Pennsylvania Department of Health Recognizes Two Carbon County Hospitals with Awards for Excellence in Health Care Compliance

Oct 17, 2012, 10:30 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Health

National Healthcare Quality Week is Oct. 14-20

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf today visited two Carbon County hospitals operated by the Blue Mountain Health System to present the state's first awards for "Excellence in Health Care Compliance."

Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton and Palmerton Hospital in Palmerton, both in Carbon County, were among seven out of the state's 244 health care facilities selected to receive the award during National Healthcare Quality Week.

"As the industry regulators, we understand the importance of identifying best practices and recognizing the strengths that we have here in Pennsylvania," Wolf said. "This new award was developed to identify facilities demonstrating excellence in meeting state regulations and positively reinforce those actions."

The Department of Health licenses and oversees hospitals statewide including acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals and psychiatric hospitals. In addition, the department conducts approximately 2,000 inspections annually, including licensure and certification surveys, follow-up surveys and complaint investigations.

Facilities receiving the award were required to have no health citations during the last state licensure survey and no major life safety code deficiencies on the last building inspection. All department-licensed hospitals were eligible for the awards and did not need to apply to be considered.

"In my 30-plus years of working in healthcare, I have never been a part of an organization that has been able to accomplish what we at the Blue Mountain Health System have been able to accomplish," Andrew Harris, president and CEO of the Blue Mountain Health System said.

"Our staff has risen to today's healthcare challenges over and over, and has raised the level of quality care that we provide to the highest of standards and compliance. We are extremely proud to receive this award," Harris said.

To view hospital surveys from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, visit and select "Hospitals" under the "Facilities, Providers and Managed Care Plans" tab.

Media contact: Holli Senior or Kait Gillis, 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health