Awards and Memberships

Learn about awards Penn State Health has earned and our memberships in organizations that show our commitment to providing the best health care possible for all patients in Pennsylvania and beyond.


Award Description
U.S News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital The U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 Best Children’s Hospitals ranked Penn State Health Children's Hospital among the top hospitals in pediatric cancer.
U.S News & World Report Best Hospitals 

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was named one of the top hospitals in the nation in 2022-2023 for orthopedic care for the sixth year in a row. It was also recognized as high performing in five additional specialties: gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology. Overall, U.S. News ranked the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as #1 in the Harrisburg metro region and #5 in Pennsylvania. 

Holy Spirit Medical Center is rated as a high performing hospital for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and stroke. 

St. Joseph Medical Center earned a high performing rating for treating COPD, heart failure and stroke.

The Joint Commission

Accreditation and certification by The Joint Commission is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. Penn State Health facilities have earned the following recognitions from The Joint Commission:

Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center:

  • Advanced Primary Stroke Center  
  • Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Care  

Hershey Medical Center:

  • Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care  
  • Comprehensive Stroke Center designation by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center:

  • Primary Stroke Center  
  • Advanced Certification in Heart Failure  
American Heart Association and American Stroke Association 

Hershey Medical Center received achievement awards from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association:

  • Get With The Guidelines ─ Stroke Gold Plus 
  • Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll 
  • Target: Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll 
  • Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll 

These awards recognize the hospital’s commitment to following up-to-date, research-based guidelines for the treatment of heart disease and stroke.

Best Doctors® in America Ninety-six Penn State Health physicians were recognized as the Best Doctors in America in 2022. The annual survey asks other doctors, "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?" See Penn State Health Best Doctors.
Disability Equality Index: Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

Penn State Health’s Disability Equality Index score has earned recognition as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion in the nation.

The Disability Equality Index is a joint initiative of Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities. It’s a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, clear actions toward disability inclusion and equality. Participation in the index helps organizations maximize their business performance and enhance the value for employees, customers, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders.

Highmark Blue Distinction Centers

Hershey Medical Center is a designated Blue Distinction Center+ for cardiac care and knee and hip replacement. It is also a Blue Distinction Center for: 

  • Bariatric surgery
  • Complex and rare cancers
  • Spine surgery

The designations show that Hershey Medical Center successfully met quality measures for patient safety and health outcomes. 

Magnet® Designation In 2022, Hershey Medical Center earned its fourth consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet status is the highest credential for nursing facilities in the United States and around the world. For patients, this means they can count on receiving the highest level of nursing care at all Penn State Health facilities, provided by nurses who have the support to be the very best that they can be. 
MilitaryTimes Best for Vets Employer

Military Times named Penn State Health to its 2022 Best for Vets: Employers list, which recognizes organizations for programs and policies that support veterans’ post-military careers. The Military Times rankings are based on the results of a voluntary survey completed by the health system’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The survey covers the policies and practices that make companies an attractive place to work for current employees and future job seekers within the military community.

Military Times previously named the health system to its list in 2021.

This year, Penn State Health ranked second in Pennsylvania among all organizations submitting a survey. Nationally, the health system ranked fifth among nonprofit organizations and eighth in the Healthcare – Health Services – Medical Equipment category.

NRC Health Recognition

NRC Health awards programs recognize the nation’s leading health care organizations based on consumer loyalty, access to services, offering services that meet consumer needs and the overall patient experience. 

Penn State Health received NRC Health recognition, including the highest marks for patient satisfaction of any health system in the U.S. from 2019-2020. 

Hershey Medical Center also received:

  • 2018-2020 NRC Health Best-In-Class Top 10
  • 2017-2020 Consumer Loyalty Award
  • 1999-2017 Consumer Choice Award
Recognized Healthcare Equality Leader Hershey Medical Center earned the highest possible rating—100—on the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index. This national LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool evaluates health care facilities’ policies and practices on inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
VETS Indexes Recognized Employer

VETS Indexes has named Penn State Health a 2023 VETS Indexes Recognized Employer. The award recognizes the health system’s commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, developing and supporting veterans and the military-connected community.

VETS Indexes is an advisory firm that provides custom indexes and benchmarking services for government and private sectors. A leading voice on veteran employment issues, it measures the performance of public companies and identifies those that are most supportive of military veterans, service members and their families.


Membership Description
Association of Academic Health Centers Now part of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Academic Health Centers is a nonprofit organization advancing the nation's health and well-being through leadership of the nation’s academic health centers.
Association of American Medical Colleges The Association of American Medical Colleges is committed to improving the nation’s health through medical education, research and high-quality patient care. Members are dedicated to the communities they serve, committed to advancing the public good, and steadfast in their desire to earn and keep the public’s trust for the role they are privileged to play in our society.
Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania is a statewide organization that advocates for nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve.
Vizient The nation’s leading health care performance improvement company, Vizient is a combination of VHA Inc., University HealthSystem Consortium and Novation.