(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for another three-year term.

The Joint Commission conducted an unannounced, on-site evaluation of Saint Francis from Aug. 20 to Sept. 4, 2008. The accreditation award recognizes the Hospital's dedication to complying with The Joint Commission's state-of-the-art standards on a continuous basis.

"Continued accreditation is a demonstration of Saint Francis' commitment to providing the highest quality healthcare services to our patients," said Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Gold Seal of Approval signifies that we meet the most stringent national standards."

"Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization's performance and the outcomes of care," said Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., Executive Director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. "The community should be proud that Saint Francis is focusing on the most challenging goal - to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels."

"We are extremely grateful to our staff for their preparation for and participation in this journey of continuous improvement," said Kate Roche, M.S.R.N., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "They truly are Saint Francis' greatest assets."

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of healthcare accreditation and related services that support performance improvement. An independent, not-for-profit organization, it is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.