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Shenandoah Memorial among Nation’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals for 2nd Year

Shenandoah Memorial among Nation’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals for 2nd Year

For the second time in as many years, Valley Health Shenandoah Memorial Hospital is among the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the country, based on data compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. Shenandoah Memorial Hospital (SMH) is one of just two hospitals in Virginia to receive this award in 2023, and the only Virginia hospital to receive it two years in a row. 

“We were honored to be recognized as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital last year,” said N. Travis Clark, vice president of operations. “Now to have back-to-back recognition validates how hard our SMH team has been working to not only provide excellent patient care, but to sustain our efforts during what can only be described as a very challenging time.”

In the wake of COVID-19, healthcare service delivery is experiencing change, Clark explained. “We continue to battle against supply chain issues, work-force shortages and increased wages and expenses, and we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions. But we remain committed to our mission and our values,” he said, adding that critical elements such as safety, quality, efficiencies, and compassion continue to be hard wired into daily operations. 

According to the Virginia State Office of Rural Health, there are 1,358 Critical Access Hospitals across the country. In determining its Top 100 list, The Chartis Center uses publicly available data to assess and benchmark rural hospital performance based on 36 rural-relevant indicators. The pillars of these indicators include quality, outcomes, patient satisfaction and costs. The facilities with the 100 highest scores earned a spot on this year’s list.

While Valley Health recently made some service changes, including closing several fitness centers and streamlining surgical services across the system, SMH continues to invest in new technology and expand access to key services. In 2022, the hospital completed a major renovation and expansion of its Outpatient Rehabilitation Services space to enhance coordinated care, and patient safety and comfort.

Late in 2022, the hospital purchased a second CT scanner and was the first in Virginia to acquire the advanced technology of the new GE Revolution Ascent machine. Its longer table, larger opening, and significantly faster scan times makes the scanner more comfortable and safer, requiring less exposure to radiation. A ceiling-mounted camera uses real-time artificial intelligence to map each patient’s physical characteristics for pinpoint positioning, producing excellent image clarity. The new CT is also equipped to perform cardiac calcium scoring, a sophisticated test that scans the coronary arteries to help diagnose narrowing and blockages.

The hospital’s original CT scanner is used exclusively now for Emergency Department patients.

“Health care is an ever-evolving science and how we deliver services has to adapt to both internal and external forces,” Clark said. “I’m extremely proud of the work our team does every day to rise to those challenges and continue to provide our community with exceptional, compassionate, reliable care.”