Russell Co. hospital is recipient of national quality award

Press Release 

PHENIX CITY, AL – Please excuse the 315 employees at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City, Ala., if they seem a little overly enthusiastic on the job. It's been tough on them to collectively keep a secret over the last week. But the word is out now and they are ready to spread the news and celebrate.

Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital is the recipient of the HealthGrades "Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ 2010/2011." This prestigious award places Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in the Top 5% of hospitals nationwide for exemplary service to patients and overall patient satisfaction.

On Monday, a HealthGrades official presented the hospital the distinctive award to the hospital staff and leadership of Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in a special ceremony.

"Everybody is so excited," said Melanie Yomes, human resources manager at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital. "This is a big award because service and care for patients and patient satisfaction is our highest priority. Our employees take tremendous pride in going the extra mile to care for patients and now they are being deservedly rewarded for their efforts."

The award ceremony will take place in the hospital cafeteria where special food will be prepared for all employees and guests. Attendees at the celebration will include Phenix City Mayor Sonny Coulter, hospital employees and physicians, hospital patients, members of the Phenix City Council and Russell County Commission, media, and other special guests.

"Congratulations to all employees of Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital," said Michele E. Walker, Phenix City Council member from District 2. "This is a wonderful achievement and the entire community is proud. You represent Phenix City well."

Opened in 2006, Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital is the third largest private employer in Russell County after MeadWestvaco and AlaTrade Foods LLC. "This is fantastic news for Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital," said Victor Cross, executive director of the Phenix City/Russell County Chamber of Commerce. "We are very fortunate to have a respected institution like Hughston in our community. The hospital provides good jobs to our residents and helps drive the local economy."

HealthGrades is the leading independent health care ratings company in the United States. The "Outstanding Patient Experience Award" is based on analysis of the federal government's Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, also known as HCAHPS.

The HCAHPS data is captured by a 27-question survey to adult patients 48 hours to six weeks after hospital discharge. CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services) then condenses the survey results into 10 key measurements, such as Communication with Nurses, Responsiveness of Hospital Staff, Cleanliness, and Recommendation to Family/Friends.

Finally, HealthGrades processes all of the data through its proprietary formula and ranks all hospitals by their final scores.

"This recognition of our hospital validates our employees' commitment and dedication to providing quality, compassionate and attentive care to all patients," said Mark Baker, interim CEO of Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital. "Out of all hospital measurements, at the top of the priority list is how we are doing in the area of patient satisfaction. This yardstick of hospital achievement comprises every phase and aspect of a patient's experience at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital, from admissions to staff friendliness and responsiveness, to surgical outcomes and communication with patients, to general hospital cleanliness and quietude, to discharge and follow up."

One guest who will be on hand for the ceremony is Robert Tillman of Moultrie, Ga., who had several surgeries at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital to save his leg from amputation. Tillman's leg was shattered in a gas tank explosion accident. He suffered multiple fractures and bled out internally. Dr. Fred Flandry, chief of staff at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital, operated on Tillman's leg seven times.

"He saved my leg," said Tillman. "He saved it from being cut off."

Tillman said he is very appreciative of the exceptional care that he received from the hospital staff and medical professionals. "I love that hospital. You could not ask for better people in the OR," said Tillman. "The nurses were like family. They went beyond what they had to do. The place is awesome."

"There are a select group of hospitals that have made a top-to-bottom commitment to providing their patients with an outstanding patient experience as part of their overall commitment to quality," said Rick May, MD, a HealthGrades vice president.  "Members of their community should take pride in knowing that, should they need it, there's a hospital in their area that puts patients first."

For more information on JHMH, visit

For more information on HCAHPS, see

Source: Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital