Awards & Distinctions


University Hospital is ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the nation for urology care by U.S. News & World Report, and designated as high-performing in the care of kidney and lung disease. Since 2001, U.S. News has consistently ranked University Hospital among the best hospitals in Texas and the San Antonio region. We are in elite company as the only San Antonio hospital — and one of only 3 percent of all U.S. hospitals — nationally ranked in any category.


American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet designation award badgeUniversity Health System is the first health system in San Antonio and South Texas to earn Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). After its initial designation in February of 2010, University Health System’s prestigious Magnet designation was renewed for another four years in September of  2015.

In announcing the renewal, the ANCC praised a number of initiatives, including University Health System’s Nurse Residency Program, the Nurse Family Partnership program and nursing participation on the health system’s ethics committee.

Magnet designation is one of University Health proudest achievements. Only 6 percent of the nation’s hospitals — and only 35 in Texas — enjoy Magnet status. Magnet is widely accepted as the gold standard in measuring the quality of care provided to patients.

Magnet hospitals and health systems attract the best nurses and health professionals, and 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. The recognition is also a reflection of the support the nursing staff receives in order to fulfill the health system’s mission.

The Magnet Recognition Program® was created in 1983 by the ANCC, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization. Through a complex application and review process, including an intensive three‐day onsite survey, University Health System has successfully demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent care for all patients, sustaining nursing excellence and transforming the culture of a work environment.


Verified Trauma Center logoThe American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma again has verified University Hospital as a Level I trauma center, indicating our trauma team’s capability to provide expert, around-the-clock treatment of the most serious injuries, and to maintain its strong mission of education, research and prevention. University Hospital’s status as a Level I trauma center has been continuous since 1997, and in December 2017, the American College of Surgeons extended that verification for two more years. As one of two Level I adult trauma centers with its military partner Brooke Army Medical Center, and as the only Level I pediatric trauma center in the region, University Hospital cares for thousands of injured patients each year from throughout a 22-county region of South Texas.

Gage Award for Teen Health

University Health System’s Adolescent Health program was honored with a Gage Award for population health by America’s Essential Hospitals. We are one of only two recipients nationally. Our program offers adolescent vaccines, home visits for first-time teen mothers, STD testing and family planning services.

The award was given for our efforts to provide medically accurate sexual health information to adolescents and their families, and for encouraging strategies that promote healthy life choices. The Gage Award recognizes activities that improve the delivery, access or value of healthcare for specific populations in a community and, as a result, have improved health outcomes.


ACC Chest Pain Center AccreditationThe American College of Cardiology has recognized University Hospital for its expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. University Hospital was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) based on a rigorous onsite review of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have demonstrated exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available around the clock, every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they streamline their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment. all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and assistance in helping the patient achieve a healthier lifestyle. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to them for primary PCI.


comm cancerUniversity Health System’s cancer programs are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. CoC accreditation assures patients that their hospital provides access to a range of services needed to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support patients with cancer and their families. CoC-accredited hospitals constantly monitor and evaluate the job they do and take corrective action when needed. CoC describes accreditation as “the hallmark of a program’s commitment to patient-centered cancer care.”


2017 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Award badgeUniversity Hospital  has again received the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Award. The award recognizes a hospital’s commitment to the highest quality of stroke care, including the ability to collaborate as a team and reach specific milestones in evidence-based patient care as measured in the GWTG-Stroke program. That means University Hospital demonstrated a high level of adherence to a number of treatment and quality measures, and rapid delivery of thrombolyic medicines to dissolve clots and improve blood flow over a sustained period of time. 


Health Care's Most Wired Winner 2017 badgeUniversity Health System has again been named one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems, a list based on the Most Wired Survey by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. It is the tenth time University Health System has been included on the list. The survey is designed to measure the level of IT adoption in U.S. hospitals and health systems, and is a useful tool for hospital and health system leadership to map their IT strategic plans. Most Wired hospitals lead the way in using IT to hardwire evidence-based practices to improve quality and patient safety, in converting data into action through analytics for clinical and business decision-making, and in integrating services through medical homes and health information exchanges.


As a nationally recognized academic health system dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving care, University Health System has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by a number of major health plans and organizations, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Bridges to Excellence, Children’s Hospital Association, Cigna Life Source, Optum, Superior Health Plan Insurance and LifeTrac. These designations require expertise, value and a track record of excellence in treating complex medical conditions, and typically follow a comprehensive evaluation process.


2017 Mission Lifeline Award badgeUniversity Health System has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a 2017 Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center — Silver Achievement Award hospital. The award is given for applying the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes. The American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline to transform heart attack patient outcomes by connecting healthcare providers, prehospital providers and community stakeholders in a proactive system of care that saves and improves lives—from symptom onset through cardiac rehabilitation.


ISO 55001 2014 AwardUniversity Health System is the first healthcare system globally to be certified to the ISO 55001 standard. ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, develops international standards to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. By obtaining this standard through ABS Quality Evaluations, University Health System demonstrates its commitment to manage its assets effectively and sustainably.


Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association badgeUniversity Hospital has been certified as a comprehensive stroke center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, becoming one of only three hospitals statewide and about 100 across the country to be so recognized by The Joint Commission. Comprehensive stroke centers are an elite group of providers capable of treating the most complex stroke patients. As a group, they are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care. Comprehensive stroke centers must offer more specialized diagnostic and treatment options, along with a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit and specially-trained staff.


Learning Elite award for best companies in learning and development badgeUniversity Health System has earned a 2016 LearningElite gold award from Chief Learning Officer magazine for the quality of its employee learning and development programs. University Health System was No. 12  among corporate giants that included Nationwide Insurance, Western Union and Sears. University Health System also received an Editor’s Choice Award as Best Mid-Sized Company.


2016 Air Quality Stewardship Award badgeThe Air Improvement Resources Committee of the Alamo Area Council of Governments awarded University Health System’s Sky Tower at University Hospital the 2016 Air Quality Stewardship Award for reducing electricity use, resulting in a reduction of nitrogen oxides emission.

The Sky Tower was designed with both occupant health and resource conservation as the driving strategies. It uses 22 percent less energy than a standard building and less water than the previous hospital that was half the size of the new hospital. The Sky Tower achieved LEED New Construction v2.2 Gold, and is the second LEED BD+C Certified Gold hospital in Texas and the 40th nationwide.


2015 American Association of Critical Care Nurses Beacon Award for Excellence LogoUniversity Hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The award demonstrates continuous learning and the development of effective systems to achieve optimal patient care in five categories: Leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units 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,” said AACN President Teri Lynn Kiss, RN, MS, MSSW, CNML, CMSRN.


American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award 2015 badgeUniversity Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in providing excellent care for stroke patients by following evidence-based guidelines. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. Some 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.


LEED Gold award for environmentally friendly design badgeUniversity Health System has twice been awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification for environmentally friendly design and construction, first for the clinical pavilion at the historic Robert B. Green Campus, and again for the Sky Tower at University Hospital. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized rating system that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Those ratings are based on factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials use and indoor air quality. The 10-story Sky Tower, which opened in April 2014, was designed by the architectural team of Perkins+Will, RVK, and Garza Bomberger & Associates. The six-story clinical building, which opened in January 2013, was designed by the architectural team of RTKL and Overland Partners.


Association for Talent and Development (ATD) award badge 2015University Health System Center for Learning Excellence team earned the new Innovation in Talent Development Award by the Association for Talent and Development (ATD).

The team was recognized for their excellence and contributions across the talent development field. In particular, the team was honored for their use of practices and solutions from the entire scope of workplace learning and talent development.

The ATD is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. These professionals help others achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills and abilities.

Learn more about how the Center for Learning Excellence contributes to University Health System.


2015 Learning Elite Gold award badgeUniversity Health System has earned a 2015 LearningElite gold award from Chief Learning Officer magazine for the quality of its employee learning and development programs. University Health System joins corporate giants such as Hilton Worldwide, Procter & Gamble Distributing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Nationwide, among the 52 organizations from across the country to be honored this year. The LearningElite program recognizes excellence among employee learning and development programs in five key measures: learning strategy, learning impact, leadership commitment, learning execution and business performance results.


The University Health System Capital Improvement Program was awarded first place in the large healthcare project category in the 2014 Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Texas Outstanding Construction awards program. The joint venture of Zachry Vaughn Layton received this prestigious award for the Sky Tower at University Hospital project at the AGC annual conference in July, 2015.


The Hispanic Contractors Association awarded University Health System the Esperanza Award at its 5th Annual Excellence through Diversity Gala. The Esperanza Award is given to an organization that supports diversity programs in all aspects of its operations, and whose leadership and staff continue to find ways to improve, support and recognize diversity in their projects. University Health System Capital Improvement Program contractor ZVL was also recognized at this event for its commitment to diversity on the Sky Tower project.


2014 BEST learning workplace award winner badgeUniversity Health System is ranked second in the world for the quality and success of its workforce learning programs, according to the Association for Talent Development’s 2014 BEST Awards program, and is among 46 organizations from six countries to receive a 2014 BEST Award. University Health System competed against nearly 100 organizations from 14 countries. Every organization submitted quantitative and qualitative information about their learning and talent development practices and programs. Applications were judged in a blind review by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a select group of experts in the field.

“The prestigious ranking honors our employees for their initiative and commitment to learning and development,” said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “This achievement is a reflection of the level of innovative learning that occurs across all levels of our Health System.”


Gold recognition award through the Healthy Workplace Recognition program of San Antonio Business Group and the Mayor's Fitness Council badgeUniversity Health System was awarded Gold-level Recognition through the Healthy Workplace Recognition Program of the San Antonio Business Group on Health and the Mayor’s Fitness Council.

The award is given to employers for their work to improve employees’ health through their worksite wellness initiatives. Employers must demonstrate senior management support for wellness programs and a company culture that encourages health and wellness, health promotion and education, physical activity, good nutrition and smoking cessation programs, among other benefits.


Get With The Guidelines gold plus 2014 award badgeUniversity Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in providing excellent care for stroke patients by following evidence-based guidelines. To receive the award, University Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for three or more consecutive years, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 quality measures. These measures include clot-busting medication, anticoagulation therapy, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation — all aimed at reducing death and disability, and improving the lives of stroke patients.

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07 Goldseal advanced certification in palliative care from the Join Commission badgeUniversity Health System is only the third healthcare organization in Texas to achieve Advanced Certification in Palliative Care from the Joint Commission, the national accrediting body for hospitals. Palliative care is a holistic approach involving a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and other professionals to relieve pain and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from a serious illness. Its focus includes the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients. The Joint Commission began the Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care in September 2011. It recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and improves the quality of life for patients of all ages. Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth are the only other two Texas hospitals to be certified in palliative care.

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beacon award badge for critical care excellenceUniversity Hospital’s Transplant Intensive Care Unit (TICU) received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The TICU team is the first intensive care unit in San Antonio and just the second transplant ICU in the nation to receive this prestigious award. Developed in 2003 by the AACN, the Beacon Award recognizes individual critical care units that exhibit high-quality standards and exceptional care for patients and families while fostering and sustaining healthy work environments.

There are about 6,000 intensive care units in the United States, and less than four percent of them have been recognized for achieving, maintaining and documenting these extremely high standards.

To receive the award, a unit must meet 42 different criteria in six categories, including: Patient outcome, Evidence-based practice and research, Leadership and organizational ethics, Excellence/innovation in recruitment and retention, Education, training, and mentoring and Promoting healing environments.

The Beacon also provides nursing care units a way to better measure systems, outcomes and environments.

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bexar county community health assessment health collaborative reportTHE 2013 BEXAR COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT

A comprehensive report of local health that guides the development of the Community Health Improvement Plan

The Bexar County Community Health Assessment is a signature project of The Health Collaborative (THC), a convening organization bringing together the area’s healthcare systems, community organizations, and businesses to implement a more synergistic approach to solving the region’s critical community health needs. University Health System is a member of The Health Collaborative. The 2013 assessment is the fifth in a series issued by THC since 1998.


platinum performance achievement award for 2012 Action registry -get with the guidelines badgeUniversity Health System is one of just 164 hospitals nationwide to earn the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2012 from the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry. The award recognizes University Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, and in reaching an aggressive goal of treating patients with the standardized levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) clinical guidelines and recommendations. To earn this achievement, University Health System consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG (Get with the Guidelines) Premier for 8 consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90% for specific performance measures. Following these treatment guidelines improves the overall quality of care provided to ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non- ST- elevation myocardial infarction patients (NSTEMI).

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GWTG Gold Stroke12University Health System has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes University Health System’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines. This marks the third year that University Health System has been recognized with a quality achievement award. Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps University Health System’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

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Center for Learning excellence 2012 award badgeUniversity Health System’s Center for Learning Excellence has received a prestigious Learning In Practice Award from Chief Learning Officer magazine. The center was awarded the Silver Collaboration Award for accomplishments in collaboratively delivering targeted employee development programs. "The Learning In Practice awards were established to recognize transformational and visionary leaders in enterprise education," said Norm Kamikow, president and editor in chief of MediaTec Publishing Inc., which publishes Chief Learning Officer magazine. "More than 200 top learning executives and solution providers were nominated by their peers in 15 categories. The winners are the industry leaders who truly champion innovation and transform it into learning and value for their organizations."

