Awards & Achievements

Greenville Health System (GHS) receives numerous awards and recognitions each year. Below is a list of some of those honors received in FY 2016. Each is a demonstration of our commitment to heal compassionately, teach innovatively and improve constantly.

Systemwide Accolades

Models of Diversity

GHS is consistently recognized for our efforts in promoting a diverse and inclusive environment for employees and patients. Here are some diversity honors received this year:

  • For the fifth year in a row, Diversity MBA Magazine named GHS a top 50 company for diverse managers and women. Businesses included in this ranking have established programs that create access for women and people of color to move into leadership roles. That magazine also ranked GHS in the Top 10 Best in Class Category for “Representation.”
  • The Greenville Society for Human Resources Management honored GHS with the Diversity and Inclusion Large Business Award for 2015. The award is presented to an organization that ranks above average in four key areas: CEO commitment to diversity and inclusion, human capital, corporate and organizational communication, and supplier diversity.
  • The Greenville Chamber recognized GHS with the 2015 ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award. This award is presented to an organization that provides and supports leadership development opportunities and initiatives for women employees.
  • In 2016, the Institute for Diversity in Health Management tapped GHS as a Top 10 Best in Class.

Supply Chain Honor

GHS is one of 12 organizations to receive the ECRI Institute’s 2016 Healthcare Supply Chain Achievement Award. This award recognizes health systems and hospitals that follow best practices to reduce costs without negatively affecting quality and outcomes for patients.

Quality Star Rankings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings. This initiative uses 62 quality metrics to rate more than 4,000 hospitals in the United States on a 1-5 scale.

In South Carolina, only four hospitals received a 5-star rating—two of them are Patewood Memorial Hospital and Greer Memorial Hospital (and the only ones in the Upstate). Our other facilities were rated at least 3 stars. Greenville Memorial Hospital received 4 stars—only 8 percent of major teaching hospitals garner more than a 3-star rating.

CMS Selects GHS for Two Initiatives

Cancer: CMS has tapped GHS as one of nearly 200 physician group practices and 17 health insurance companies to take part in a care delivery model that supports and encourages higher quality, more coordinated cancer care. The Medicare arm of the Oncology Care Model includes over 3,200 oncologists and will cover approximately 155,000 Medicare beneficiaries nationwide.

Heart Attack and Stroke: CMS also has chosen GHS as one of 516 awardees in 47 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes among millions of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Healthcare practitioners such as GHS participating in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model will work to decrease cardiovascular disease risk by assessing a patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and applying preventive interventions.

Workplace Wellness

GHS was recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and Prevention Partners for reaching the highest standards of workplace health and prevention. The system earned straight A’s in four categories: tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition, and overall culture of health and wellness.

Also, GHS received the Gold Medal Award from SCHA’s Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners. This honor recognizes employers who provide and promote opportunities for exercise during work hours and that represent the highest standard of physical activity excellence at the workplace.

Palmetto Gold

Six nurses from across the system were named among the top 100 nurses in the state in 2016: Teresa Billig, Valerie Douglas, Stephanie Dutch, Paula Kemppainen, Lauren Kunkle and M. Blake Wilson. Nurses are recognized with the Palmetto Gold Award for providing excellent patient care and demonstrating a strong commitment to the nursing profession. Since the program was introduced in 2002, 95 GHS nurses have been named Palmetto Gold recipients.

Practices Tapped for Laboratory Excellence

Sixteen GHS practices have earned the COLA Laboratory Excellence Award. COLA is a national laboratory accreditation organization sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians and American Medical Association. This distinction is given to laboratories that apply rigid standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in proficiency testing and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey.

Tumor Registry Hits Gold

GHS has received the Data Completeness and Timeliness Gold Award from the South Carolina Central Cancer Registry. The award recognizes excellence in data management from July 2015-June 2016.

Hospital/Departmental Honors

No Bones About It: Patewood Among Best in Orthopaedics

Patewood Memorial Hospital (PMH) was recognized as one of the best hospitals for 2016-17 in orthopaedics by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is ranked #19 in the nation and the only hospital in the state to be ranked in this specialty.

High Performance Honors

PMH was named “high performing” in hip replacement by U.S. News & World Report. Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) also was named high performing in heart failure, colon cancer surgery and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Zero Harm

Six GHS hospitals received the annual Certified Zero Harm Award by the S.C. Hospital Association: Greenville Memorial, Greer Memorial, Hillcrest Memorial, Laurens County Memorial, Patewood Memorial and Baptist Easley (of which GHS is half owner). The awards are given when no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature are recorded during the reporting period.

Greer Memorial Hospital Approved for Magnet Visit

Greer Memorial Hospital was approved for a Magnet site visit by the American Nursing Credentialing Center Magnet Appraisal Committee. The November 2016 visit will include an in-depth assessment of process, structure, patient outcomes and organizational culture reflecting Magnet model components. Magnet status is a designation given to hospitals that satisfy a set of criteria measuring the strength and quality of their nursing services.

Baby-Friendly Designation

Oconee Memorial Hospital has earned Baby-Friendly Designation. This international designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

Wound Healing

The national Robert A. Warriner III, MD, Center of Excellence award was presented to Upstate Would Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, part of Laurens County Medical Campus, for achieving high patient satisfaction and healing rates over a two-year span. Only 110 of 600+ eligible centers earned this honor; the Laurens center has received this award six times!

In addition, Baptist Easley Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center was recognized for excellent outcomes with a Center of Distinction Award from Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. Last year, the Easley center treated 900 wounds. (GHS is part owner of Baptist Easley.)

National WorkHealthy Award

For the third year, Baptist Easley has received Excellence Recognition from WorkHealthy America for workplace health and prevention. This award is given for achieving top levels of excellence in three areas: tobacco cessation, healthy food environment and physical activity availability. Ten health organizations in the state have earned this status; just 23 have done so nationwide.

Maternity Care

GMH has achieved the highest designation—Blue Distinction Center Plus—from BlueCross BlueShield. This distinction is attained by meeting all quality, patient safety/outcomes and cost measures.

Safe Surgery

Both Laurens County Memorial Hospital and Greer Memorial Hospital received Safe Surgery Hospital designation from the S.C. Hospital Association. The designation is awarded to hospitals that implement a Surgical Safety Checklist to help ensure patient safety.

LGBT Healthcare Equality

Greenville Memorial Hospital was named one of five hospitals in South Carolina as a leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. 2016 marks the fourth year that the hospital has received this honor.

Quality Recognition Helps Patients Breathe Easier

GMH is among 700 hospitals nationwide that have earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition. The American Association of Respiratory Care started the program in 2003 to help consumers identify facilities that use qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care.

Best of the Best

Laurens County Memorial Hospital was voted Best Hospital by readers of the Clinton Chronicle. 2016 marks the 11th year in a row that the hospital has received this honor from the Readers’ Choice contests sponsored by the local newspaper.

Chief’s Award

Greer Memorial Hospital was recognized with the Chief’s Award from the Greer Police Department. The award was given to thank the hospital for its support, including meals on snowy and icy days, when restaurants were closed.

Consumer Choice Award

Greenville Memorial Hospital received the National Research Corporation’s Consumer Choice Award for being one of the nation’s top hospitals that consumers choose for delivering high-quality care. GMH is the only hospital in the state to have won this prestigious award every year since the award’s inception in 1996.


Breast Health

GHS’ Breast Health program has been granted three-year/full accreditation designation from the National Accreditation for Breast Centers, which is administered by the American College of Surgeons. This marks the third time the system has received this designation. GHS was the first program in the Upstate to receive it in 2009.

Medicolegal Autopsy Facility Accreditation

GHS, Pathology Associates of Greenville (an exclusively contracted physician group) and the Greenville County Medical Examiner’s Office have been accredited as a medicolegal autopsy facility for five years by the National Association of Medical Examiners—just the second facility in the nation to earn this status!

Nuclear Medicine

Greenville Memorial Medical Campus earned American College of Radiology accreditation for all five of its imaging rooms. Accreditation lasts three years.

Primary Stroke Recertification

Greenville Memorial Hospital has received recertification from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. This certification validates the high standards met by the program and the excellent care provided to those who have had a stroke.

Joint Replacement Recertification

For the second time, Patewood Memorial Hospital earned two-year certification from The Joint Commission for program management of hip/knee/shoulder joint replacement surgery. The commission awarded certificates of distinction based on the hospital’s compliance with national standards, clinical guidelines and outcomes of care.

Core Center Status

The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation has escalated accreditation for the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Cystic Fibrosis Center to a Core Center. This status recognizes the growth and development of the CF center and the continued excellent care provided by the multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers, nutritionists, social workers, respiratory therapists and others.

Special Recognitions

$17.5 Million in Medicare Savings

For several years, GHS has worked with the Care Coordination Institute to better respond to shifts in healthcare reimbursement. One example is GHS’ participation with MyHealth First Network in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Through this program, networks take accountability for the health of a population based on certain clinical measures, for instance, chronic disease management.

Networks that improve the population’s health and spend less money in the process get to share in those savings. In its first year of taking part in the MSSP, MyHealth First Network—of which about half of its physician participants are employed by GHS—cut Medicare costs by about $17.5 million among a population of 60,000 patients! The results ranked the network No. 2 in the nation for a first-year participant, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recognized it as a “high achiever.”

Exhibit Receives ‘Positive Exposure’

A photo exhibit by renowned fashion photographer Rick Guidotti showcases the beauty of special-needs children. Guidotti visited the Wonder Center, GHS’ day treatment facility for medically fragile children, in spring 2015 to take pictures of these children.

The exhibit, titled “Positive Exposure,” debuted November 2015. The photos are on display outside
 of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Baptist Easley

Baptist Easley is a 50/50 ownership/operation venture between GHS and Palmetto Health intended to enhance access to care, improve quality, and facilitate coordination of care between the area’s community and tertiary care hospitals. The highly regarded facility recently unveiled a new logo—together with a new mission and vision—that reinforces the hospital’s innovative leadership and commitment to preserve health and enhance the lives of a growing regional community of patients, residents and clients.

New mission: Serve compassionately. Inspire others. Personalize the experience.

New vision: To be the best in community health care.

Learn more at