Southcoast Health’s Charlton Memorial Hospital Has Achieved Pathway to Excellence® Designation

This designation recognizes Charlton Memorial’s commitment to a positive practice environment and a culture of sustained excellence.

On Thursday afternoon, Southcoast Health nurses, leaders, and staff gathered for the official announcement that Charlton Memorial Hospital received designation as a Pathway to Excellence® Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The Pathway designation is a global credential that highlights Charlton Memorial’s commitment to creating a healthy work environment where nurses feel empowered and valued. Charlton Memorial is now just the second hospital in Massachusetts to earn this designation, with only one hospital in Rhode Island earning this recognition.

“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 wellbeing,” said Jacqueline Somerville, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, NEA-BC, 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.” 

Charlton Memorial’s nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team, with a voice in policy and practice. Throughout the designation process, this was verified with nurse participation required in a written application and survey attesting that the hospital environment supports its nurses’ needs and promotes high standards.

The Pathway program only required 60 percent of hospital nurses to participate in the survey portion of the application to share their perceptions of the workplace environment. However, the nurses at Charlton Memorial not only met but greatly exceeded this requirement with an impressive 90 percent participation.

“We cannot emphasize enough the pivotal role our exceptional nurses at Charlton Memorial have played in achieving this honor,” said George Barth, MM, RN, CCRN, 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, DNP, RN, for expertly leading this process.”

With this designation, Southcoast Health joins an elite group of hospitals worldwide and leads the effort to enhance quality of care, patient and nursing safety, and the future of healthcare delivery.

“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, President and Chief Executive Officer 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.” 

Beginning their Pathway to Excellence journey in the fall of 2021, nurses at Charlton Memorial implemented many initiatives to strengthen their culture and teamwork including shared governance days, relaunching unit-based councils, creating evidence-based projects, establishing a nurse mentoring program, and implementing Zen Dens throughout the hospital to enhance staff wellbeing.

As the system works to expand the Pathway to Excellence designation across its other two community hospitals, individual donors have generously provided the seed funding for each hospital to launch its Pathway designation journey. Charlton Memorial’s designation will serve as a blueprint as Southcoast Health expands the program to St. Luke’s and Tobey Hospitals, showing Southcoast Health’s commitment to elevating the standard of care and professional fulfillment for nurses across the organization.

To learn more about nursing at Southcoast Health please visit

About Pathway to Excellence

The ANCC Pathway to Excellence Framework depicts six standards that are essential elements in developing a positive practice environment for nursing across a variety of healthcare settings including acute care and long-term care. These include shared decision-making, leadership, safety, quality, well-being and professional development.

For more information on the Pathway to Excellence recognition program, visit ANCC’s website at