Awards and Recognition

Why should you care about awards? Quite honestly, we celebrate our national, state and community awards because they are solid indicators of the quality care we provide the people of our region. Sacred Heart Hospital also proudly celebrates the milestones and accolades received within the healthcare industry, because it speaks to our commitment to improving care for everyone.

Below you can see our most recent awards and honors, including achievements in:

  • patient safety
  • quality and service
  • serving our community

award-imageHospital receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke
Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

June 13, 2016

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines -Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, a hospital must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Sacred Heart Hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date,
evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed,” said Jeannie Pittenger, RN, MSN, CNRN, stroke program coordinator at Sacred Heart Hospital. “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-accepted clinical guidelines. From onset of symptoms to rehabilitation and prevention of subsequent stroke, we are committed to providing the highest level of stroke care to people in our region.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. 


Hospitals named Practice Greenhealth Partners for Change

May 19, 2016

HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals were awarded the “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Awards by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. The awards honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

“Our HSHS western Wisconsin division is committed to improving the health of our patients, staff and community as a whole,” said Julie Manas, president and CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “We take pride in our sustainability efforts to lessen our impact on the environment.”

“Our Hospital Sisters have a Franciscan tradition of caring for the environment,” said Joan Coffman, president and CEO, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. “It continues to be our responsibility today so we can preserve health and wellbeing for generations to come.”

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented at the CleanMed Conference and Exhibition in Dallas. Dan Abramczak, director of nutritional services at Sacred Heart Hospital, attended this year’s conference on behalf of Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals.


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Hospital Sisters Health System receives WHA 2016
Advocacy All-Star Award

April 1, 2016

Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) received the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) 2016 Advocacy All-Star Award at the Association’s annual Advocacy Day in Madison March 30.

Therese Pandl, HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division CEO, and Julie Manas, HSHS Western Wisconsin Division CEO, accepted the award before more than 1,000 hospital supporters participating in the day’s activities. The award is presented to one hospital or health care system each year that exemplifies dedication to grassroots advocacy.

Manas and Pandl said they were honored to accept the award on behalf of the entire system that includes six hospitals in Wisconsin: HSHS Sacred Heart (Eau Claire); HSHS St. Joseph’s (Chippewa Falls); HSHS St. Mary’s (Green Bay); HSHS St. Vincent (Green Bay); HSHS St. Nicholas (Sheboygan); and, HSHS St. Clare (Oconto Falls).

“Advocacy is central to our mission,” according to Pandl. “Every day we advocate for policies that will enable us to continue to provide high-quality, accessible health care to the people living in our communities. We are very proud to receive this award as we continue to make our voices heard in Madison and Washington DC.”

Over the past year, the hospital’s advocates have regularly contacted, hosted and met with their elected officials to discuss important health care issues, including advocating for improvements in Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. They have worked to educate elected officials on how public policy impacts area hospitals, communities and patients. They have even traveled to Washington, DC multiple times with WHA to make certain Wisconsin’s Members of Congress understand how federal issues impact local hospitals and communities.

“HSHS is a true partner with the Wisconsin Hospital Association and takes serious its mission to serve,” said Jenny Boese, WHA vice president, federal affairs & advocacy. “It has been a privilege to work alongside their entire team, and they are well-deserving of this award.”


award-imageHospital earns renewed CARF accreditation

April 1, 2016

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has recently earned renewed accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for a period of three years for the hospital’s comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program and comprehensive stroke specialty program. This means that both programs continue to meet the highest industry standards possible – ensuring risk reduction, accountability and the best possible patient outcomes.

Sacred Heart Hospital has maintained CARF accreditation for its inpatient rehabilitation program since 1980, and for its comprehensive stroke specialty program since 2010. Sacred Heart Hospital has the only CARF-accredited acute inpatient rehabilitation and comprehensive stroke specialty programs in western Wisconsin. The hospital has been providing medical rehabilitation services to the Chippewa Valley since 1973.


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Hospital earns Quality Respiratory Care Recognition in national program

March 21, 2016

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals. Approximately 15% of hospitals in the United States receive this award. This year marks the 14 consecutive year the hospital has earned this national recognition.

“This is a testament to the great quality and care we expect and deliver at Sacred Heart Hospital,” said Nancy DeMars, director of cardiopulmonary services at Sacred Heart Hospital. “We are fortunate to have some of the most dedicated and skilled respiratory therapists in the state practicing at our organization and we are appreciative of their efforts.”

The QRCR program was started by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician's orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and other lung-related conditions. They also care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving response teams charged with handling medical emergencies.

The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in respiratory care nationwide.


award-imageHospitals designated as Blue Distinction® Centers for Maternity Care

February 23, 2016

In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality maternity care, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and sister hospital HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls have been designated as two of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The new Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, which is an ongoing concern in the medical community.

Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agree to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.”

Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

“I speak for both of our hospitals when I say that we are honored to receive this designation,” said Julie Manas, CEO of HSHS Western Wisconsin Division – which includes Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Our maternity programs work hard to coordinate birth plans with the wishes of the mother and family combined with best practice care and evidence-based medicine. It’s a privilege to be a part of helping to bring new lives into the world.” 


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Hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program certified by AACVPR

December 15, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program recently earned certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) for the appropriate and effective early outpatient care of patients with pulmonary issues. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with pulmonary problems (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and other respiratory symptoms) recover faster and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

“This certification demonstrates our program’s excellence and commitment to essential standards of pulmonary care,” said Nancy Demars, director of cardiopulmonary services at Sacred Heart Hospital. “Our patients and family members can feel confident in knowing that our colleagues have the experience and skills necessary to deal with the variety of issues of a life-changing pulmonary diagnosis.”

AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of pulmonary rehabilitation because the programs offer the most advanced practices available. The certification is valid for three years.


award-imageHospital becomes state recognized Coverdell Stroke Champion

November 18, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s Coverdell Stroke Program for becoming a Coverdell Stroke Champion.

As a Coverdell Stroke Champion, the hospital continues to implement stroke quality improvement and work with emergency medical service to improve transitions of care, while sharing data and practices to improve stroke care throughout the nation.

In 2001, Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement state-based registries that measure, track and improve the delivery and quality of stroke care. The registry was named the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry after the late U.S. Senator who suffered a fatal stroke in 2000. In 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Health services became one of 11 states funded to participate in Coverdell Stroke Program. The objective of the program is to assist hospitals and emergency medical services providers in their mission to provide the highest standard of stroke care for all residents.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

“Hospitals that have coordinated with community-based efforts have shown a reduction in re-hospitalization rates,” says Jeannie Pittenger, RN, MSN, CNRN, stroke program coordinator at Sacred Heart Hospital. “With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. This recognition demonstrates our commitment to stroke care coordination. From onset of symptoms to rehabilitation and prevention of subsequent stroke, we are committed to providing the highest level of stroke care to people in our region.”


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Hospital recognized for organ donor enrollment

August 17, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is among a select group of hospitals and transplant centers nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reaching the Gold Level of achievement by conducting activities that promoted enrollment in state organ donor registries. This marks the second year the hospital has achieved Gold Level. Sacred Heart Hospital is part of the national Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) Hospital Campaign, sponsored by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The hospital’s awareness and registry campaigns educated hospital colleagues, patients, visitors, and community members on the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donors and thereby increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. Sacred Heart Hospital earned points for each activity implemented during Phase IV of the campaign, between August 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015, and was awarded Gold recognition by HRSA.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Philip Anderson, director of the Center for Spiritual Care at Sacred Heart Hospital. “Organ donation is part of our commitment to provide high-quality Franciscan Healthcare here in the Chippewa Valley.”

Of the 1,658 hospitals and transplant centers enrolled in the campaign, 355 were awarded the Gold Level of achievement during this phase of the campaign. Since launching in 2011, the campaign has added more than 350,000 donor enrollments to state registries around the country, far surpassing the original goal of 300,000.

This campaign is a special effort designed to mobilize the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of those registered as potential organ, eye, and tissue donors.


Hospitals named Practice Greenhealth Partners for Change

May 15, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart & St. Joseph’s hospitals were awarded the 2015 “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Award by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

The award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this Award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

“All of us at Sacred Heart Hospital work as a team to set our environmental goals and strive to not just meet but exceed them,” said Julie Manas, president & CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts in helping to create an environmentally sustainable health care institution.”

“As health care ministries, our hospitals are called upon to care for our patients and we must also care for God’s beauty in all of creation,” said Joan Coffman, president and CEO, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. “No act is too small to protect the Earth for generations to come.”

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented May 14 in Portland, Oregon, at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition. Shanna Miller, director of environmental services, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, and Rick Beckler, director of the environment, Hospital Sisters Health System, attended the conference.


award-imageHospital earns Quality Respiratory Care Recognition in national program

April 30, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals.

Approximately 15% of hospitals in the United States have received this award. This year marks the thirteenth consecutive year that Sacred Heart Hospital has earned this national recognition.

“This is a testament to the great quality and care we expect and deliver at Sacred Heart Hospital,” said Nancy DeMars, director of cardiopulmonary services at Sacred Heart Hospital. “We are fortunate to have some of the most dedicated and skilled respiratory therapists in the state practicing at our organization and we are appreciative of their efforts.”

The QRCR program was started by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services.

To qualify for the recognition, Sacred Heart met the following conditions:

  • All respiratory therapists employed by the hospital to deliver bedside respiratory care services are either legally recognized by the state as competent to provide respiratory care services or hold the CRT or RRT credential
  • Respiratory therapists are available 24 hours
  • Other personnel qualified to perform specific respiratory procedures and the amount of supervision required for personnel to carry out specific procedures must be designated in writing
  • A doctor of medicine or osteopathy is designated as medical director of respiratory care services
  • Hospital policy prohibits the routine delivery of medicated aerosol treatments utilizing small volume nebulizers, metered dose inhalers, or intermittent positive pressure treatments to multiple patients simultaneously. Circumstances under which this practice is permitted is defined by policy

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who work under physician's orders to provide a wide range of breathing treatments and other services to people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and other lung-related conditions. They also care for premature infants and are key members of lifesaving response teams charged with handling medical emergencies.

The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in respiratory care nationwide.


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Hospital receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

April 17, 2015

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines -Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally accepted, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-accepted clinical guidelines,” said Jeannie Pittenger, RN, MSN, CNRN, stroke program coordinator at Sacred Heart Hospital. “From onset of symptoms to rehabilitation and prevention of subsequent stroke, we are committed to providing the highest level of stroke care to people in the region.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. 


award-imageHospital’s Dialysis departments earn “Five-Diamond” status for patient safety

January 23, 2015

Eau Claire, WI – HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s Renal Dialysis Centers, located at both HSHS Sacred Heart & St. Joseph’s hospitals, have earned renewed status as a “5-Diamond Patient Safety Facility” by Renal Network 11. As the quality control arm for Medicare, Renal Network 11 (serving MI, MN, ND, SD, and WI) is one of 18 networks in the U.S., established by the federal government to improve the quality of dialysis and kidney transplant services for people with end-stage renal disease.

Diamonds are earned by completing educational modules designed to build a culture of patient safety within the dialysis unit, promote patient safety values, create an awareness of patient safety issues, and help the dialysis unit learn more about specific areas of patient safety.

The 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program is endorsed by the American Nephrology Nurses' Association, the Renal Physicians Association and the National Renal Administrators Association.