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Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

University Health has earned many awards and recognitions in its over-100-year history. We are proud to offer you the highest quality health care, founded on respect and empathy. These awards and recognitions serve as proof of our commitment to our San Antonio community.

Nursing Staff

Magnet Recognized

Magnet ANCC LogoUniversity Health is recognized as a three-time Magnet health care organization by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. As a Magnet hospital, University Health attracts the best and brightest health care talent from around the nation. This gives you the peace of mind that you are being cared for by a team with a proven track record of success.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center specifically praised:

  • University Health’s Nurse Residency Program
  • Nurse Family Partnership Program
  • Nursing participation on the University Health ethics committee

The American Nurses Credentialing Center first recognized University Health in 2010 and renewed the designation in November 2020 for another four years. Only 8% of hospitals in the U.S. enjoy this recognition.

Nurse Residency Program

Accredited Practice Transition Program with distinction awardThe American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs accredited University Health's Nurse Residency Program with Distinction as a Practice Transition Program.


PRISM AwardUniversity Hospital’s 12 MSU and 10th Floor Sky Tower nursing units were awarded the PRISM Award. PRISM stands for Premier Recognition in the Specialty of Med-Surg.

This award was presented by:

  • The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board

Our nursing units exhibited:

  • Leadership
  • Recruitment and retention of effective staff members
  • Care based on evidence
  • Positive patient outcomes
  • Positive work environment
  • Continual education of unit nurses

When a medical-surgical nurse at University Health cares for you, you can be certain you are getting trusted, awarded care.

2022 Beacon Awards for Excellence

Beacon Award of Excellence

University Hospital’s 5th floor Sky tower Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Acute Care Unite (ACU) teams have both earned Beacon Gold Awards from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The Gold award is the highest Beacon Award level.

The Beacon Award for Excellence is a significant milestone, recognizing unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align their practices with AACH’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. 

It is especially impressive for the Sky 5 teams to earn this recognition in 2022, as they were the first units in the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients and the outcomes data used for this recognition reflect the care these teams provided during a worldwide pandemic of a novel virus.

In 2022, the medical intensive care unit nursing staff in Sky Tower 9 and Horizon Tower 10 earned the Beacon Silver Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

This award recognizes our Sky 9 and Horizon 10 ICU nursing staff for:

  • Leadership structures
  • Hiring and retaining quality nursing talent
  • Effectively communicating in an ICU environment
  • Providing care based on evidence
  • Measuring patient outcomes

Patient Care

Level I Trauma Center

Level I Trauma Center certifiedUniversity Hospital are Level I trauma centers.

  • Certified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
  • Specialists on-hand 24/7 to treat any injury

Level I status provides you with:

  • General surgeons available 24 hours
  • Specialty surgeons like orthopedic, neurosurgery, radiology, oral and internal medicine available 24 hours
  • Education in the San Antonio community about injury prevention
  • Substance abuse screening and intervention programs
  • Referrals for resources in surrounding communities

We can provide the highest quality care to children and adults across a 22-county region of South Texas.

Level 10 Most Wired Designation2022 LEVEL 10 MOST WIRED

University Health is the first and only health organization in Texas to be certified as a Level 10 Most Wired health system by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Level 10 is the highest certification possible.

The Most Wired certification follows a rigorous evaluation of University Health’s adoption, integration and impact of technology. From electronic health records to online patient portals, University Health is at the forefront of improving outcomes for patients with digital tools.

Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center

Stroke CertificationThe Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association certified University Health as a comprehensive stroke center. As a comprehensive stroke center, we can provide:

  • Treatment for the most complex stroke cases
  • Specialized diagnostic options
  • Advanced treatment options
  • Dedicated neuroscience ICU
  • Staff trained specifically to treat stroke patients

University Health also works with other comprehensive stroke centers across the U.S. to set an example for stroke care. 

2023-2024 American Association for Respiratory Care Apex Recognition Award

AARC Apex Award

The American Association for Respiratory Care recognized University Health's respiratory care department with the Apex Award. An Apex designation exemplifies best practices in the profession and demonstrates our dedication to patient safety and outcomes. Our respiratory therapists deliver the highest quality respiratory care.

In 2021, the University Health Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team earned the Apex Recognition Award; we were among the first two transport teams to earn this distinction from the AARC. 

2023 INTERLINK Chairman's Award for Transplant Excellence Interlink Chairman's Award 2023

Interlink recognized University Health as the No. 1 performing liver transplant program in the country with the 2023 Chairman's Award, based on all Interlink participants. This recognition serves as proof of our continued dedication to excellence in transplant patient care.

Center of Excellence

University Health has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the following health plans and organizations:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
  • LifeTrac
  • Optum Health
  • Superior Health Plan

2023 STRAC Comprehensive Resuscitation Center

University Hospital achieved the highest level of Resuscitation Center designated by the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC). This achievement demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality, focused cardiac care when you need it most.

2022 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician and Nursing Awards for Palliative Care

The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician and Nursing awards recognize physicians and nurses practicing in the United States who give exemplary care to patients at the end of life. Three members of the University Health palliative care team earned the 2022 Cunniff-Dixon Award, demonstrating our team's excellence in palliative care.

2022 MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award

2022 Platinum Performance Achievement Award Chest Pain - MI RegistryUniversity Health received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2022. We are proud to be one of only 240 hospitals nationwide to earn this recognition.
The designation means University Health provides a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that our team has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients following the science-based national guidelines outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. 

To receive the Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, University Health has demonstrated sustained achievement for two consecutive years (2020 and 2021).

2022 AORN Go Clear Award - Gold Level

University Health earned the Go Clear Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to recognize health care facilities that have committed to eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery.

University Health earned this award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and providing the medical devices necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

Surgical smoke is a by-product of devices that are used in 90% of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. University Health is keeping its patients and staff healthy by eliminating this harmful smoke from our operating rooms.

2022 Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award2022 Get with the Guidelines gold plus AHA award

University Health earned the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus” and “Target: Stroke & Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Elite” awards.

This recognition means that our team of doctors and nurses went above and beyond in treating people with strokes. Our medical staff consistently administered medicine to dissolve clots and improve blood flow for people with strokes.

If you have a stroke, you can trust University Health to provide the most streamlined, efficient care in San Antonio.

2022 Epic Honor Roll Magna Cum Laude AwardEpic Honor Roll Magna Cum Laude award

University Health has earned the Magna Cum Laude Honor Roll distinction from Epic – one of the largest providers of health information technology, used primarily by health systems to access, organize, store and share electronic medical records.

This is a voluntary recognition program based on application of strategies, lessons learned, and best practices distilled from Epic’s experience serving top-line health care organizations.

Completing all components of the program helps ensure that University Health draws the most value from our Epic software and helps us improve the health and wellness of our communities. 

Level IV Epilepsy Center

The South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is the only Level IV epilepsy center in San Antonio. This is made possible by a partnership between University Health and UT Health San Antonio.

Level IV is the highest designation for an epilepsy center and was awarded by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.

As a Level IV epilepsy center, we can provide:

  • Complex diagnostic and treatment options
  • A broad range of surgical procedures
  • Advanced medical, dietary, and surgical therapies
  • Inpatient and outpatient diagnostic tests
  • The opportunity to take part in clinical trials 

Long-Term Monitoring for Epilepsy AccreditedABRET Epilepsy accreditation award

University Health is accredited in Long-Term Monitoring for Epilepsy by ABRET Neurodiagnostic Credentialing and Accreditation. This achievement is awarded to organizations that meet strict standards and provide quality diagnostics for patients with epilepsy.

Five-Star Dialysis Facility

All University Health dialysis locations earned the highest five-star recognition from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The Dialysis Facility Compare Star Program’s rating system assigns up to five stars after comparing the health of patients in dialysis facilities across the country.

2022 NCQA Accreditation in CredentialingNCQA Accredtation on Credentialing

University Medicine Associates earned accreditation by the National Commission of Quality Assurance (NCQA) in Credentialing. This means that UMA:

  • Delivers efficient and accurate services through the application of industry best practices
  • Demonstrates to regulatory agencies, health plans and MCOs that UMA conducts high-quality credentialing services
  • Aligns credentialing operations with state requirements
  • Has potential to expand revenue streams and client base

Credentialing of practitioners is an essential safety component of a health care organization.

