For the third consecutive year, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has been named a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award for being one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience.
The hospital also received a Women’s Choice Award for having one of the nation’s best stroke centers.
Paul Hammes, chief executive officer for the hospital, announced the awards at a planned celebration Wednesday afternoon. U.S. 6th District Congressman Mark Walker, who was doing a tour of Elkin the same day, dropped by with his field representative, Kyle Hall, to attend the event. (See related story.)
Of the nation’s 5,600 hospitals, Hammes said only about half of 1 percent have received the honors. “That is very elite company,” he said, “and we’re delighted about it.”
The Women’s Choice Awards uniquely focuses on female patient satisfaction and recommendation scores. Services available to women at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital include The BirthPlace, featuring maternity and gynecologic surgical care from board-certified, OB/GYN specialists, and an attractive women’s imaging center offering digital mammography, breast ultrasound and bone density scanning.
Hammes told the group gathered for the celebration, “I think it’s valuable to reconnect to our vision statement which guides us in everything we do: ‘To be the best community hospital in the nation, with service as our guiding principle.’”
Addressing Walker and Hall, Hammes said, “Not only does that shape the lofty goals and high standards that we embrace here, but I’m betting that you noticed during your day here in Elkin a belief in what is possible and an enthusiasm in going after what is possible. That guides everything we do.”
Hammes introduced physicians and other staff members in the board room who were instrumental to the hospital receiving the awards.
“We’re so proud,” he said, “but most importantly this speaks to the deep commitment of our physicians, our staff, our nurses, support staff and volunteers for making sure that everything we do here is all about patients. We keep patients at the center of everything …”
The “America’s 100 Best Hospital” awards are given in each of four size categories: up to 100 beds, 101-250 beds, 251-400 beds and 401-plus beds. All scoring is objective and uniform, and the Women’s Choice Awards accepts no payment in exchange for placement on the list.
Hugh Chatham, which is licensed for 81 acute care beds, received its awards in the up to 100 beds category.
“Receiving these awards is a special honor for our employees, medical staff and volunteers at Hugh Chatham,” Hammes said in a press release, “because every day we strive to deliver high quality, well-coordinated health care to patients.”
Cynthia Charles, executive public relations director for the hospital, said Hugh Chatham’s executive leaders will be taking treats to employees on all units later on so they can be part of the celebration.
While the awards are for women’s services, Hammes said, “We also know that both genders appreciate easily accessible health care that fits their busy schedules so we offer resources like same-day and extended hours appointments, express care and urgent care clinics and a free 24/7 nurse advice telephone number.”
Delia Passi, chief executive officer and founder of the Women’s Choice Awards, said in announcing this year’s recipients, “We’ve identified America’s Best Hospitals across the nation to help women make smart healthcare choices for themselves and their family members.”
Hugh Chatham’s stroke center also received “Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus” and “Target Stroke Honor Roll” recognition in May from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Of the more than 100 hospitals in North Carolina, 31 are certified primary stroke centers, including Hugh Chatham.
North Carolina is part of the stroke belt, a region of 12 states in the southeastern United States with a higher incidence of strokes than other parts of the country. Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke, and it’s the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States.
According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, one of every three women will die of heart disease or stroke. Sharyn Lee, president of the Women’s Choice Award Healthcare Division, said, “We congratulate Hugh Chatham and the other winning hospitals on their dedication to education, prevention and early intervention to reduce the devastating effects of stroke.”
The Women’s Choice Award sets the standard for helping women make smart choices through education, empowerment and validation. Award recipients are determined by evidence-based research and identify brands, products and services most recommended by women.
Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.