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2007 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Heart Program Receives Top Designation by Society of Thoracic Surgeons

CLEARWATER, Fla., (September 11, 2007) - The highest designation given to hospitals by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for quality of heart surgery has been awarded to Morton Plant Hospital. The hospital’s open heart program has received a three-star rating from the STS.

“This is a high honor for our open heart program because it comes from a society of health care professionals – heart surgeons - who understand statistics and clinical results that are vital to quality heart care. The STS is the gold standard in the health care industry for interpreting and acknowledging reliable, accurate clinical results,” said Dr. Thomas Deal, cardiac surgery, Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

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, 2006 through December 31, 2006. The heart surgery performance of Morton Plant was found to lie in the highest quality tier, thereby receiving an STS three-star rating. This was the first year for the STS ranking. Approximately 15 percent of U.S. hospitals surveyed received a three-star rating.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 5,400 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.

In addition to the STS designation, the Morton Plant Mease Health Care Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Cardiac rehabilitation is a specialized exercise program supervised by registered nurses or exercise physiologists for patients who have undergone heart surgery. Research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation enhances a patient’s recovery from heart surgery.

Morton Plant Mease has two locations offering cardiac rehabilitation:

Cheek-Powell Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion

455 Pinellas Street

Clearwater, FL

(727) 461-8295

Countryside Cardiac Rehabilitation

Mease Countryside Hospital

Medical Arts Building

1840 Mease Dr. Suite 105

Safety Harbor, FL

(727) 725-6603

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. Since 1999 Morton Plant has been awarded 14 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Morton Plant Hospital was recognized in 2006 and 2007 by the Premier healthcare alliance with the Premier Award for Quality for excellence in the care of patients in the area of coronary bypass graft. Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and 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 2003, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation 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: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538, (727) 402-5975