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Monday, January 21, 2008 - SJH Awarded Major National Accreditation- Meeting clinical quality and patient safety standards were keys to success

VINELAND, NJ (January 18) – By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety, South Jersey Healthcare’s hospitals and related outpatient services have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™. The independent, not-for-profit organization is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

“We sought accreditation for our organization to further demonstrate our commitment to patient safety and quality care,” said SJH President and CEO Chet Kaletkowski. “Clinical quality remains our top strategic initiative, which makes obtaining Joint Commission accreditation particularly gratifying.”

The accreditation covers the Regional Medical Center, Elmer Hospital, Bridgeton Health Center, Vineland Health Center, SJH Sports RehabCare, SJH Sleep Centers, SJH Child Development Center, SJH Millville Imaging Center, Vineland Regional Counseling Service, and SJH Wound Care Center. This award excludes SJH Community Services, whose homecare, hospice, adult day and help services participate in separate surveys.

“Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization’s performance and the outcomes of the care it provides,” said Darlene Christiansen, executive director, Hospital Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “The community should be proud that South Jersey Healthcare is focusing on the most challenging goal — to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels.”

The Joint Commission conducted its unannounced survey of SJH during the week of November 5, 2007. The accreditation award recognizes a dedication to compliance with the Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards on a continuous basis.

“Our employees, physicians and volunteers were able to demonstrate and articulate their commitment to clinical quality and patient safety during an intensive five-day survey performed by The Joint Commission,” said Kaletkowski. “The success of this survey should be a source of pride to everyone involved. I consider myself fortunate to be part of the great South Jersey Healthcare team.”

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 8,000 hospitals and home care organizations.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents.