SANTA ROSA -- Santa Rosa Community Health Centers today said it was awarded The Joint Commission’s "Gold Seal of Approval"  for accreditation, a relatively rare achievement for federally qualified health centers.

The Joint Commission sets the standards that measure health care quality in America and around the world. Only 25 percent of federally qualified health centers in America have earned The Joint Commission accreditation.

The group of Santa Rosa health centers was also certified as a "Primary Care Medical Home," meaning the FQHC provides care that is well coordinated. 

It's the only health center in Sonoma County and the second FQHC in Northern California to earn the accreditation, officials said.

“I’m so proud of our staff for achieving the gold standard for patient safety and quality,” said Naomi Fuchs, chief executive officer, in a statement.  “This is evidence that we’re giving people excellent care, in a top-notch facility that meets state-of-the-art standards. Patients are actively choosing SRCHC because of the wonderful care and service they get.”

Accreditation means the health centers passed a  comprehensive, four-day onsite survey. Doctors and nurses from The Joint Commission visited the health care centers to gauge how well they perform a number of functions, among them:Provide a safe environment for care and perform quality evaluationEducate patients about the risks and options for diagnosis and treatment in a way they can understandProtect patient rights, including the right to confidentialityEvaluate medical conditions before, during and after diagnosis and treatmentProtect patients and staff from infectionPlan for emergency situations