UNH Health & Wellness has been awarded national accreditation for the seventh consecutive time by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Status as an accredited organization means UNH Health & Wellness has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of the highest quality of care to its patients and clients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.
More than 6,100 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation and not all that undergo the rigorous onsite survey process are granted accreditation. The accreditation runs for three years.
“Over the past two decades, it has been a distinct honor to lead Health & Wellness through seven successful accreditation processes,” says Kevin Charles, assistant vice president for student life and executive director of Health & Wellness. “This time, AAAHC upped the ante by creating a more challenging process. Our staff met the challenge and passed with flying colors. I could not be prouder of them nor more confident in the excellent services they provide to our campus.”
Ambulatory health-care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors — physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.
Organizations are eligible for AAAHC accreditation if they provide medical or diagnostic services in settings where overnight stays are not required, including college and university health centers, group medical and dental practices and community health centers.
“UNH Health & Wellness was shown to provide outstanding medical services, as well as health education and promotion services, to the student and campus population during a recent re-accreditation survey,” notes AAAHC Surveyor and U.S Air Force Colonel (Ret.) Elizabeth Harrell, MSN, RNC. “Two full days evaluating operations and a review of over 600 standards by an outside organization showed that the Health & Wellness team was setting the bar high to deliver care and services that are student/client focused and high quality.”
UNH Health & Wellness averages more than 20,000 visits a year from students, staff and faculty. In support of the university’s academic mission, it is committed to promoting, maintaining and improving the health and well-being of the university community. Health & Wellness also has the primary responsibility of addressing public health issues impacting the UNH community. Its staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, laboratory and radiologic technologists, wellness educators/counselors, a registered dietician, pharmacists, licensed massage therapists and administrative staff.
In addition to clinical services, UNH Health & Wellness includes Living Well Services, which offers education, counseling and support on a wide variety of topics including nutrition, drugs, sexuality and sexual wellbeing, emotional and spiritual health, stress and general wellness.
“At UNH, the health and well-being of our students is a core value. We take immense pride in our ability to support each student, both in treating them on campus when ill and in teaching them how to prevent illness,” says John T. Kirkpatrick, senior vice provost for student life and dean of students. “The recent AAAHC accreditation of Health & Wellness at UNH, the seventh consecutive accreditation, is ample testimony to the professionalism of our staff and the quality of our care. The university is deeply committed to maintaining our high levels of both.”