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St. Joe’s among top 100 Critical Access Hospitals

     St. Joseph’s Area Health Services of Park Rapids recently learned it received accolades as one of our nation’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).

     HealthStrongTM awards the designation to hospitals that score highest among rural hospitals nationwide based on their ability to provide a high quality “safety-net” to the communities they serve. The Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals scored best among critical access hospitals on the iVantage Health Analytic’s Hospital Strength Index. The 2013 Top 100 CAH announcement is the second release of this important designation. The Hospital Strength Index is the first-ever comprehensive rating of critical access hospitals.

     They are measured on 56 different performance metrics including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency. Benchmarks and data collected undergo a thorough examination by iVantage Health Analytics’ Strength IndexTM.

     Of 1,268 CAHs in the U.S., St. Joseph’s was among nine Minnesota hospitals to earn the Top 100 honors.

     “As healthcare has continued to rapidly evolve, our physicians and staff have stayed dedicated and committed to providing our patients with high quality care and excellent service,” said Ben Koppelman, St. Joseph’s President. “We set very high standards in our organization, and it’s rewarding to see our staff receive this national recognition for their hard work. It is a great achievement and honor for them. I am very proud of our entire team.”

     St. Joseph’s is a 25-bed, Critical Access Hospital with a Level IV Trauma Center accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In September of 2012, St. Joseph’s met rigorous quality certification standards to receive The Joint Commission’s National Quality Approval award, valid for three years.

     “We are very pleased to be among the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation to receive this designation,” said Chris Broeker, St. Joseph’s Director of Quality.

     “Quality care is realized when hospital staff and medical providers work as a team to achieve the best outcomes possible for patients,” she said. “Providing care that is consistent with best practices is our goal and is crucial to advancing St. Joseph’s mission in the community.”

     Broeker notes that healthcare delivery has become very complex.

     “We have a responsibility to our patients to do the best we can for them,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized for our efforts.”

     St. Joseph’s Patient Care Vice President Deb Haagenson gave equal praise to staff and providers for their efforts.

     “It is an honor to be recognized as a top performer,” Haagenson says. “It is a tribute to our staff dedicated to providing quality care.”

     iVantage Health Analytics in collaboration with the National Rural Health Association bring these comparison findings forward based on the belief that strong healthcare systems share similar characteristics, making them viable for healthcare’s evolving landscape.

     “Rural hospitals play a critical role in providing needed care to communities across America, yet the challenges are completely different while being as complex as urban hospitals. The need for enhanced performance and a framework for success are equally important as hospitals prepare for the impact of health reform,” said John Morrow, Executive Vice President of iVantage Health Analytics.

     Approximately one third of the Top 100 CAHs are located in the nation’s Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

     To see the full listing of Top 100 CAHs, go to and view the article, “Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals Named by iVantage.”