(Tahoe/Truckee, Calif.) – Tahoe Forest Hospital (TFH) was recently named one of the top 100 critical access hospitals in the United States from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The formal announcement was made in late September 2011 at the NRHA’s 10th Annual Critical Access Hospital Conference, which attracted 650 rural hospital leaders to Kansas City, MO. Only four California Hospitals made the Top 100. The others included Fairchild Medical Center, Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital and Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta.

To be recognized as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital (CAHs), Tahoe Forest Hospital had to earn top scores on the iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index. This Index offers hospital executives, trustees and boards of directors an objective way to measure their relative performance among their peers. In this first-ever comprehensive rating of CAHs, the results recognized the top hospitals that are the safety net to communities across America – measuring them across 56 different performance metrics, including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency.

“Our commitment has been to offer the highest quality medical care to our patients and to be the best rural community health system in the nation. We are very proud to be recognized for these efforts that benefit our local community,” said Bob Schapper, chief executive officer, Tahoe Forest Health System (TFHS). “It is a great honor and accomplishment to be named as one of the NRHA’s first ever ‘Top 100’ Critical Access Hospitals in America.”

Over the last ten years, TFHS has been reinvesting in its technology, services and people. Changes have lead to it being recognized as both a leader in rural healthcare and a benchmark for setting national standards in healthcare delivery. Recent TFHS acknowledgments and milestones include the breaking ground for the Measure C project – new state-of-the-art Tahoe Forest Cancer Center; earning the California (Gold-Level) Award for Performance Excellence (CAPE) recognizing organizations that demonstrate world-class performance in their industry; having the first Children’s Center in Eastern Nevada County to receive a Quality 5- Star Rating Certification from the Quality Star Rating initiative, administered through the Child Care Coordinating Council; being selected as the first clerkship training site beyond Sacramento for UC Davis Rural-PRIME medical education program, and in January 2010, having UC Davis officially naming Tahoe Forest as its first-ever Rural Center of Excellence.

Adding to TFHS’s extensive list of recognitions and accomplishments, Tahoe Forest Hospital outperformed 97 percent of all hospitals that use Press Ganey for patient satisfaction scores. When TFH patients were asked if they would “definitely” recommend TFH to family and friends, TFH scored a 9 or 10 on a level of 1 to 10 for overall patient satisfaction. Press Ganey is the industry's recognized leader in health care performance improvement, setting the gold standard for hospital satisfaction surveys.

Tahoe Forest Health System also earned the prestigious Pathways to Excellence status for rural hospitals awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. To earn this distinction a thorough review process was conducted documenting quality initiatives in TFH’s practices, policies and culture. This review and subsequent recognition was made possible by the dedication of the TFHS nursing staff and their commitment to perfect patient care. This award also illustrates the professional satisfaction of TFHS nurses and validates that TFHS is one of the best places to work and practice in the nation.

Tahoe Forest Hospital Women and Family Center was also designated the 96th hospital in the United States as a center offering optimal levels of infant feeding care. The Baby-Friendly Certification was awarded by The Baby Friendly-Hospital Initiative (BFHI). This world-wide initiative is sponsored by The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“All of these accomplishments were earned by the collaborative efforts of our numerous people and organizations. I want to give a special thanks to the clinical, non clinical and support staff; community volunteers, community councils and physicians who help us deliver this exceptional level of health care,” added Schapper.

“The National Rural Health Association is proud that the efforts of Tahoe Forest Hospital has been recognized by this new nationwide analysis and ranking,” said Alan Morgan, chief executive officer, NRHA. “Rural hospitals play such a critical role in providing needed care to the 62 million Americans who call rural home, yet our challenges are completely different in access while equally complex in delivery as urban hospitals. NRHA celebrates this diversity and is committed to advancing performance improvement in all rural areas.”

NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA is made up of 20,000 diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.




Tahoe Forest Hospital District, 10121 Pine Avenue, PO Box 759, Truckee, CA 96160, (530) 587-6011

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