Press-Republican

April 25, 2014

CVPH recognized for cardiac services

Hospital recently named among America's best

By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — CVPH Medical Center has been recognized for the quality of its cardiac services.

The facility was recently named among America’s 100 best hospitals for cardiac care by Healthgrades, an online resource for health-care consumers.

“We have a dedicated team of cardiologists and employees here that come to work night and day — it doesn’t matter the hour — and bring a level of quality and care to our community not found in many areas,” CVPH President and CEO Stephens Mundy said at media conference Wednesday morning.

‘OUTSTANDING’

The achievement is based on the findings of the study “American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2014: Healthgrades Report to the Nation,” for which almost 4,500 hospitals in the country were analyzed across 28 conditions and procedures.

Most notably, Healthgrades teams look at medical centers’ mortality and complication rates.

It’s not by accident that CVPH was chosen for its cardiac care, Bob Donahue, director of quality services and client development for Healthgrades, told attendees of the conference.

“There’s a wide range of areas where this hospital is performing just outstanding,” he said.

INTERVENTIONS

For example, Donahue noted, his organization has named CVPH among the top 10 percent in the nation for coronary interventions for seven years in a row and among the top 5 percent in those procedures for three years in a row.

Healthgrades, he continued, also considers the hospital among the top 5 percent in the nation for cardiology services this year.

It has given the facility five-star ratings in coronary-intervention procedures and the treatment of heart attacks and heart failures.

GROWTH EXPECTED

“Our Heart Center continues to excel in what we do, and we’re very lucky to have this program here,” Mundy said.

“It’s really a whole hospital effort from the top down,” Dominick Hendrickson, the facility’s director of cardiac services, told the Press-Republican in a separate interview. “We can’t do it without everybody.”

More than 3,500 interventional and invasive heart procedures are performed at CVPH each year, Mundy noted during the conference, and that number is expected to increase to nearly 4,000 in the near future.

While the hospital recently ceased performing open-heart surgeries and now sends those cases to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, the Plattsburgh facility is focusing on angioplasties and other diagnostic procedures.

Officials are working closely with other medical centers in Northern New York to bring more of those cases to CVPH.

“We’re already seeing increased volume from St Lawrence and Franklin counties,” Henrickson said.

‘HIGH-QUALITY SERVICES’

Healthgrades’ recognition of the hospital’s breadth of cardiac services is especially important now that it no longer conducts open-heart surgeries, according to Director of Cardiology at CVPH Dr. Joel Wolkowicz.

“For many people in the community, they viewed that as something important that we were losing, and they were concerned that we weren’t going to continue to give the ... cardiac care here that they’d been accustomed to, and heart surgeries are very important, but it’s actually only a very small part about what we do,” he told the Press-Republican in a separate interview.

Of the thousands of cardiac services the hospital provides each year, Wolkowicz noted, heart surgeries accounted for only about 150 at best.

“We’re going to continue to be here for a long time and continue to deliver high-quality cardiovascular care to the North Country and the surrounding regional areas,” Dr. Eric Gauthier, director of invasive cardiology at CVPH, told the Press-Republican.

Email Ashleigh Livingston:alivingston@pressrepublican.com