Valley Children’s earns award for quality and safety

The local hospital has been named a top children’s hospital by The Leapfrog Group for the second year in a row

MADERA – In a year where hospital workers deserve immense praise, one local hospital has received recognition for its exceptional achievements in patient safety and quality. On Dec. 8, Valley Children’s was named a top children’s hospital by The Leapfrog Group, for the second year in a row.

The award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. Valley Children’s is one of only nine hospitals nationwide to receive this designation bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, which is a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers widely acknowledged as the toughest standard-setters for healthcare safety and quality.

“Every family who entrusts Valley Children’s to care for their children expects the safest, highest quality care, and we have set the expectation for ourselves to deliver the nation’s best, safest and highest quality care right here in the Central Valley,” Valley Children’s president and CEO Todd Suntrapak said. “For all of the challenges of 2020, COVID-19 and the wildfires, in particular, this award is even more significant. In the midst of the pandemic, our staff exceeded every safety and quality standard demanded by the virus while still maintaining and delivering the highest quality and safest care to every child who came through our doors for any healthcare need. This award is a testament to the capabilities, dedication and commitment of our entire staff—and is yet another reason why Valley Children’s is the best place for children’s healthcare in the region.”

To qualify for the group’s Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must rank top among peers on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses hospital performance on the highest standards for quality and patient safety and achieve top performance in its category.

More than 2,200 hospitals were considered for the award. Among those, Valley Children’s received a Top Children’s Hospital distinction. A total of 105 hospitals were selected as top hospitals, including: nine top children’s hospitals, 29 top general hospitals, 19 top rural hospitals, 48 top teaching hospitals. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2020 Top Hospitals, visit

“This award is very special because it reflects the fact that we never took our eye off the ball during this most challenging year,” Valley Children’s senior vice president of medical affairs and chief physician executive Dr. David Christensen said. “Our singular focus is on helping children and keeping them safe. They are the reason we do what we do every single day.”

The quality of patient care across many areas of hospital performance is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, practices for safer surgery, maternity care and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors. The rigorous standards are defined in each year’s Top Hospital Methodology.

“Being recognized as a top children’s hospital is an extraordinary feat and we are honored to recognize Valley Children’s this year,” president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group Leah Binder said. “Despite the extraordinary pressure and strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley Children’s has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to patients and families throughout Central California. We congratulate the board, staff and clinicians whose efforts made this honor possible.”

Valley Children’s Healthcare is one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the nation and provides Central California’s only high-quality, comprehensive care exclusively for children, from before birth to young adulthood. The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital 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.

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