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2008 Press Releases
Society of Thoracic Surgeons Gives Morton Plant Heart Surgery Program Top Honors Two Years Running

CLEARWATER, Fla., (November 12, 2008) - For the second consecutive year, Morton Plant Hospital’s heart surgery program has been awarded the highest designation given to hospitals by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The hospital’s open heart program has received a three-star rating from the STS. Morton Plant is one of only approximately 10 percent of U.S. hospitals with a cardiac surgery program to receive a three-star rating.

“Morton Plant Hospital has performed open heart surgery for more than three decades. The STS three-star rating acknowledges that vast experience and dedication to heart care,” said Robert Lynch, director of cardiology services, Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

“This is a prestigious honor because it comes from our peers – heart surgeons from across the United States who recognize our commitment to excellence, enthusiasm and compassion when treating cardiac disease,” added Dr. John Ofenloch, cardiothoracic surgeon, Morton Plant Hospital.

The STS rating is the gold standard in the health care industry for interpreting and acknowledging reliable, accurate clinical results for open heart surgery programs. Morton Plant Hospital’s cardiac surgery performance was found to lie in the highest quality tier, thereby receiving a STS three-star rating. The STS based its decision on an analysis of national data including the avoidance of morbidity and mortality in open heart surgery, use of medications and use of internal mammary artery (IMA) grafts – a conduit for open heart surgery – that have been shown to improve patient care. Data analyzed by the STS covered the period from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007. This is the second year for the STS ranking.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 5,600 surgeons, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible heart, lung, esophageal, and other surgical procedures for the chest. Founded in 1964, the mission of STS is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. In 2007, Morton Plant Hospital received a top national recognition for its work in open heart surgery and received the Premier Award for Quality in the area of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. Since 1999 Morton Plant has been awarded 16 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall care by the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care are part of the first group of hospitals nationally to have earned re-certification of the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care from the Joint Commission. Morton Plant also has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager