Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center Earns 2021 Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital Award

December 8, 2021

Wilkes Medical CenterHighlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center was named a Top Rural Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group, a health care safety and quality watchdog organization. This recognition is in addition to the 'A' grade the hospital recently received in Leapfrog's Fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grades.

According to Leapfrog, the Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. 

"We are honored to be selected as a Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group," said Chad Brown, president of Wilkes Medical Center. "This recognition shows the dedication and commitment of our entire hospital team in providing exceptional care to our patients and our community." 

More than 2,200 hospitals were considered for the award. Among those, Wilkes Medical Center received a Top Rural distinction. A total of 149 hospitals nationwide were selected as Top Hospitals, including 23 as Top Rural Hospitals.

The quality of patient care across many areas of hospital performance is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, surgery, maternity care, and the hospital's capacity to prevent medication and other errors. The rigorous standards are defined in each year's Top Hospital Methodology. 

"We are pleased to recognize Wilkes Medical Center as a Top Hospital this year," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "Even with the continued strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilkes Medical Center has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to excellent health care in Wilkes County. We congratulate the board, leadership, staff and clinicians who put their patients first."

To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must rank top among peers on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses hospital performance on the highest standards for quality and patient safety. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2021 Top Hospitals, visit