2022 Newsweek Best Maternity Hospitals Newsweek Best Maternity Hospitals 2022

University Hospital was named one of Newsweek's best maternity hospitals in 2022 with a five-ribbon performance. We are the only hospital in San Antonio to earn this recognition.

This recognition ensures that you and your baby will get some of the best maternity and prenatal care in the country.

Newsweek awarded 350 U.S. hospitals this designation based on hospital recommendations from peers, patient satisfaction and medical key performance indicators (KPIs).

Level IV Maternity Facility 

University Hospital is San Antonio’s first Level IV Maternity Center. The Texas Department of State Health Services awarded University Health this distinction, the highest a health facility can earn. 

As a Level IV maternal facility, you can count on us to provide critical services including: 

  • Early detection and diagnosis for conditions that may put a pregnant woman at risk
  • Continuing education opportunities for our maternal medical staff
  • The capability to perform major surgery onsite
  • Critical care physicians onsite to work with maternal fetal medicine physicians and/or obstetrics and gynecology physicians on complex cases

Notable quotes from the survey team included: “Elite level facility, phenomenal team, one of the best QAPI programs in the state, if not THE best.”

Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Texas Department of State Health Services also recognized University Hospital as a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As a Level IV NICU, we can provide necessary services for you and your baby, including:

  • Comprehensive care of critically ill infants of all gestational ages 
  • The capability to perform onsite surgery at any time, including emergency C-section
  • Pediatric surgical subspecialists available to consult with families onsite 
  • Perinatal and neonatal nutritionists who can plan a diet to meet your baby’s needs

2022 Best Hospitals for Maternity CareBest Hospitals for Maternity Care The Leapfrog Group and Money 2022

University Hospital was named one of the nation's best hospitals for maternity care by The Leapfrog Group and Money. To earn this designation, University Hospital met strict criteria specific to maternal care, including excellence in:

  • Early elective deliveries
  • Cesarean births
  • High-risk deliveries
  • Bilirubin screening

2022 Own the Bone Star PerformerAmerican Orthopaedic Assocation Own the Bone Star Performer 2022-2023

The American Orthopaedic Association named University Health a 2022-2023 Own the Bone Star Performer.

University Health has taken steps to ensure its osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve through participation in The American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone® quality improvement program.

University Health joins over 280 health care institutions nationwide that have participated in Own the Bone and taken initiative to ensure their osteoporotic fracture patients receive the treatment and care they deserve.

2022 Lown Institute Hospitals Index

University Health ranks 11th in the State of Texas and 133rd among all U.S. Hospitals in the 2022 Lown Institute Hospitals Index. This index scores the nation’s more than 3,000 hospitals on their social responsibility performance across equity, value and health outcomes.

Measures include:

  • Pay equity
  • Community benefit
  • Inclusivity
  • Avoiding overuse
  • Cost efficiency
  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient safety  
  • Patient satisfaction

University Health is the only San Antonio system in the Texas Top 20.

U.S. News & World Report

In 2022, University Hospital ranked High Performing in Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) in U.S. News & World Report. Our pregnancy and childbirth providers earned this distinction by performing fewer Cesarean sections, fewer early deliveries and seeing fewer newborn complications than other hospitals. In 2020, University Hospital ranked #19 for best hospitals in Texas.

2021 Baby-Friendly Facility

baby-friendly designated logoUniversity Hospital is recognized as a Baby-Friendly facility. The designation recognizes the hospital’s continued commitment to the babies, mothers and families of Bexar County. This recognition comes ahead of the 2023 opening of the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

University Hospital earned this designation by meeting strict criteria that dictate best practices in caring for a newborn. This includes bonding and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby.

Cribs for kids - safe sleep hospital awardNational Certified Safe Sleep Hospital

University Hospital is officially recognized as a Cribs for Kids® National Bronze Certified Safe Sleep Hospital. The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant, sleep-related deaths by promoting and educating on best safe sleep practices.

As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, University Hospital is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and providing training programs for health care team members and family caregivers.

