SVMC Enters Elite Group of Three-Time Designees as a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) became one of only 30 hospitals in the world and only the third hospital in New England to earn the designation of Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence for a third time on October 29.

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 29, 2010 – BENNINGTON —Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) became one of only 30 hospitals in the world and only the third hospital in New England to earn the designation of Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence for a third time on October 29. SVMC was the first Magnet hospital in Vermont, the third in New England and is one of only 377 Magnet hospitals in existence.

Magnet status is a designation that comes only after a rigorous and intense review. Designation is offered in four-year increments. SVMC was originally designated in 2002 and again in 2006.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) designates Magnet Hospitals after a thorough review of quality indicators and standards for nursing practice. The ANCC has identified through research certain characteristics associated with best outcomes for patients that make an organization a Magnet designee.  These characteristics include quality, autonomy, innovative thinking and practices, and the strength of the organization’s relationships and communication among nurses and other healthcare providers.

“The nursing staff is truly honored to accept its third designation as a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence alongside our fellow employees and physician colleagues,” said Carol Conroy, SVMC’s chief nursing officer and vice president of operations.

“Earning the designation again truly is a testament to SVMC’s serious commitment to high quality care that is also compassionate and individualized,” continued Conroy.

“For the community, being named a Magnet hospital offers a recognizable benchmark of that quality. For the nursing staff, it validates the research, use of best practices and the professional collaboration that is a part of our daily work.

“Our striving for excellence is what makes SVMC a great place to work, a great place for medical care and a great place to clinically practice.”

According to the ANCC, independently-sponsored research shows that Magnet-designated facilities consistently outperform non-Magnet organizations in areas such as shorter hospital stays for patients, delivering better patient outcomes and recording higher rates of patient satisfaction. A Magnet hospital attracts and keeps the best nurses, providing them with an environment where they are encouraged to think innovatively and to achieve personal levels of nursing excellence.

“Being a Magnet Hospital means our patients can rest assured that they are being cared for by the highest quality nursing staff in the highest quality setting, ” stated Jean Cody, director of Magnet services at SVMC. “A Magnet organization has its basis in strong and supportive relationships between nurses and the medical staff. Because Magnet hospitals retain outstanding nurses, they also attract top-notch physicians.”

“I am very proud and excited about the news of our Magnet designation,” said Thomas Dee, President and CEO of SVMC.
Added Dee, “To receive the designation once is a remarkable achievement. SVMC’s staff has now achieved Magnet designation three times — this truly raises us to another level of excellence.”

SVMC continuously pursues new levels for quality and patient satisfaction. Their emergency department is one of only four in the nation to be awarded a Summit Award for Patient Satisfaction four times in a row by Press Ganey. Press Ganey is a national company that administers patient satisfaction surveys for thousands of U.S. healthcare facilities.

“This is truly a day to celebrate,” added Conroy. “It’s not just about the nursing and medical staffs, either. Everyone, from the housekeepers who keep our hospital shining to the administrative staff who support us, played an important role in getting us to our third Magnet designation.

“It’s impressive to see what you can accomplish when you work as a team, with the common goal of providing the best medical care possible to our community.”

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About SVMC: SVMC is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, a community-based, not-for-profit health system that exists solely for the benefit of the communities it serves. To find out more, visit their website at

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