WellStar’s cardiac program earns society’s ‘3 Star’ rating
by Katy Ruth Camp
krcamp@mdjonline.com
December 15, 2011 12:32 AM | 1703 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — WellStar Health System announced on Thursday that its cardiac surgery program, housed at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, has received a “3 Star” rating from Chicago-based The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its cardiac surgery services.

The rating granted the Marietta-based system was given to only about 14 percent of the nation’s cardiac surgical programs, according to the STS website. Nearly 75 percent received a “2 Star” rating, and nearly 11 percent received a “1 Star” rating for the reporting period of July 2010 through June.

“This recognition validates the hard work and commitment to excellence of our staff, physicians, administration, Board of Trustees and the WellStar community.” said Dr. William Cooper, director of cardiac surgery for WellStar Health System. “Delivering top-quality cardiovascular care has been our primary focus since inception of cardiac surgery in December of 2004. Quality, the culmination of appropriate, safe, efficient, timely and equitable cardiac care, has been and will remain our No. 1 priority.”

According to the STS website, the “3 star” rating is the highest given by the society each year and denotes the highest category of quality for clinical excellence based on National Quality Form standards.

WellStar spokesman Keith Bowermaster said Kennestone had 56 percent market share among adults in Cobb County for cardiac surgery. In addition, WellStar is the market leader in inpatient cardiac services, Bowermaster said. In 2010, WellStar Health System’s market share for inpatient cardiac services was 75 percent among adult residents in Cobb, and for the five-county area that WellStar serves, including Cobb, Douglas, Paulding, Cherokee and Bartow counties, it was 66 percent.

Bowermaster said WellStar offers a comprehensive cardiac program, with the exception of transplant services. Cobb, Douglas and Kennestone hospitals are also accredited chest pain centers, and combined have nine labs for cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology procedures.

“WellStar strives to enhance quality of life through world-class services, preventative care and education,” Carol Edwards, vice president of cardiac services for WellStar Health System, said. “This highest endorsement of our cardiac surgery program exemplifies the level of quality WellStar brings to our patients.”

According to the STS website, the society’s mission is to “enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.” The not-for-profit society was founded in 1964 and represents more than 6,200 surgeons, researchers and allied healthcare professionals worldwide.

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