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Children’s Minnesota attains Level I Children’s Surgery Center verification by the American College of Surgeons

The first and only hospital in Minnesota to earn this distinction of meeting national quality and safety standards for children’s surgery

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – (Jan. 8, 2019) – Children’s Minnesota today announced that it has been verified as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program (ACS CSV).

“This is the highest level of distinction for health systems that perform complex surgical procedures in newborns, children and teens,” said Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and chief executive officer at Children’s Minnesota. “Achieving this verification means we’ve met national quality and safety standards for surgery and 30-days of post surgery care.”

Children’s is the first and only hospital system in Minnesota and  the thirteenth center in the nation to earn Level I verification, which applies to its hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul and outpatient surgery center in Minnetonka. With more than 20,000 surgeries a year across three surgery centers, Children’s Minnesota performs the most pediatric surgeries in the region on unborn babies and infants to teens and young adults.

“By joining this elite group of Level I Children’s Surgery Centers, we are contributing to the innovation of pediatric surgery and post-surgery care for children,” said Dr. Patricia Valusek, director of surgical quality at Children’s Minnesota. “It proves we have the surgical experts and systems in place to handle any scenario and provide the highest level of care for children in our region.”

To become a verified center, Children’s Minnesota met rigorous criteria for staffing, training, and facility infrastructure and protocols, ensuring its ability to appropriately care for surgical patients. Children’s verification application was led by Dr. Valusek and Andrea Balzer, DNP, RNc, LSSBB, surgery verification program manager. As part of the process there was an extensive site visit by an ACS team of surveyors who included experienced pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and a quality expert.  This new verification is valid for three years.

The CSV program is based on other nationally recognized ACS quality improvement programs that have measurably improved surgical quality and have prevented complications, reduced costs, and saved lives.

About Children’s Minnesota
Children’s Minnesota is the seventh largest pediatric health system in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Additionally, Children’s is Minnesota’s only Level I pediatric trauma center inside a hospital dedicated solely to children. In 2018 Children’s Minnesota was verified as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons. Children’s maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children’s health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. This work is made possible in large part by generous philanthropic and volunteer support from individuals and organizations throughout the state and region. An award-winning health system, Children’s received Magnet® recognition from The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in 2018 and is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital. Please visit

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for surgical patients. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

Hayley Sitz