Conemaugh Memorial Awarded Total Knee and Total Hip Joint Replacement Certifications from The Joint Commission

May 18, 2017

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center today announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for both Total Knee and Total Hip Joint Replacement Certification. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. 

Conemaugh Memorial underwent a rigorous on-site review last month. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with joint replacement specific requirements. Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed. 

“Conemaugh Memorial is the only hospital in the region to earn these Joint Commission certifications,” says Dr. Don Lowry, Chairman Department of Surgery and Chairman Division of Orthopedics at Conemaugh Memorial. “This recognizes the culture of excellence we promote in our joint replacement program and should strengthen the community’s confidence in the quality and safety of the care we provide.”

Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses three core areas:

  1. Compliance with consensus-based national standards
  2. Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care
  3. An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

"Conemaugh Memorial has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients needing total knee and total hip replacement,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend Conemaugh for becoming a leader in joint replacement care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for knee and hip replacement patients in its community.”

“Conemaugh Memorial’s joint replacement program is a long established program with a history of great outcomes and patient success,” says Dr. Susan Williams, Chief Medical Officer of the Conemaugh Health System. “People in our region are fortunate to have access to such a high quality program meaning they do not need to leave town for the best joint replacement care.”

Highlights of Conemaugh Memorial’s joint replacement program include:

  • Joint Adventures – a comprehensive joint replacement program designed to educate, prepare, and follow-up with patients receiving joint replacement surgery
  • Advanced surgical preparation with low infection rates
  • State of the art anesthesia care with ultrasound guided blocks and advanced equipment and monitoring
  • OR /Anesthesia staff with years of joint replacement experience
  • A dedicated nursing floor for joint patients
  • Experienced orthopedic surgeons with advanced experience and training
  • Dedicated Occupational and Physical Therapy staff to get the patient up and going the same day of surgery
  • Up-to-date technology including minimally invasive surgical options
  • Many patients go home the same day

“We really have a lot of things that make this program unique and successful for our patients,” adds Dr. Lowry. “The bottom line is our patients don’t have to travel to see their doctors and their doctors don’t have to travel to see them. Their doctors live in the community providing exceptional care and accessibility 24/7.” 


Pictured left to right: Travis Kopach, PT; Louis A. Koharchik, CST; Don. A Lowry, MD, Chairman Department of Surgery and Division of Orthopedics; Rhonda Lowry, Associate Director Surgery Service Line; Sharon Kaseler, PA-C, Joint Replacement Program Manager; Breann Lowery, RN; Jennifer Koontz, RN, Nurse Manager; Dan Garrity, RN; Penny Bearer, COTA.