Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Photo by Megan Schnabel.

I may be a health care administrator, but I’m also a nurse. I deeply understand and appreciate the incredible care we provide patients and their families.

Above all, I understand the importance of quality.

Nothing is more important than providing our patients with a high-quality, caring experience. I understand that patients put their trust in us — and do so at the most vulnerable moments in their lives. Our singular purpose must be high-quality, highly reliable, compassionate care.

Here are a few of the ways we make sure we do:

Carilion is one of the few health systems in the country with a team of human factors experts and an internationally recognized simulation facility, which creates unique opportunities for hands-on experience and training, including testing and improving medical devices.

Our Research and Development Department has 60 years of experience improving patient care, with 120 clinical trials in 16 specialties now underway. One of our newest departments – Carilion Clinic Innovation – helped land our team on Fortune magazine’s list of America’s most innovative companies.

Our transportation and communications center, or CTaC — which streamlines communications and coordinates the efficient movement of patients across our seven hospitals and multiple clinics — has become a model for American and overseas hospital systems.

And our Virginia Tech Carilion strategic partnership that includes the VTC School of Medicine and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC continues to support our growth as a leading academic health center.

So, it’s especially heartening when quality ratings organizations like U.S. News & World Report recognize us.

In 2023, U.S. News continued to rank Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital among the elite 12% of hospitals nationwide in its annual “Best Hospitals” rankings. The rankings, published since 1990, help guide consumers seeking specialized care for rare and incredibly complex conditions.

In a complementary set of ratings, U.S. News provides guidance for more common procedures and conditions, such as hip replacement, heart failure and specialty care. Our flagship hospital earned “high-performing” — the top distinction — in 16 of the 21 procedures and conditions evaluated and the orthopaedics and urology specialties, putting us in the top 10% to 20% of hospitals nationally and second in Virginia for these types of care.

Our hospitals in Rocky Mount, Pearisburg, Radford and Tazewell also earned high-performing recognition in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care and treating kidney and heart failure.

You can read the complete rankings on the U.S. News and World Report website.

U.S. News is one of many agencies and organizations measuring and reporting health care quality. Their methodologies vary and can confuse even the savviest consumers; their measurements can be complex, and some reports are more meaningful than others.

As consumers increasingly make informed decisions about their care, here’s what patients need to know when choosing a health care provider:

  1. Patient-Centered Care: Patients should be at the center of decision-making and actively involved in choosing their care. Get recommended screenings, vaccinations and other preventive measures, now covered by most major insurance plans with no copay.
  2. Accreditation: Your health care provider or facility should be accredited by reputable organizations like The Joint Commission, the internationally recognized symbol for health care quality. “Magnet” designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center is evidence of nursing excellence.
  3. Safety Culture: Because healthcare is a team sport, patient safety must be, too. It’s essential to have a comprehensive, coordinated approach to preventing medical errors, infections and other safety risks. That includes encouraging patients to voice their concerns through a well-publicized patient advocacy program and patient-family advisory councils.
  4. Transparency: Quality health care providers openly share information about their services, treatment options, outcomes and cost.
  5. Evidence-based practice: Recommended treatments or procedures should be based on scientific evidence. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion.

Carilion is known for exceptional quality of care in Virginia and across America. And, every day, we work to get better … for you and your family.

For more information about our ongoing quest for quality, visit:

Nancy Howell Agee is chief executive officer of Carilion Clinic and a member of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Medical Advisory Team.

Disclosure: Carilion is one of our donors, but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.

Nancy Howell Agee is Chief Executive Officer of Carilion Clinic.