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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - SJH Regional Medical Center Cardiac ICU Wins National Quality Award

SJH Regional Medical Center Cardiac ICU Wins National Quality Award
Nurses honored for critical care excellence

VINELAND, NJ (June 21) – The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nursing team at the South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center was recently honored with the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. The unit was one of only two in the Delaware Valley to receive the national quality award which recognizes the nation's top hospital critical care units.

The RMC’s Cardiac ICU is the first in southern New Jersey to ever win the award. Since the Beacon Award was established in the spring of 2004, only 41 critical care units, of approximately 6,000 in the United States, have earned the Beacon.

“I am so proud of our Cardiac ICU team,” said Elizabeth Sheridan, R.N., M.A., chief operating officer of the RMC. “Earning a Beacon Award sends a loud message that our nurses are providing exceptional care and their commitment to evidence-based practice is unwavering. Beacon Award criteria include innovation and/or excellence in numerous aspects of nursing.”

These criteria include: evidence-based practice and research; patient outcomes; recruitment and retention of nurses; education; training and mentoring; creating and promoting healing environments; and leadership and organizational efforts.

“I am honored to work with such a caring and passionate group of nurses who provide such a high standard of care,” said Michele Zucconi, clinical director for the Cardiac Care Center. “When we began the Beacon journey, my staff was very excited. We realized how close we were to meeting the national Beacon standards and our nurses took the initiative to do what was required to earn the award.”

By earning the health system's first Beacon Award, the Cardiac ICU team has inspired the system's other ICUs to explore the possibility of pursuing their own Beacons.

“In the future, we would like to have all our ICUs earn a Beacon,” said Sheridan. “Evidence-based practice has come to the forefront of nursing, and we as a health system have embraced it. When best practices are followed, we can be confident that our patients are receiving the finest care.”

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. Please visit to learn more.

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