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For immediate release                         January 11, 2002

Medical information provider on Sharon Regional Health System website earns national accreditation

LaurusHealth.com became one of the first 14 consumer-oriented health information Web sites to receive accreditation from URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, a leader in the accreditation of health care and managed care organizations. Sharon Regional Health System provides LaurusHealth through its website.

URAC developed standards for the nation’s first independent accreditation program for health Web sites, in cooperation with other organizations including Health Internet Ethics (Hi-Ethics) and the Internet Healthcare Coalition. The 53 specific standards address a number of pressing concerns, such as the editorial process for content development, disclosure of financial relationships between content providers and site sponsors, linkages to other Web sites, privacy and security issues, and the process for expressing consumer complaints.

The nation-wide usage of LaurusHealth.com content by health systems, including Sharon Regional, makes LaurusHealth.com one of the largest online sources of health care content in the country. To date, 817 VHA member hospitals across the nation access LaurusHealth health information content, through direct links to the LaurusHealth.com site or by borrowing content and using it on their own sites.