Paul D. Cleary, the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, received the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care Dec. 8.

The award, presented to Cleary at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 22nd annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, honors people and organizations who have made significant contributions to achieving quality patient-centered care, and highlights them as role models for others in the healthcare field.

Cleary was noted by the Picker Institute — an independent nonprofit group based in Camden, Maine — for:

his tireless efforts to elicit patient experiences through well designed-surveys and his success in demonstrating that quality patient experiences are linked to positive patient outcomes.

The dean’s work includes research focused on integrating patients’ own reports about their healthcare with medical treatment, as well as studies of how organizational characteristics affect the costs and quality of their care. One of Cleary’s most recent studies on mortality among patients who suffer from heart attacks (a condition known as acute myocardial infarction or AMI) concluded that “providing patient-centered care may result in important clinical benefits, in addition to meeting patient needs and expectations.”

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and Dr. Arnold Gold, a pediatric neurologist and professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, were the two other winners of the 2010 Picker Award.