Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) (Orange, Calif) recently received two national recognitions for excellence in respiratory care, the hospital announced in a press release.

CHOC’s asthma program was recognized with The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Pediatric Asthma Certification, making it the 10th pediatric hospital in the country to receive the certification, the organization says.

The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Its Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe, effective patient care. According to CHOC, to earn the two-year certification, hospitals must submit quality and outcomes metrics and host a site review with The Joint Commission to evaluate compliance with national disease-specific care standards and pediatric asthma-specific requirements.

In addition, CHOC is one of five children’s hospitals in the nation and only one on the West Coast to receive the 2023-2024 American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Apex Recognition Award, the hospital says.

This is the third time CHOC has earned the Apex award, which was established by AARC in 2017 to distinguish hospitals for performing best practices in the respiratory care profession.  Respiratory care departments must demonstrate their commitment to excellence in professional development, evidence-based care, patient safety, and quality improvement.

“Although respiratory care practitioners have been essential members of healthcare teams for decades, the last three years have certainly underscored the critical role they play in enhancing patient outcomes and saving lives,” said CHOC Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Melanie Patterson, DNP, MHA, RN. “I am very proud of our respiratory care team for their unwavering commitment to the highest standards of safe, quality care. They are very deserving of these awards.”

“Both the Apex award and the Gold Seal of Approval highlight the hard work and dedication of our respiratory care practitioners. These healthcare professionals provide compassionate, evidence-based care to our patients, while continuing to advance their knowledge and their field. They are inspiring Defenders of Childhood,” said Director of Respiratory, Pulmonology and Asthma Program at CHOC, Emilee Lamorena, MSc, RRT, RRT-NPS.