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Glendale Adventist Receives Blue Distinction Designations

Awards & Recognition

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality special care - which expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost efficiency measures.

"We are proud to get this distinction. It validates our commitment to best practices and service at a higher level for our patients," said Arby Nahapetian, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Quality.

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacements, Spine Surgery, and Transplants. The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community, and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. Glendale Adventist Medical Center is proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

"We are pleased to be able to offer this high level of quality and service of spine, hip and knee care to our Glendale community," said Karen Brandt, director of the Spine Institute at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. "Our goal is to help patients achieve their highest level of quality of life, with reduced pain and improved mobility."

"Blue Distinction Centers set themselves apart by adhering to best practices in patient safety and surgical care and producing consistently strong outcomes with fewer complications," says Marcus Thygeson, M.D., senior vice president and chief health officer for health care services at Blue Shield. "Blue Shield of California is pleased to recognize the high-quality care that this hospital and these physicians deliver."

Caring for the whole person---body, mind and spirit---is the cornerstone of patient care at Glendale Adventist. The patient care team strongly believes that while advanced technology is important in fighting disease, equally important is the human touch in restoring a person to a state of wholeness.

"That's why each of our services focuses not only on physical healing, but also mental and spiritual healing as well," said Dr. Nahapetian.

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improve outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ not only meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, but they also go a step further. Hospitals receiving a Blue Distinction Center+ designation are also measured on how efficiently they deliver the care by being 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed health care decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives.

To learn more about the Blue Distinction designation, visit

Blue Distinction Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+ also met cost measure that address consumers' need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria is displayed on A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. To find out which services and providers (including hospital based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn out Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital's Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers. To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan. The Spine and Orthopedics Centers of Excellence at Glendale Adventist Medical Center provide patients with convenient access to full-service spine and orthopedic programs, which includes hip and knee surgical services. Programs include highly skilled teams of professionals that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of spine and musculoskeletal conditions.

Glendale Adventist spine and orthopedic experts pinpoint the source of pain to provide the best treatment options, including a holistic approach for those not wanting surgery. Non-invasive and minimally-invasive treatment options are at the core of the hospital's approach.

About Blue Shield of California 
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a non-profit health plan with threemillion members, 5,000 employees, and $10.5 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California provides health, life, dental, vision, and Medicare insurance and health care service plans in California. Blue Shield of California was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies in 2012 and 2013. Since 2005, the company has contributed more than $200 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation, one of BusinessWeek's most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit