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News and Featured Stories from St. Vincent's Medical Center
Published: 11/08/2010

St. Vincent's Highly Ranked: #1 in State for Cardiac Surgery and Top 5 % Nationally for GI Surgery

St Vincent's Medical Center - Bridgeport CTSt. Vincent’s as been ranked #1 in Connecticut for cardiac surgery, and in the top 5% nationally for GI Surgery, according to the 2010 rankings of HealthGrades, the leading independent ranking source in the nation.


Ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation for cardiac surgery for three years in a row, St. Vincent’s has also been five-star rated for coronary bypass surgery for four years in a row, and five-star rated for treatment of heart attack for eight years in a row, according to HealthGrades’ comprehensive study. The 2010 ratings, issued on October 13, 2009, represent data from the years 2006 through 2008, the most current information available.

St. Vincent’s President/CEO Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD, said the HealthGrades ranking “represents yet another milestone in St. Vincent’s long history of setting the standard for cardiac care in the state and even the country. The designation is a tribute to our team of outstanding cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and department staff members who are dedicated to saving lives through advanced prevention, diagnostics and therapeutics.”

“We are able to achieve this designation because our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are highly skilled, and are using the most advanced minimally invasive techniques,” said Interim Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery Rafael Squitieri, MD. “Assisted by a superbly trained staff and the latest in cutting-edge medical equipment, we are now able to help so many patients, even those in their 90s or those previously considered too sick for surgery.”


St. Vincent’s Cardiac Surgery Program

Recognized over the years for its role in the development of emergency angioplasty for heart attack treatment, St. Vincent’s is now at the vanguard of the minimally-invasive surgical approach to treatment of cardiothoracic disease. Minimally-invasive techniques are used to perform endoscopic vein harvesting for coronary artery disease (making small incisions to take veins from the leg to create a bypass around the diseased arteries), to correct atrial fibrillation, and to repair the mitral valve, a delicate procedure that offers longer, even life-long effectiveness and is safer than the traditional valve replacement.

“With minimally-invasive techniques, patients do better because there is much less blood loss and shorter recovery times,” said Albert DiMeo, MD, medical director of minimally-invasive cardiothoracic surgery.

Improving Heart Attack Survival

Also helping St. Vincent’s to achieve this designation is the acquisition of the newest diagnostic technology and medical devices, noted Dr. Squitieri. “For instance, the innovative Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), currently in use at St. Vincent’s, allows the heart to rest after a heart attack, helping to ensure that any surgery necessary to correct underlying problems will be more successful. In addition, the coordination between the emergency department and cardiology teams allows us to care for patients suffering from a heart attack rapidly and efficiently, improving chances of survival.”



St. Vincent’s Medical Center ranks in the top 5% in the nation for gastrointestinal surgery for 2010 according to HealthGrades. The HealthGrades study annually assesses patient outcomes – mortality and complication rates – at virtually all of the nation’s nearly 5,000 non-federal hospitals. For this achievement, St. Vincent’s is the recipient of the HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Surgery Excellence AwardTM. St. Vincent’s received the following ratings in support of its quality award:

  • Five–Star rated for GI Surgery three years in a row (2008-2010)
  • Five–Star rated for Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) four years in a row (2007-2010)

According to Chairperson of Surgery Douglas Ross, MD, FACS, “Quality achievement has been attained through the establishment of a multidisciplinary GI committee, along with providing state of the art operating rooms and equipment. These factors along with the careful expertise of the surgeons, combined with meaningful peer review leads to better patient outcomes and satisfaction which is the ultimate goal.”

St Vincent's has also enhanced its perio-operative care by instituting the World Health Organization (WHO) checklist at the time of surgery, which leads to safer surgery. Chief of Surgery Richard Lovanio, MD, FACS, said, "Due to the development of new surgical techniques and the introduction of the latest diagnostic technology, such as MRI and interventional radiology, we are able to treat patients who present with very challenging problems, and help them significantly."

The 2010 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on HealthGrades’ consumer website, located at


About HealthGrades Ranking System:
HealthGrades independently and objectively rates the quality of care for nearly every hospital in the country, for each of twenty-eight procedures and diagnoses ranging from bypass surgery to knee replacement to treatment of heart attack. The analysis is “risk-adjusted,” meaning that hospitals taking sicker patients can be compared on equal footing with other hospitals.

The star ratings are based on an analysis of approximately 40 million patient records over a three-year period that hospitals themselves submit to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as state governments, and from publicly available directories and telephone surveys.

HealthGrades (Nasdaq:HGRD) is the leading healthcare ratings organization, company, providing quality ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. HealthGrades has been a recognized and trusted brand for more than 10 years, and more than 8 million individuals research healthcare providers on HealthGrades .com each month. For more information, please visit

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