Heart Program at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Ranks 23rd in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report
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Heart Program at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Ranks 23rd in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report 

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Norfolk, VA. - July 12, 2002 - Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart program has achieved a new level of national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of America's Best Hospitals, ranking 23rd out of 50 U.S. hospitals named for cardiac care excellence. This is the highest ranking yet and marks a considerable jump from the 2001 ranking of 37th.

For two years running, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is the only hospital in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina to earn a place in the U.S. News survey. The survey places Sentara Norfolk General Hospital among 205 elite medical centers from 6,045 that were surveyed for rankings in 17 specialties.

Rankings result from a combined score (U.S. News Index) of three equally weighted quality indicators: reputation, mortality rate, and a group of care-related factors.

"True to our mission, we are delighted to offer the residents of Hampton Roads and all of Virginia access to one of the nation's finest cardiac programs-right outside their doorstep at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH). This recognition is a wonderful reflection of the competency and teamwork of our doctors and staff working at SNGH." says Sentara Southside Hospitals President Mark Gavens.

For three of the last four years, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's cardiac program has consistently improved its ranking among the top 50 U.S. heart hospitals. However, this marks the first year the program ranked among the top 25 in the nation.

Lenox Baker, M.D., a cardiac surgeon with Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons in Norfolk comments, "We are particularly honored to be named in the same category with such prestigious programs as those at Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Texas Heart Institute."

According to U.S. News & World Report, studies have shown that across all specialties-including cardiac-improved outcomes have direct correlation to the number of procedures performed.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's cardiac program had more than 9,000 discharges for cardiac procedures and surgeries, during the survey period.

Ronald Stine, M.D., cardiologist with Cardiology Consultants in Norfolk, notes Sentara's position as the largest cardiac surgery program in Virginia.

"Programs gain proficiency in what they do most often. We feel strongly that our high ranking can be attributed in part to the large number of patients we help each year," says Stine.

Rodney Hochman, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president for Sentara Healthcare, notes that Sentara is committed to delivering a complete heart program-from one educating the public about prevention of heart disease to performing heart transplants-broadly across the region.

"We have been fortunate to grow a successful cardiac program over the last 34 years by attracting top talent. Our hats are off to the folks who make delivering quality cardiac care a reality at Sentara-the physicians, nurses, technicians and administrative staff in cardiology and cardiac surgery," says Hochman.

About Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 569-bed tertiary care facility, known regionally and nationally for many of its specialized services and dedicated facilities in the Heart Pavilion, including the Sentara Cancer Institute, transplant programs, microsurgery, minimally invasive surgery techniques, neurosciences, and reconstructive surgery. The hospital is the area's only Level I Trauma Center, and has been named the Quality Leader among Hampton Roads' hospitals for six straight years by the National Research Corporation, a recognized leader in healthcare performance measurement.

About the Survey
This year marks the 13th annual edition of "America's Best Hospitals" survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report. From the 6,045 hospitals evaluated, 205 this year received recognition in 17 specialties. Once a hospital qualifies, scores (U.S. News Index) are derived from three equally weighted measures of quality: reputation, mortality and a group of care-related factors such as nursing and technology. The 50 top-ranking hospitals in each specialty are listed.

The methodology for "America's Best Hospitals" was created in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which reviews and updates the methodology as necessary.

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