Charlton Memorial Hospital earns Pathway to Excellence designation

STAFF MEMBERS of Charlton Memorial Hospital, which is part of Southcoast Health, celebrate Charlton's recent designation as a Pathway to Excellence Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. / COURTESY SOUTHCOAST HEALTH

FALL RIVER – Southcoast Health announced its Charlton Memorial Hospital was designated as a Pathway to Excellence Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The designation is a global credential that highlights the hospital’s commitment to creating a healthy work environment in which nurses feel empowered.

Charlton Memorial is one of two hospitals in Massachusetts to earn the designation, with VA Boston Healthcare System in West Roxbury being the other. VA Providence Healthcare System in Providence, only hospital in Rhode Island, was also recognized.

“This achievement reinforces that we have created a strong, inclusive and positive culture for our nurses that encourages engagement and supports their career growth and well-being,” said Jacqueline Somerville, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Southcoast Health. “I could not be prouder of these caregivers for the remarkable teamwork they demonstrated throughout the process to earn the Pathway to Excellence designation. Thanks to our nurses’ dedication to our patients, community and each other, Charlton Memorial is more than just a hospital – it is a place of healing, compassion and excellence.”

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Throughout the designation process nurses were required to fill out written applications and surveys about the hospital environment and whether it supports nurses and promotes high standards. Only 60% of hospital nurses were required to participate in the survey portion of the application, but 90% of the nurses at Charlton Memorial participated.

“We cannot emphasize enough the pivotal role our exceptional nurses at Charlton Memorial have played in achieving this honor,” said George Barth, associate chief nursing officer for Southcoast Health. “Their passion, determination and relentless pursuit of excellence have been the driving force behind this success. I especially want to thank our Pathway to Excellence nurse coordinator, Andrea Laliberte, for expertly leading this process.”

Nurses at Charlton Memorial began their Pathway to Excellence in the fall of 2021 implementing several initiatives to strengthen culture and teamwork, including shared governance days, relaunching unit-based councils, creating evidence-based projects, establishing a nurse mentoring program and establishing Zen dens in the hospital to help staff well-being.

The health system is working to expand the Pathway to Excellence designation to its other two community hospitals, according to a news release. To help with this, individual donors have provided seed funding for both St. Luke’s and Tobey hospitals to launch their own Pathway designation journeys, with Charlton Memorial serving as a blueprint.

“This Pathway designation sends a powerful message to our community that Charlton Memorial’s nurses are highly valued and deeply committed to providing exceptional care,” said David O. McCready, CEO and president for Southcoast Health. “Thank you to Jackie, George and Andrea, who oversaw the designation process, and the entire Charlton Memorial nursing staff who ultimately achieved this important designation.”

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at

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