but also rethinking how facility design supports this model. In 2013, ACCESS received Level 1 PCMH recognition and Gawrys is currently leading the health system's charge to pursue future recognitions across all its health centers.
Other achievements include the development and implementation of Medical Assistant (M.A.) career ladder and competency-based orientation and competency model, which now has made ACCESS' M.A. workforce among the most sought after in the Chicagoland area.
Actively interested in community-based research to reduce both ethnic and racial health disparities, Gawrys is also leading the development of the nation's first NIH-funded research center, which will be devoted to engaging Chicago residents in meaningful research designed to affect the very communities they live and work in.
Prior to joining ACCESS, Gawrys held positions at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) as Director of Nursing Professional Development, among others.
In her position as Director of Nursing Professional Development at UCMC, Gawrys was responsible for Nursing Education, Quality, and Research as well as primary responsibility for the three-year Magnet Journey ending in a Magnet designation in 2007. Gawrys was also instrumental in doubling the percentage of nurses certified in their specialties; increasing the number of staff who presented their work at national conferences; increasing staff nurses' involvement in clinical research, and developed and implemented a model for nurses' and physicians' collaborations on clinical quality improvement projects. This nursing quality model was recognized as a nursing quality model that can be replicated nationally.
Gawrys' leadership has been recognized through, among others, three awards from UCMC: the 1999 Team of the Year: K.I.D.S. First Initiative, the 2006 Excellence in Leadership Award and the 2007 Friend of Nursing Award.
She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. In 2007, Gawrys was certified by the National Association for Healthcare Quality, CPHQ.