UMass Amherst Health Services Awarded Top Accreditation Rating

AMHERST, Mass. - University Health Services (UHS) at the University of Massachusetts has achieved the highest ranking available from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), director Bernette A. Melby has announced.

Melby says UHS has been accredited with commendation, attaining a score of 95 points out of a possible 100, after a review of its operations by the commission. The UHS accreditation survey was completed May 18 and 19 by a team of JCAHO specialists, Melby says. The results were announced earlier this month.

The outcome is good news for UHS and for the campus community, she says. "Basically, it means the accreditation team didn''t find any serious flaws in our system or our ability to deliver excellent quality health care," Melby says. "I''m extremely proud of our staff because, clearly, the good work they do was evident to the survey team."

Jo-Anne T. Vanin, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, says the accreditation rating should send a strong, positive message to the campus. "This is excellent news for all of the people who use health services, and it''s a vote of confidence in our staff," Vanin says. "I want to express my appreciation to the staff for their hard work and dedication that has brought us this honor."

UHS has an annual budget of $16.5 million, employs 204 health professionals and provides 97,600 health-care visits to students, as well as staff, faculty, and family members each year.

The JCAHO, founded in 1951, is an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts surveys of health care providers every three years. The JCAHO surveys are voluntary, and are conducted by teams of physicians, nurses, health care administrators, and other professionals drawn from a pool of more than 500 individuals employed by the commission.