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University Health gains Magnet designation - again

Just as magnets attract metals, Magnet hospitals and health systems attract the best nurses and health professionals. They also offer patients reassurance they are being cared for by a team with a proven track record for providing excellent care and positive outcomes for their patients. Today, University Health became the first and only health system in San Antonio and South Texas to be designated as Magnet by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for a third time. University Health is now among an elite group of healthcare institutions that have earned this designation for more than 10 straight years.

By unanimous decision of the ANCC evaluation committee, University Health continues to be among a prestigious group of 554 Magnet institutions worldwide and one of just 51 in Texas. It is a significant and prestigious achievement to gain and maintain. “We are an organization committed to quality, compassion and innovation, and maintaining this designation demonstrates how these ideals are more than just health care terms, but words we take to heart in everything we do,” said George B. Hernández, Jr., president/CEO of University Health. “When we first began this journey more than 15 years ago, the Board of Managers set the bar high and challenged us to be the best of the best. Today, we let them know we have achieved yet another milestone.”

This affirmation follows an exhaustive review of thousands of documents and remote site visit interviews with more than 700 University Health nurses, physicians, staff and members of the community. “The document submission and site visit process is long and complex, but fortunately we had completed the document submission before the COVID-19 pandemic surge hit,” said Charles Reed. “The intense work we did to prepare for the site visit meant that staff were ready for the interviews, to describe the ways we work to improve patient care in the hospital setting and in ambulatory care. It really comes down to the nurses, and they were really proud to describe our pandemic response during the site visit.”

The designation is a complex application and review process, including the multiple intensive surveys. University Health successfully demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent care for all patients, sustaining nursing excellence and transforming the culture of a work environment.

The recognition is also a reflection of the support the nursing staff receives in order to fulfill the health system’s mission. It is referred to as the “gold standard” in measuring the quality of care that healthcare consumers can expect to receive. “We are so pleased and proud,” said Tommye Austin, Chief Nursing Officer. “Magnet is a journey, a process and a structure to assure the best outcomes are achieved for patients.”

The ANCC created the Magnet Recognition Program in 1983 to distinguish the top nursing institutions from their peers. According to studies conducted by the Journal of Nursing Administration, Magnet hospitals achieve better outcomes and rank significantly higher in organizational support, workload and satisfaction among nursing staff than non-Magnet hospitals. University Hospital was the first to earn Magnet status in San Antonio in 2010.

For more information about the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program, go to To learn more about University Health, visit us online at

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