Thursday, February 22, 2018 12:00 AM

National nurses association honors Fresno Heart & Surgical for critical care excellence

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has recognized Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital’s for a third time as having one of the top cardiovascular intensive care units in the nation. Silver Beacon Award of Excellence honors are earned not only for exceptional patient care, but also for having a great workplace for nurses.
There are more than 6,000 hospital intensive care units in the United States, and only 159 hospitals nationwide earned a Beacon Award this year.
 “An honor like this lets patients and families know how exceptional the care is here,” explained Heather Rodriquez, RN, chief nursing officer for Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital. “In the nursing community, the Beacon designation is evidence that we’re doing the right things to improve patient outcomes and providing the kind of supportive and collaborative work environment that leads to amazing morale among our nurses which in turn enhances the patient experience.”
Rodriquez applauded nurses for their dedication and the outstanding care they provide. The hospital’s critical care nurses earned their first Beacon Award 3-year certification in 2011 and a second in 2014.
“As nurses we strive to provide the best possible care for our patients as a whole. The care we provide at Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital is evidence based and family centered. We as nurses feel honored to be recognized for the third time,” said Stephanie Baraona, a cardiovascular critical care nurse.  “It strengthens and unifies our commitment to best practice and excellent quality of care.”
Fresno Heart & Surgical’s Cardiovascular Unit (CVU) specializes in the treatment of cardiovascular-related patient care, including open heart surgery, heart attacks, heart failure, difficult arrhythmias, and advanced interventional procedures. It also takes care of any bariatric and surgical patients requiring intensive care services.
To receive the Beacon Award, a unit must meet criteria in six categories – including innovation/excellence in recruitment and retention; education and mentoring for nursing staff; evidence-based practice and research; outstanding patient outcomes; creating and promoting healing environments; and leadership and organizational ethics.
AACN President Christine Schulman, MS, RN, CNS, CCRN-K, said the Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes staff “whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”
Erin Kennedy reported this story. She can be reached at