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Salinas Valley Health Earns Top Patient Safety Grade During COVID-19 & Wildfire Disaster

Salinas Valley Health Earns Top Patient Safety Grade During COVID-19 & Wildfire Disaster

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

During a year marked by COVID-19 and one that included California wildfires that impacted hospital staff, Salinas Valley Health repeated it’s achievement of an “A” rating during a clinical, evidence-based review of patient safety metrics. The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization announced today it awarded Salinas Valley Health the highest letter grade possible in the Spring 2021 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals prevent medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“We often hear people refer to our healthcare workers as heroes, dedicated and resilient,” says Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Health. “At no time during my healthcare career has that been truer than right now when describing the healthcare professionals at Salinas Valley Health. They have persevered through unique challenges and always, always stayed focused on patient safety as their number one priority.”

The Spring “A” letter grade repeats the Fall “A” grade announced by Leapfrog Group during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hospital Safety Score uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single letter grade ranging from “F” being the worst and “A” being the best. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

“An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that your community should be proud of,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for hospitals, but Salinas Valley Health shows us it is possible to keep a laser focus on patients and their safety, no matter what it takes.”

In addition to the influx of COVID-19 patients into the hospital, many of the Salinas Valley Health staff were personally affected by a series of wildfires that took lives, homes and forced evacuations on multiple occasions. Those obstacles did not thwart a tireless dedication that extended well beyond the hospital environment. The Salinas Valley Health team provided COVID-19 testing, educational outreach, farmworker support, non-profit assistance, COVID-19 vaccination clinics and engaged in extensive community wide collaborations.

The 2021 Spring “A” reflects everyday safety practices at the hospital, and is an indicator of the emphasis the hospital places on best practices to deliver safe and quality care to the community at all times. The independent evaluation of safety data provides additional information to families seeking medical care.

“Patient safety is fundamental to the exceptional care we provide the community,” says Delgado. “The letter grade reflects our commitment to safety and even more than that, it reflects the dedication and character of the people at the heart of our service.”

Since March of 2020, Salinas Valley Health has treated more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, tested nearly 29,000 and administered 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. For more information about the “A” score received at Salinas Valley Health or to view the list of state rankings, visit

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