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St. Vincent’s Medical Center One of Six Hospitals in Country to Receive Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery

April 29, 2022

Hartford HealthCare St. Vincent’s Medical Center recently became one of only six hospitals in the country to receive Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery following a rigorous review by The Joint Commission, an independent organization dedicated to improving healthcare for the public. The collaboration between the Ayer Neuroscience Institute and the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent’s resulted in the certification - one of only two in Connecticut. The only other Connecticut facility with this designation is Hartford HealthCare’s Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at MidState Medical Center in Meriden. These accreditations make Hartford HealthCare the only system in Connecticut with advanced spine certification. “The certification is a great collaborative effort between the Ayer Neuroscience Institute and the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute,” said Gerard Girasole, MD, co-medical director of the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. “This clearly distinguishes the spine program at St. Vincent’s as the first accredited spine institution in Fairfield County and the first hospital in Fairfield County to have both spine and total joint accreditations. We look forward to continuing our center of excellence for spine care.” The Joint Commission's thorough, two-day, in-person review focused on pre-operative care and education, standardization of practices, procedures and care for patients and focused on everything from pre- to post-operative consults with the spine surgeons to communication and collaboration between clinicians. “Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute and Connecticut Orthopedic Institute have teamed up to create something special. The advanced spine certification is a rarely awarded recognition that symbolizes our dedication to going above and beyond for our patients,” said Khalid Abbed, MD, co-physician-in-chief, Ayer Neuroscience Institute. “The certification is a symbol of the compassionate, personalized and innovative care our spine program provides to each and every one of the lives we have the privilege to touch.” The review also evaluated the consistent use of care teams and compliance with clinical practice guidelines. In addition, the Joint Commission determined that St. Vincent’s met data collection guidelines and participates, as required, in the American Spine Registry, which measures clinical complications and outcomes. To be eligible for the certification, the hospital must have served at least 200 spine patients. “I am so proud of the teams from the Ayer Neuroscience Institute and the Connecticut Orthopedic Institute,” said Bill Jennings, president of Hartford HealthCare Fairfield Region. “The way they have worked together, focusing persistently on the patient has led to a standard of care which makes our entire county better and safer.” Spine disease is one of the most prevalent diseases, with more than 1.2 million surgeries performed each year in the U.S., according the National Center for Health Statistics.