Friday, March 4, 2011 2:00 AM

Community Regional earns clinical excellence in several areas

Besides drawing patients from all over the region to its Neuroscience Center of Excellence, Community Regional Medical Center is also home to a joint replacement program, stroke program and Level 1 trauma center that have earned top marks in clinical quality from outside agencies.

Community Regional’s Total Joint Program achieved the Gold Seal of Approval™ for health care quality for hip and knee replacement surgery. To earn this distinction, a program undergoes an extensive, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program’s processes, the program’s ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization and interviews with patients and staff.

This past year the downtown Fresno hospital also was verified as a Level 1 trauma center by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This achievement recognizes the trauma center's dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients. “ACS trauma center verification is the national gold standard for trauma care. This represents a nationally recognized ‘center of excellence’ and has demanding standards,” said Dr. Jim Davis, chief of trauma, interm chief of surgery ad program director at Community Regional.

Community Regional also earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, the day after The Joint Commission conducted an unannounced on-site review. For patients, this means the nation’s oldest and largest accrediting agency found the downtown Fresno hospital’s stroke care exceptional. It’s the only program certified at that level between San Francisco and Bakersfield, giving Valley patients access to top physicians, specially trained stoke nurses and clinical staff and the most up-to-date stroke technology an care available.

Community Regional also has one of the top joint replacement programs in the country, receiving national ratings for the past five years. Patients of this program benefit from minimally invasive surgeries, faster recovery times, private rooms and a specially trained orthopedic team that cares for each patient from admission through post-surgery rehabilitation.

“This certification means Community Regional Medical Center does the right things and does them well for hip and knee replacement patients,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, Joint Commission.

“Community Regional voluntarily pursued this comprehensive, independent evaluation to enhance the safety and quality of care we provide,” says Community Regional director of medical surgical services Phyllis Stark. “We’re proud to achieve this distinction.”

Stark also said this certification was a journey actively pursued to validate Community Regional’s exceptional patient care and commitment to consistent quality.

Mary Lisa Russell reported this story. She can be reached at