(L-R) Deb Standridge, North Region President, Ascension Wisconsin; Crystal Kirschling, Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital; Robyn Schertz, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital; Cherrie Marti, Chief Operating Officer, Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital. (Contributed)

St. Michael’s makes top 20 for rural hospital ranking

By Patrick Lynn

The National Rural Health Association has included Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital in its top 20 list for best rural hospitals in America.

The ranking was based on an evaluation by The Chartis Center for Rural Health using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index, according to a news release from Ascension.

St. Michael’s is the only hospital in Wisconsin to earn the recognition. Another Ascension hospital, St. Joseph in Tawas City, Mich., was also recognized.

Inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, costs, charge, and financial stability were all metrics considered in the ranking.

“Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital is proud of the efforts of its clinicians, associates, and volunteers who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” says Crystal Kirschling, Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at St. Michael’s. “Our recognition as a top health care provider means our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future.”

Kirschling also cited the St. Michael’s “hospitalist” program, which oversees care for hospitalized patients, offers telemedicine, and includes expanded services like the hospital’s new Breast Care Center, recently renovated emergency department, and outpatient services areas as “key enhancements supporting quality care, close to home”.

“Ultimately this recognition is the result of our leadership, clinicians, associates, and volunteers working tirelessly to develop a culture of continuous improvement for the benefit of our patients as we strive to meet the changing needs of our community,” said Deb Standridge, North Region President of Ascension Wisconsin.

Representatives from Ascension St. Michael’s will be recognized in an awards ceremony during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit on May 9 in Atlanta.