Age-Friendly Health System

Age-Friendly Health SystemIn 2021, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement recognizes University Hospital as an Age-Friendly Health System. University Health earned this award by aligning our patient care with the Institute's four Ms: 

  • What Matters: Tailoring our care to each individual’s preferences and goals, including end-of-life care
  • Medication: Using age-friendly medication that does not interfere with the older adult’s preferences, mobility or mental acuity
  • Mentation: Identifying, preventing and treating signs of mental decline, like dementia and depression
  • Mobility: Helping older adults stay mobile and keep doing what matters

We are proud to provide evidence-based, compassionate care for adults of all ages at University Health.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehab AACVPR CertificationThe American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation certified University Health’s cardiovascular rehabilitation program. This certification recognizes the quality of care provided when you enter our Reeves Rehabilitation Center.

Palliative Care Certification

Palliative Care Certification Joint CommissionUniversity Health is certified in providing palliative care from The Joint Commission. We are the third health care organization in Texas to achieve this.

Palliative care involves:

  • A team of doctors, nurses and specialists who relieve your pain
  • A holistic approach to improving your quality of life
  • Caring for your physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs

This award recognizes University Health’s excellence in being able to provide palliative care to people of all ages.

2020 Circle of Life Award for Palliative Care

University Health is one of three hospitals in the nation to receive the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Circle of Life Award for palliative care. The award honors health care organizations for their efforts to expand end-of-life care for adult and pediatric patients and inspire other hospitals to follow their lead.

2020 ELSO Gold Level Award of Excellence in Life Support

ELSO Gold Level Award of Excellence in Life SupportThe Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) awarded University Health the 2020 Gold Award for Excellence in Life Support. University Health scored the highest level in the following categories:

  • Promoting the mission of ELSO
  • Promoting the vision of ELSO
  • Promoting the activities of ELSO

This distinction guarantees that family members on life support benefit from only evidence-based processes.

2019 Antimicrobial Stewardship Program – Pharmacy

Antimicrobial Stewardship Program – PharmacyUniversity Health pharmacies implemented the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program in 2019. This initiative aligns with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ goal of improving patient outcomes by using antimicrobials. 

The mission of University Health’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program is to promote optimal patient care and reduce the likelihood of antimicrobial resistance by using evidence-based guidance for the effective, safe and judicious use of antimicrobials.

2019 Gage Award for Teen Health

University Health earned the Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals. This award recognizes the excellent care provided by our Adolescent Health program. Through this program, San Antonio teens benefit from:

  • Adolescent vaccines like HPV
  • STD testing
  • Family planning services
  • Home visits for teen moms

As one of only two hospitals nationally to receive this award, University Health strives to provide South Texas teens with the resources they need to make healthy choices

American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer

American College of Surgeons Commission on CancerUniversity Health’s cancer programs are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. This guarantees that you are always at the center of your cancer care journey.

This accreditation recognizes University Health’s:

  • Range of cancer care services
  • Ability to accurately diagnose cancer
  • Patient-focused treatment options
  • Rehabilitation services after treatment
  • Commitment to supporting patients during and after treatment

CenteringPregnancy Program

Centering Pregnancy ProgramUniversity Health is the only non-military health system in San Antonio to offer the CenteringPregnancy program. We have been approved by the Centering Healthcare Institution to provide this.

CenteringPregnancy brings together 8-10 women with similar due dates to support each other during their pregnancies.

This program includes:

  • Pre-scheduled doctor’s appointments
  • Prenatal care from a dedicated provider
  • Two hours to speak with a health care provider at each visit
  • One-on-one education about diet, exercise, breastfeeding and more
  • Tour of our childbirth facilities

Employee Excellence

150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare 2022 by Becker's Hospital Review

University Health was named one of the 150 top places to work in health care by Becker's Hospital Review in 2022. This list highlights hospitals, health systems and health care companies that promote diversity within the workforce, employee engagement and professional growth.

Becker's Hospital Review lauded University Health's Diversity Dialogue Committee, which stays up to date on current diversity research, legal and regulatory activities and social trends affecting its workforce and patients.

2022 Top Workplaces Award – San Antonio Express-News

Top Work Places 2022 Healthcare IndustryUniversity Health is recognized as one of San Antonio’s top workplaces by the San Antonio Express-News. A top workplace values innovation and continually focuses on improvement. These organizations attract, recruit and retain the best and brightest in their fields.

