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Howard County General is Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery®

Contact:  Sharon Sopp, 410.740.7646,

Columbia, MD – Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine (HCGH) is proud to announce its Spine Academy has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery® by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Distinction designations are awarded to facilities that have demonstrated a commitment to quality care by meeting objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality and safety developed with input from expert clinicians and leading professional organizations.

The designation is based on rigorous, clinically meaningful measures established with expert physicians’ and medical organizations’ recommendations. Measures used to determine whether a facility meets the quality thresholds of Blue Distinction include patient results, treatment expertise, procedure volume, structure and process. 

Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery provide comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services, including discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures. 

The Spine Academy at HCGH offers a comprehensive approach to spine surgery as a partnership among the patient, doctor and hospital, focusing on engaging and educating patients throughout the entire process so they can participate more fully in their own care and recovery.

“We are grateful for this prestigious recognition,” said Nicholas P. Grosso, M.D., chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at HCGH. “It is an acknowledgement of the hard work and team effort put forth by everyone in the program – nurses, physicians, therapists, and support staff; all working toward the same goal.”

“This honor acknowledges the Spine Academy’s commitment to quality patient care and achievement of excellent outcomes,” said Victor A. Broccolino, president/CEO of Howard County General. “We are proud to offer such an excellent program to our community.”

Howard County General Hospital has been a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine since 1998. It is a 238-bed, not-for-profit health care provider located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.
The hospital has a professional staff of over 800 physicians and allied health professionals, representing nearly 80 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of nearly 2,000 individuals and volunteer auxilians numbering over 600. 

In its 74th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to nearly 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. Through its CareFirst Commitment initiative and other public mission activities, CareFirst supports efforts to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our Web site at or follow us on Twitter:

Please note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers® means these facilities’ overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan; and call your provider before making an appointment, to verify the most current information on its Network participation and Blue Distinction status. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any of its Licensees are responsible for any damages, losses, or non-covered charges that may result from using this resource or receiving care from a Blue Distinction provider.