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For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2012


Healthgrades study names Southcoast Hospitals Group one of America's 100 Best Hospitals in U.S. for heart care

Southcoast receives Healthgrades' Cardiac Care Excellence Award™, Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award™ and Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ for 2013



FALL RIVER, Mass. — Southcoast™ Hospitals Group today was named one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for heart care by Healthgrades®, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital. Healthgrades awarded Southcoast its Specialty Excellence Awards™ for Overall Cardiac Care, Cardiac Surgery and Coronary Interventional Procedures.

"Patients in the South Coast region who receive their cardiac care at a Southcoast hospital can rest assured they are receiving their care at one of the top heart hospitals in the U.S.," said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group. "At the forefront of this ranking is our dedication to improving quality care and patient safety, which is represented by these awards of excellence."

The release of the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2012: Healthgrades Report to the Nation analyzes tens of millions of patients' outcomes — specifically, mortality and complication rates — at the nation's 4,500 hospitals.

Southcoast's ability to continually perform and be recognized as one of the leading cardiovascular centers in the state and ranks among the top programs in the U.S. has attracted first-class cardiothoracic surgeons like James Fingleton, MD. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Fingleton has recently been named Southcoast's Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery. Additional experienced and skilled physicians are also joining the Southcoast team.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be joining a program that is known for making patient safety, quality care and patient satisfaction its top priorities," Dr. Fingleton said. "I look forward to working with Southcoast's incredible team of individuals who treat each patient, and each other, as part of their own family. This is the type of culture that enables Southcoast's cardiac program to perform at the highest level possible and be among the very best heart programs in the U.S. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to join this extraordinary team and exceptional program."

Healthgrades' 2013 clinical achievements for Southcoast Hospitals are:

America's 100 Best Hospitals

  • One of Healthgrades America's 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care™ for two years in a row.
  • One of Healthgrades America's 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery™ for two years in a row.
  • One of Healthgrades America's 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention™ for two years in a row.

Cardiac Excellence Awards & Five-star Ratings

  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Cardiac Care Excellence Award™ for seven years in a row.
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award™ for two years in a row.
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ for six years in a row.
  • Ranked among the top 5 percent in the U.S. for cardiac surgery for two years in a row.
  • Ranked among the top 10 percent in the U.S. for overall cardiac services for seven years in a row.
  • Ranked among the top 10 percent in the U.S. for coronary interventional procedures for seven years in a row.
  • Five-star rated for cardiac surgery for two years in a row.
  • Five-star rated for coronary bypass surgery for two years in a row.
  • Five-star rated for valve surgery for two years in a row.
  • Five-star rated for coronary interventional procedures for eight years in a row.
  • Five-star rated for treatment of heart failure for six years in a row.

According to the study, the risk of death is 58 percent lower at hospitals receiving five-stars versus all other hospitals. The new 2013 Healthgrades hospital ratings were posted today and are free to the public at www.healthgrades.com.

Heart disease is the No. 1 health problem locally and strikes South Coast residents more frequently than anywhere else in Massachusetts. Southcoast Hospitals Group, which includes Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham, ranks second in the entire state for the greatest number of cardiac medical discharges. Seventeen percent more people have heart attacks in the South Coast — and about one in four residents die from heart disease.

In fiscal year 2012, more than 14 percent of Southcoast's inpatient volume was attributed to heart-related diagnoses and nearly 25,000 outpatients received care related to the same. Laurie Mulgrew, Vice President of Clinical Services for Cardiovascular Care & Imaging, said Southcoast's heart program provides top-notch care in all areas, including diagnosis, medical treatment, interventional care and follow-up care such as cardiac rehabilitation

"The Healthgrades rankings are an exceptional accomplishment for our cardiac program and a testament to our physicians, surgeons, nurses and health care providers who are saving lives every day," Mulgrew said.

About Southcoast's Cardiovascular Services

Southcoast Cardiovascular Services provides the entire spectrum of cardiovascular services locally including open heart procedures, cardiac catheterizations, coronary angioplasty or pace makers. Southcoast performs more cardiac catheterizations than any other community hospital system in Massachusetts, with approximately 60 percent of patients needing advanced treatment such as coronary artery bypass or angioplasty. Southcoast's state-of-the-art Electrophysiology Laboratories, at Charlton Memorial and St. Luke's hospitals provides diagnostic testing for cardiac arrhythmias using noninvasive methods such as electrocardiograms and Holter monitoring.

"Our number one priority is to provide well-coordinated, high-quality care to all of our patients," said Margaret Ferrell, MD, Physician-in-Chief of Cardiovascular Services. "The success of the Southcoast heart program is credited to the highly skilled team of cardiologists, surgeons and health care professionals at our three hospital sites. It is their 24/7 dedication and the commitment by Southcoast to invest in the latest technology, equipment and state-of-the-art facilities that enables us to rank among the best in the country."

Southcoast performed the first open heart surgery in Southeastern Massachusetts in April 2002, bringing the lifesaving procedure to a region with the state's highest incidence of heart disease. Southcoast was the first of three community hospitals approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to offer open heart surgery and elective coronary angioplasty at its Charlton Memorial Hospital site in Fall River.

Southcoast's cardiac surgery program has brought unprecedented access to advanced cardiac services to the region and has received exemplary reviews and outstanding patient satisfaction since its inception.


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Stephanie Poyant
Public Information Officer
Phone: 508-961-5280
Pager: 508-387-2532
Fax: 508-961-5876
poyants@southcoast.org



Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island.

It includes the three hospitals that make up Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery, advanced imaging services and is the only provider of maternity services in the region.

Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services. More information is available online at www.southcoast.org. Connect to Southcoast through social media at www.southcoast.org/connect/.





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