Home > Newsroom > News Release
For Media

Saint Elizabeth Earns Distinction in Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement and Bariatric Surgery

December 13 2011

Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center has been named a Blue Distinction Center® for spine surgery, bariatric surgery and knee and hip replacement by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results in spine surgery.

Blue Distinction® is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery or transplants.

To earn this designation, Saint Elizabeth was evaluated based on an objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations. The goal of Blue Distinction is to identify medical facilities that deliver better overall quality and medical outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, helping patients and doctors to make more informed hospital choices. Saint Elizabeth also earned the Bariatric Surgery, as well as Knee and Hip Replacement Blue Distinction designations in 2009.

“These designations are a tribute to the dedicated team of physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists who helped develop comprehensive programs in spine and bariatric surgery as well as knee and hip replacement,” said Brenda Stutzman, director of orthopaedics. “Their clinical expertise in this area of specialty care has resulted in better overall results for our patients.”

“We want to recognize and reward those network providers who set high standards of excellence in the quality of healthcare,” said Dr. Bill Minier, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. “We are pleased by the level of outstanding specialty care available in Nebraska for our members.”

About Blue Distinction
Blue Distinction selection criteria cover a broad range of quality measures and are publicly available on By earning the designation, Saint Elizabeth has demonstrated:

  • An established program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures
  • Appropriate experience of its care team
  • Full facility accreditation by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-deemed national accreditation organization
  • Adherence to evidence-based clinical care measures and guidelines 
  • Comprehensive quality management program

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on the consistent delivery of evidence-based care,” said Dr. Minier. “Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate our commitment to working with clinicians and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet objective quality criteria and deliver better overall outcomes in specialty patient care.”

Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means this facility’s overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. To learn more about the Blue Distinction designation, visit or


About Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center
Founded more than 120 years ago, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center is a full-service, 260-bed nonprofit regional medical center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Saint Elizabeth has been selected as a Top 100 Hospital® in the nation by Thomson Reuters five times and has been recognized as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing since 2004. Saint Elizabeth is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colo. Saint Elizabeth is guided by its core values of reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence to devote funding and resources to programs and services that benefit their patients as well as the health of the greater community.

Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; 2 community health-services organizations; and home health agencies.

In fiscal year 2010, CHI provided almost $590 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education, and research. With annual revenues of approximately $9 billion, CHI is the nation's third-largest Catholic healthcare system.