HOUMA, LA -- Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) for 2013 by the profession's national organization, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). The AARC is a membership organization representing more than 50,000 health professionals involved in respiratory care nationwide. The recognition program is aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals. The QRCR program was started by the AARC in 2003 to help consumers identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their services. The AARC's QRCR program grew out of growing concerns among health care leaders and the general public regarding the safety and quality of health care services provided to patients. The recognition award places Chabert Medical Center and the Respiratory Care department in an elite membership group as only about 700 hospitals out of the 5,000 hospitals in the U.S. have been named a Quality Respiratory Care institution. In summary, the AARC communication stated: Hospitals that meet the QRCR requirements provide a level of respiratory care consistent with national standards and guidelines, and should be commended for their commitment to quality care. "You should be very proud of this accomplishment. The citizens in your community are lucky to have a facility such as yours, in which they can be assured of receiving the highest standards of respiratory care." A list of QRCR hospitals is maintained at the association's website for consumers, www.YourLungHealth.org .