University Health employees supplied feedback about workplace culture to secure this award. Our employees completed an independent and confidential survey evaluating:

  • University Health’s values and cooperation
  • Employee engagement, retention and productivity
  • Confidence in company leaders
  • Employee appreciation
  • Pay, benefits, training, expectations

2022 BEST Award from the Association for Talent Development

Best Learning Workplace AwardFor the 12th year, University Health has been recognized as having one of the best employee learning and development programs in the world with a 2022 BEST Award from the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

ATD’s BEST Award is the talent development industry’s most rigorous and coveted recognition. The award recognizes organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success by helping their workforce achieve its full potential by improving its employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities.

The 10th award, received in 2020, placed University Health in the elite “BEST of the BEST” category along with five other world organizations.

2022 Stage 7 Inpatient (EMRAM) and Outpatient (O-EMRAM)

University Health achieved Stage 7 on the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). Currently, University Health is one of just 10 hospitals in Texas to achieve HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7.

EMRAM Stage 7 HIMSS Solution

O-EMRAM Stage 7 HIMSS Solution

This eight-stage model (stages 0 -7) measures the adoption and utilization of electronic medical record functions, including clinical outcomes, patient engagement and clinician use of EMR technology to advance organizational performance and patient outcomes.

Leveraging information digitally improves patient safety by reducing errors in care, length of stay and order duplications. 

2021 LearningElite Gold AwardLearning Elite 2021 Gold Organization logo

Chief Learning Officer magazine recognizes the learning and development industry’s top organizations with the LearningElite Awards program.

In its 11th year, 59 organizations were recognized as finalists and University Health has been awarded a Gold Level ranking 22nd.

This 5th award appearance is the third time (2015, 2016, 2020) University Health ranks Gold (category ranking for awards in 2012 & 2013 not available).

Healthy Workplace Recognition Program – Gold

Healthy Workplace SABGHUniversity Health earned gold-level recognition from the Healthy Workplace Recognition Program of the San Antonio Business Group on Health and the Mayor’s Fitness Council.

This award recognizes University Health’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of its employees.

University Health exhibited:

  • Senior management support for wellness programs
  • A company culture that encourages health and wellness
  • Health education programs available to employees
  • Healthy options available in workplace cafeterias and cafes
  • Smoking cessation programs available to employees

2020 Talent Development for Good Award

In 2020, University Health was this inaugural award’s sole recipient. University Health was recognized as an organization that leveraged talent development to make significant contributions to improve the lives of others, changed an industry or community for the better, and/or served society in a powerful way in 2020.

Nominees were evaluated based on whether they demonstrated “through their actions and evidence of measurable results that what they did—and may continue to do—is improving the human condition, is something that others can learn from their actions, and is sustainable over time.”

Pharmacist Residency Program

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists re-certified accreditation of all University Health pharmacy residency programs for the maximum of eight years.

The programs include Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Ambulatory Medicine, Infectious Disease, Transplant Medicine and Post-graduate Year One Program.

Also, University Health pharmacy received the maximum six-year accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Construction & Environment

2022 Stryker Sustainability Solutions Environmental Excellence Gold Award

University Health received the Environmental Excellence Gold Award for our devotion to health care sustainability. Our medical device reprocessing program diverted 3,356 pounds of medical waste from landfills in 2022. We are proud to be a leader in health care environmental sustainability by extending the useful life of single-use medical devices.

2020 Hamilton International Arts in Health

The National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) gave an honorable mention to our SaludArte Healing Arts Program for its annual Hamilton International Arts in Health Award.

The program was honored for hands-on weaving demonstrations that continued safely at University Hospital despite the pandemic. Artist Doerte Weber’s beautiful textile works provided respite and inspiration for patients and staff.

International Organization for StandardizationInternational Organization for Standardization

University Health is certified by the International Organization for Standardization – making us the first health care system in the world to achieve this. This standardization ensures quality, safety and efficiency of hospital management.

Esperanza Award

University Health earned the Esperanza Award from the Hispanic Contractors Association. This award recognizes University Health’s efforts to promote diversity in its planning and execution of construction projects.

Zachry Vaughn Layton, the University Health Capital Improvement Program contractor, also earned recognition for its commitment to diversity on the Sky Tower project.

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