Moon Township, PA, (August 23, 2011)
– Heritage Valley Health System’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery program was ranked among the nation’s best in the September edition of Consumer Reports. Heritage Valley’s program, based at its Beaver campus, was listed as the highest quality rating – “three stars” from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for outcomes related to isolated coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) from July 2009 to June 2010.
Consumer Reports partnered with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons to publish ratings of heart-surgery groups based on outcomes related to isolated coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) from July 2009 to June 2010. Only those groups that agreed to have their performance results published were included in Consumer Reports. That includes 323 groups from 44 states, plus the District of Columbia.
“The STS three-star rating and listing in Consumer Reports are indicators of the high-level of quality cardiac surgical care that is available at Heritage Valley,” said Alexander Vasilakis, M.D., F.A.C.S, director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Heritage Valley Health System. “Since the inception of our program 17 years ago, we’ve monitored the surgical outcomes of the program to ensure that we’re providing the best care in our communities.”
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ comprehensive rating system allows for comparisons of quality of cardiac surgery among hospitals across the country. The "three-star" composite score for Isolated CABG is based on eleven NQF (National Quality Forum) measures which are divided into four domains:
- Avoidance of operative mortality
- Avoidance of major morbidity
- High quality intraoperative care as measured by use of IMA (internal mammary artery)
- Appropriate medication usage
Using this information, prospective patients can see how surgical groups compare with national benchmarks for overall performance, survival, complications and other quality measures.
Cardiovascular and thoracic surgery is one of the core services available through Heritage Valley’s Heart & Vascular Center, which offers comprehensive cardiac care including diagnostic and interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, VeinCare, vascular surgery, cardiac computed tomography (CT) and cardiac rehabilitation services.
The Heritage Valley Heart & Vascular Center has offices in eight locations around southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, including its flagship location, the John “Tito” Francona Heart & Vascular Center on the Heritage Valley Beaver campus. For more than 22 years, Mr. Francona, a former major league baseball player, has sponsored a golf outing that has raised more than $2.2 million in funds for cardiology and oncology services.
“Hearing about the three star rating made me proud as someone who has personally experienced the Heart & Vascular Center,” said Mr. Francona. “When I had my heart attack, I knew I was in great hands. I’m living proof of the quality and personalized care offered at Heritage Valley. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t let others know about the world class program we have right here in our community.”