Your community hospital is a great hospital

On March 11, 2013, your local community hospital, Southwest Memorial Hospital of Cortez was named one of the HealthStrongT Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States.

This is a huge and well-deserved achievement. It is also recognition and testament to the great dedication of all the physicians, staff, volunteers, and students. The accolades are not only to Southwest Health System, but to each of you as patients and members of our community.

We're humbled to be recognized as one of the nation's best rural safety-net institutions out of all 1,331 critical access hospitals in the United States. We are proud to share this designation with our colleagues at Aspen Valley Hospital in Aspen, Heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida, and Gunnison Valley Hospital of Gunnison.

Annually, iVantage Health Analytics' recognizes the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals using the Hospital Strength IndexT. The Hospital Strength Index is a comprehensive rating of critical access hospitals using 56 different performance measures, including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency.

The best part of this recognition is knowing that it was achieved primarily because of our extremely strong quality scores. For all of us at Southwest Memorial Hospital quality and patient safety are always job 1.

Congratulations to everyone associated with Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Our next step ... being THE best critical access hospital in the nation.

Kent Helwig, FACHE, is CEO of Southwest Health System.

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