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Houston Methodist The Woodlands Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Earns Gold-level Beacon Award

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) recently earned a Gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Houston Methodist The Woodlands is the only NICU unit in Texas to receive this gold designation.

The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes. Units that achieve this three-year designation meet national criteria consistent with the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.




“It is an honor for our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to receive this national recognition,” said Kerrie Guerrero, DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. “It demonstrates our commitment to providing unparalleled care to our smallest patients and their families.”

The Houston Methodist The Woodlands NICU now joins the hospital’s adult ICU, which also achieved the three-year Gold-Level Beacon Award for Excellence in 2021.

“The Gold Beacon recognizes nursing excellence at the unit level and showcases our nurses’ daily commitment to their patients,” Guerrero said. “I could not be more grateful to both of these teams for all that they do for our patients and in the community.”

Houston Methodist The Woodlands Neonatal ICU Manager Christy Adams, MSN, RN, RNC-NIC, sympathizes that no family plans to spend time in the NICU, but is proud to offer nationally recognized excellence in patient outcomes.

“Being the only Gold-level Beacon recipient in Texas demonstrates to our patients that their babies can receive unparalleled quality care that is family focused,” Adams said. “This designation truly is a testament to what the NICU team does every day, putting the patient at the front of everything we do, and exhibiting our commitment to leading medicine.”




AACN President Terry Davis, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CHTP, FAAN, applauds the exemplary efforts of the caregivers at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence.

“These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care,” Davis said. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

The gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence signifies an effective and systematic approach to policies, procedures and processes that include engagement of staff and key stakeholders; fact-based evaluation strategies for continuous process improvement; and performance measures that meet or exceed relevant benchmarks. Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital earned a gold award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, and Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement




About Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital is committed to leading medicine in Montgomery County and the North Houston region by delivering exceptional safety, quality, service and innovation. The growing campus offers 293 beds and access to the most innovative care. A $250-million 2022 expansion project added 106 beds, medical/surgical extension and women’s services spaces along with nine operating rooms. It also included the expansion of the endoscopy center, emergency department and diagnostic imaging department.

Houston Methodist The Woodlands is a comprehensive stroke center, an orthopedic center of excellence by DNV, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit as well as a Level III maternal care unit, and has achieved Magnet Designation for nursing excellence from the ANCC. Houston Methodist The Woodlands is also ranked No. 1 nationally out of 181 members in the Complex Care Medical Centers cohort in the 2023 Vizient Quality and Accountability Ranking. For more information, visit

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 chapters in the United States. 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, connect with the organization on Facebook at or follow AACN on Twitter at