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Clara Maass Medical Center Awarded Advanced Certification in Palliative Care from The Joint Commission

Belleville, NJ – Clara Maass Medical Center, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. The certification demonstrates the Medical Center’s focus on achieving optimum care for patients with serious illnesses. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Launched in 2011 by The Joint Commission, the Advanced Certification is awarded for a two-year period.

“Clara Maass Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to serve patients diagnosed with a critical and debilitating illness in a safe, high quality and patient-focused environment,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We recognize and commend the Medical Center for its efforts to provide palliative care services while emphasizing patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs as they make end-of-life decisions.”

"We are very pleased to receive certification from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Clara Maass Medical Center. “The certification recognizes hospital inpatient programs and helps to further promote and advance the field of palliative care, ultimately improving the care for persons that require end of life care and treatment” Clyne added.

The Advanced Certification for Palliative Care program recognizes inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and optimize the quality of life for adult and pediatric patients with serious illnesses. Palliative care addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice. The Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care emphasizes:

  • A formal, organized program led by an interdisciplinary team whose members have advanced training in palliative care
  • Leadership endorsement and support of the program’s goals for providing care, treatment and services
  • A special focus on patient and family engagement
  • Processes that support the coordination of care and communication among all providers in hospital settings
  • The use of evidence-based national guidelines or expert consensus to support patient care processes

To be eligible for the Advanced Certification, organizations must have a full-time service, where patients can access palliative care as needed, 24 hours per day and the ability to provide palliative care to the entire inpatient population.

Prior to receiving the certification, Clara Maass Medical Center underwent a rigorous onsite review in October, and received official notification of the award in December. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national palliative care standards built on the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care and the National Quality Forum’s National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative and Hospice Quality Care.

Established in 2011, The Joint Commission’s Palliative Care Certification is awarded for a two-year period and recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses.

The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

About Clara Maass Medical Center
Located in Belleville, NJ, Clara Maass Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, provides a complete continuum of care to residents of northern New Jersey. Clara Maass recently completed state-of-the-art campus expansion project featuring a new four-story 87,000 square foot building with a private, 32-bed Intensive Care Unit, new Main Entrance and Lobby, Retail Pharmacy, Patient Registration Area and designated new space to accommodate our future Emergency Department expansion. Clara Maass’ services include: The Cancer Center, Center for Breast Health and Disease Management, Radiation Oncology, Infusion Therapy, Cardiac Services Elective and Emergency Angioplasty and Cardiac Rehabilitation, The Pain Management Center, The Joint & Spine Institute, a Vascular Lab, The Vein Center, The Wound Center, The Center for Sleep Disorders, The Bariatric Surgery Center, Rehabilitation; Therapy Services which includes, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, The Eye Surgery Center, Maternity Services and Parent Education, Pediatrics, Center of Excellence for Latino Health, and the Health and Wellness Center. Clara Maass has been recognized with eleven Grade ‘A’ scores for patient safety and quality by The Leapfrog Group. It is listed by the American Hospital Association as one of Healthcare’s Most Wired hospitals. In 2016-17 Clara Maass has received the Healthgrades Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award and the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award. Clara Maass received Disease Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission for Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Congestive Heart Failure, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. Clara Maass earned Clara Maass’ steadfast commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves is exemplified through award winning programs including the nationally recognized HELP Volunteer program, recipient of the American Hospital Association 2017 HAVE Award, and the Wellness Assessment Van for Elders (WAVE) which was recognized as the New Jersey Hospital Association’s 2017 HRET Community Outreach Award. For a physician referral or more information about Clara Maass, call 1-888-724-7123 or visit www.rwjbh.org/claramaass.