Three Ascension Seton Medical Centers are First in Central Texas to be Awarded Joint Commission Gold Seal for Spine Surgery


Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson, UMC Brackenridge Certified in Partnership with Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Institute

AUSTIN, Texas – (April 25, 2013) – Ascension Seton Medical Center AustinUniversity Medical Center Brackenridge and Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for their disease-specific spine surgery programs.

They became the first hospitals in Central Texas to meet the national review body’s state-of-the-art standards for quality and safety, based in part on the comprehensive array of services provided by the team approach of Ascension Seton and the Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Institute.

Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Institute is comprised of a world-class team of physicians and experts who cover the entire spectrum of brain and spine care and act as one team with one goal: to improve a patient’s condition and quality of life with the most advanced, treatment available.

“The back and spine are a complex support system that requires complex care. This certification is a credit to the Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Institute team led by neurosurgeons and spine fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons,” said Dr. Alex Valadka, chief executive officer of the institute. “We care for the total range of spine injuries and conditions – from the least invasive procedures to extreme cases others would hesitate to handle. We do it all with a protocol-mandated, conservative approach so patients will rest assured that every option and resource are available to them.”

The three medical centers underwent rigorous, on-site reviews as The Joint Commission evaluated them for compliance with national standards of care, effective and consistent use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and performance measures specific to the needs of patients and families, including effective pain management, proper discharge instructions and infection prevention and control.

The Joint Commission, considered the highest standard in evaluating disease-specific health care programs, is the U.S.’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. It certifies more than 2,400 programs and 400 health care staffing services.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, these three Ascension Seton medical centers have demonstrated their commitment to the highest level of care for its patients with disease-specific spine conditions,” said Jean Range, executive director of this commission program. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend Ascension Seton for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“The Gold Seal of Approval demonstrates our commitment to our spine care patients and their families on a day-to-day basis, from top to bottom,” said Kate Henderson, UMC Brackenridge vice president and chief operating officer. “This is another example of Ascension Seton’s commitment to ensure all of our patients get the best care.”