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St. Mary’s Medical Center earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ recognition from The Joint Commission

(HUNTINGTON)— St. Mary’s Medical Center announced today that it has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.

St. Mary’s was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and immunization. St. Mary’s is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions.

To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure with at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Have at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above and within that measure set, achieve a performance rate of 95 percent or above on all applicable individual accountability measures.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of St. Mary’s for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

“Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to provide excellent care to our patients. Therefore, I am extremely proud to see those efforts rewarded by The Joint Commission through its Top Performer program,” said Michael Sellards, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Everyone at St. Mary’s is committed to continually improving patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes.”

For more information about the Top Performer program, visit

Federal Trade Commission Challenges Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Plans to Acquire St. Mary’s Medical Center

HUNTINGTON, WV – Today, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) received notification that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has challenged their planned acquisition.

“It is our opinion that the FTC’s action announced today misreads the highly competitive landscape in our Tri-State region and overlooks the enormous community benefits that would result from the combination of CHH and SMMC,” stated Kevin N. Fowler, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHH. “Despite the FTC’s decision, we remain committed to this acquisition as we believe it assures quality medical care for the residents of our region.”

“It is our belief that this transaction is in the best interests of the communities and patients we serve,” stated Michael Sellards, President and Chief Executive Officer, SMMC.

After announcing plans to acquire SMMC in August 2014, CHH filed notice of the transaction with the FTC on December 23, 2014, as required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. CHH has cooperated with the FTC to provide it with the information required to conduct its review. Cabell provided more than 340,000 documents totaling over 2.3 million pages of paper documents, electronic documents, emails and reports. Cabell representatives and legal counsel met with each of the four serving commissioners of the FTC to advocate for the transaction.

On July 31, the West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that his review of CHH’s proposed acquisition of SMMC is consistent with the West Virginia Antitrust Act and other applicable state and federal laws. The Attorney’s General’s Assurance of Voluntary Compliance set forth terms and conditions by which Cabell would operate St. Mary’s, in order to limit any anti-competitive effects of the transaction. In addition to the FTC, remaining government and regulatory processes that must take place before closing the transaction include the West Virginia Healthcare Authority review as part of the Certificate of Need process and the Roman Catholic Church.

National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program recognizes St. Mary’s Medical Center

(HUNTINGTON)— St. Mary’s Medical Center was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Gold Safe Sleep Champion for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. St. Mary’s is one of the first hospitals in West Virginia to receive the title.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. In addition to being Cribs for Kids® partners, St. Mary’s was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for parents, staff and the community.

“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®. “We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”

“In West Virginia, one baby dies every 10 days as a result of unsafe sleeping,” said Mary Beth Stewart, RN, clinical manager of St. Mary’s Maternity Services. “In Ohio, three babies die in unsafe sleep environments each week. This is absolutely unacceptable and we are dedicated to taking whatever steps we can to educate parents about the dangers of unsafe sleep.”

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations, such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids In Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state AAP chapters and health departments.

According to Judith A. Bannon, executive director and founder of Cribs for Kids®, “The program kicked off in June of 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pa., home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. Sixteen states and Quebec, Canada, are represented among the 38 certified hospitals that have achieved the Gold Champion status, or are working their way toward it. This will have a profound effect on the number of babies’ lives that will be saved.”

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program, visit For more information about St. Mary’s Maternity Services, call (304) 526-1316.

Columbus-Cline joins St. Mary’s Pain Relief Center

Kelly Columbus-Cline, PA-C, has joined St. Mary’s Pain Relief Center as a physician assistant.

Columbus-Cline received a master’s degree from the physician assistant program at Mountain State University in Beckley, W.Va. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

St. Mary’s Pain Relief Center is located in Suite 210 of the St. Mary’s Outpatient Center, 2860 Third Ave. in Huntington. For more information, call (304) 525-7246.

St. Mary’s selected to join baby-friendly hospital initiative

St. Mary’s Medical Center has been selected to be among the first hospitals in the nation to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving the Baby Friendly USA© designation.

EMPower is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative focusing on maternity care practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EMPower is aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health.

As part of this effort, St. Mary’s will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. The effort supports evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, an effort to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that complete the Ten Steps. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, launched in the United States in 1996, designates as “Baby-Friendly” hospitals that meet the criteria for women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding.

The EMPower Team is led by Abt Associates, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, and the Center for Public Health Quality.

For more information about St. Mary’s Maternity Services, call (304) 526-1316.