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Learning Elite award badge 2012University Health System was presented with a 2012 LearningElite award from Chief Learning Officer magazine. University Health System was ranked number 43 in the award competition. More than 200 companies applied. Developed under the guidance of chief learning officers and senior workforce development practitioners, the CLO LearningElite is the only peer-based benchmarking initiative in the industry. This pioneering program utilizes best practices in evaluation to objectively assess both the scope and the value of the learning and development services that companies provide. It recognizes excellence in five key L&D performance indicators: learning strategy, learning execution, learning impact (internal), business performance results (external) and leadership commitment.

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Top25 most  connected healthcare facilities badgeUniversity Health System is once again among the Top 25 Most Connected Healthcare Facilities in the nation, according to Health Imaging & IT Magazine’s annual study of how U.S. hospitals and health systems integrate new technologies to improve quality and efficiency throughout their organizations. University Health System is the only healthcare organization in Texas to be included in this prestigious ranking and is, in fact, in the TOP ONE PERCENT in the country for integrating electronic medical records and advanced technologies.

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MedAssets 2012 president's award badge University Health System has received the 2012 MedAssets President's Award. Within one year, the nationally recognized academic medical center saved more than $13 million and realized $14 million in cash flow improvement—through a comprehensive advisory services engagement designed to position the organization for successful, sustainable transition to value-based reimbursement. The award was presented at the 2013 MedAssets Healthcare Business Summit, held April 2-4.

University Health System was among hundreds of healthcare industry stakeholders from across the country recognized at the Summit for innovation and pioneering efforts to reduce costs, enhance operational efficiencies and improve care delivery.

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Centering Healthcare Institute badgeUniversity Health System is the only non-military health system in San Antonio approved by the national Centering Healthcare Institute to provide CenteringPregnancy. CenteringPregnancy brings together groups of eight to 10 women with similar due dates. The moms-to-be meet as a group each month over the course of their pregnancies, and after delivery. With a certified midwife leading the group, they share stories and learn about what they’re going through — and what to expect next.

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The South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, a partnership between University Health System and UT Health San Antonio, is the only Level 4 epilepsy center in San Antonio. A designation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Level 4 is the highest designation for an epilepsy center, and is awarded to centers providing the most complex diagnostic and treatment options, including a broad range of surgical procedures. The center offers the most advanced medical, dietary and surgical therapies to patients whose seizures are not controlled by medications. Both inpatient and outpatient diagnostic evaluations are available. And as an academic and research program, it offers patients the opportunity to take part in trials of promising new medications and surgical interventions.


Donate Life badgeThe University Transplant Center Lung Program received a Bronze Award from the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice. This award recognizes high performing transplant programs and takes into account post-transplant survival rates, transplant rates and mortality rates of patients on the waitlist. Our center is one of just 13 lung transplant programs in the U.S. to receive this honor.

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Past Awards


University Health System is the only healthcare organization in San Antonio to be included on U.S. News and World Report’s Most Connected Hospital list for 2011.

University Health System and the other 118 health organizations in the U.S. are recognized by U.S. News as the “best of the best” when it comes to advanced medical care and use of integrated and comprehensive electronic health records. These organizations are committed to providing the highest level of care, utilizing the latest technology to reduce the risk of drug interactions, medical errors, while improving communication and efficiency among the clinical staff.

To make the list, hospitals had to meet two challenging standards that demonstrated they were leading the transition of medicine into the era of EMR (Electronic Medical Records). Only hospitals that already had the distinction of a national ranking in the 2011-12 U.S. News Best Hospitals or Best Children's Hospitals rankings, or received a designation of high-performing in one or more medical specialties were even considered for the Most Connected Hospitals list. They must also be a Stage 6 or Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. HIMSS Analytics (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics) scores hospitals' adoption of electronic medical records on a scale from Stage 0 (no use of EMR) to Stage 7 (full use). University Health System is currently at Stage 6 and waiting Stage 7 verification. Only 3.5% of all U.S. hospitals have achieved HIMSS Stage 6.


U.S. News & World Report has included 47 University Health System/UT Health San Antonio physicians in its 2011 directory of the nation’s Top Doctors, and 42 of those doctors received special recognition for outstanding work in their areas of specialty. The list, available online, is a compilation of the leading peer-nominated physicians across the country, and a total of 188 San Antonio physicians have earned this prestigious designation. The University Health System/UT Health San Antonio Top Doctors represent a physician’s wide range of specialties.

The goal of U.S. News’ Top Doctors list is to help guide consumers to top specialists and primary care doctors in their area. It was created in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., publisher of America’s Top Doctors and other consumer health guides. It draws from Castle Connolly’s database of Top Doctors, all recommended for their clinical skills by other physicians and individually evaluated by a physician-led research team.


