Holy Cross and St. Benedict's HealthWorks Rehabilitation centers, owned and operated by Holy Cross Health Services of Utah, have achieved the first accreditation in the "work hardening" area.

Work hardening is the component of occupational rehabilitation that assess the impairments and capabilities of the ill and injured worker, and provides the treatment necessary to return the employees to work safely and quickly.The facilities, both part of the HealthWorks provider network, were awarded accreditation following an intensive survey by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The survey included a review of the programs, procedures and personnel at the HealthWorks facilities in Salt Lake City and Ogden.

"We're pleased to have achieved the first accreditation for work hardening in Utah. We've worked long and hard to develop the best possible work hardening programs, and this is an indication of our success in meeting national standards of quality and effectiveness," said Dr. John Bender, occupational rehabilitation specialist.

He said work hardening is a multidisciplinary approach that involves physicians, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, vocational specialists, social workers and other professionals.

In addition to physical rehabilitation, the program stresses such important factors as safety education, proper work habits, prevention of re-injury and job simulations.