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Boone, NC, May 17, 2022 – Watauga Medical Center received an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognizes Watauga Medical Center’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital.

“We are consistently working to ensure all who enter any of our facilities are safe from harm. It is great to have Watauga Medical Center recognized, once again, with an A for Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. I commend our staff on their outstanding work to keep patients safe,” stated Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over thirty national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

“As our health care system continues to feel the strain of the pandemic, I thank the workforce and leadership of Watauga Medical Center for sustained commitment to patient safety, day in and day out,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “An ‘A’ Safety Grade is an outstanding achievement, and one that is not possible without a 24/7 effort by the entire health care workforce to protect patients from harm. This community should be proud.”

To see Watauga Medical Center’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter, Facebook, and via its newsletter.

About Watauga Medical Center:
Watauga Medical Center, a member of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, is licensed as a 117-bed regional referral medical complex, offering both primary and secondary acute and specialty care. Services include laboratory, imaging, radiology, physical and occupational rehabilitation therapy, respiratory therapy, surgical services, cancer treatment, heart and vascular services, sleep services, pain management, and emergency services. The medical center is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Chest Pain Certification in 2018. The Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center, located on the campus of Watauga Medical Center is recognized as an approved community cancer care center by the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer.

About The Leapfrog Group
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward for patient safety. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. For more, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter.


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