ASTD Best11University Health System is once again recognized as one of the VERY BEST learning organizations in the world. University Health System ranked 12 in the American Society for Training & Development's (ASTD) 2011 BEST Awards program, and is among just 32 organizations from India, British Columbia, Turkey, Hong Kong and the United States to be included this year. The BEST Awards recognizes organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee learning and development. The award-winning companies are deeply committed to a successful learning environment and strongly invested in learning and performance initiatives for their employees. BEST organizations have also showed that they are BEST at Building talent, Enterprise-wide, Supported by the organization's leaders, fostering a Thorough learning culture.

University Health System, recognized for three consecutive years, was honored for its leadership development programs including the Performance Leadership Academy, Management Development Academy, Directors’ Mentoring Program, and Leadership Academy for Physicians. All of the BEST winners’ training initiatives focused on increasing productivity, developing new skills, engaging with clients and customers, and taking individual responsibility for learning. This type of strong commitment to learning has helped many of the winning organizations build a culture of integrated talent management, resulting in higher workforce retention rates and support for learning at the highest levels.


Get With The Guidelines gold heart 2011 badgeUniversity Health System has received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2011. The award recognizes University Health System’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that University Health System has reached an aggressive goal of treating coronary artery disease patients with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

University Health System consistently followed the treatment guidelines for 24 consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, and anticoagulants in the hospital. "The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, ACTION Registry - GWTG Steering Committee Chairperson and Director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center.

The number of acute myocardial infarction patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing incidence of heart disease and a large aging population.


 American Heart Association/Stroke Association's Get with the Guidelines Stroke silver quality achievement award 2012 badgeUniversity Health System has received the 2012 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes University Health System’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. University Health System has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

University Health System consistently followed the treatment guidelines for at least one year and achieved a compliance level of 85 percent or higher needed to sustain the award. “We commend University Health System for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the national Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.


Training Top125 for innovative and successful learning programs and practices badgeUniversity Health System is among the top organizations in the world for employee learning, according to a recent study by Training Magazine. The health system, owned by the people of Bexar County, was among 125 organizations from Canada, India and the United States to receive a 2011 Top 125 Award for innovative and successful learning programs and practices. University Health System was particularly recognized for its Customer Service Institute, which was launched in 2010. Service Champions from 60 departments throughout the health system participated in the institute over a six-month period. Their training was focused on the organization’s corporate customer service behaviors and they were charged with sharing what they learned through their department staff meetings.


George B. Hernández, Jr., President/CEO of University Health System, was named one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2010.

Top25 Minority Executives in healthcare badgeThe publication’s 2010 list of its Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare was announced in its April 19, 2010 issue and the complete list of honorees is online at

An editorial review board at Modern Healthcare reviewed the nominations and judged the candidates on the following criteria:

  • Successfully served as a leader or managed an organization
  • Showed the ability to effect change in the healthcare industry
  • Demonstrated a willingness to share expertise with others in the field
  • Served as a role model to other minority healthcare executives
  • Assumed a leadership position in the industry outside the candidate’s own organization

Hernández joined University Health System in 1990. He assumed the role of President/CEO in January 2005 after serving as executive vice president/assistant administrator for five years and vice president for Legal Services for 10 years.


organ donation silver medal badgeUniversity Health System received an Organ Donation Silver Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the 5th Annual National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation on September 30, 2009. This is the second consecutive year for University Health System to be recognized for our efforts to increase organ donation in the hospital.


award HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model Stage 6 for information technology badgeIn 2008, University Health System received one of the most prestigious recognitions for information technology – HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model "Stage 6" designation. Less than one percent of all healthcare organizations in the nation have achieved this stage of integration. Level 7 is the highest, and currently no healthcare organizations have met this standard. HIMSS has recognized UHS as "a great example to our industry on transforming information technology environments to achieve a level of patient care this is only a vision in most hospitals today."


2008 Texas EMS Air Medical Service of the year badgeSan Antonio AirLIFE is the 2008 Texas' EMS Air Medical Service of the year. The award, presented by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) EMS division, honors the EMS air medical service that demonstrates the highest standards in providing patient care to the citizens of Texas. This was the third time for AirLIFE to be named the top air medical service in the state. The first recognition came in 1998, the first year this award was given by DSHS.


American Association of Respiratory Care Quality Respiratory Care Recognition Award badgeFor the seventh consecutive year, University Health System's Department of Respiratory Care received the American Association of Respiratory Care Quality Respiratory Care Recognition Award. Just 15 percent of all hospitals in the nation received this prestigious award.