February 11, 2016

St. Elizabeth Hospital Cardiac Program Receives High Honors from Society of Thoracic Surgeons


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For more information contact: 
Tom Weaver
(715) 843-9094

(Appleton, WI) — The St. Elizabeth Hospital Cardiac Surgery Program has once again earned the highest quality designation from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), for aortic valve replacement surgery.

Since 2012, St. Elizabeth Hospital has been placed in the highest quality tier for aortic valve replacement by earning a 3-star rating from STS, a worldwide organization dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart and other procedures within the chest.

Using a comprehensive rating system to measure the quality of cardiac surgery programs, the latest measurement results released in late 2015 once again affirmed the 3-Star rating for the fourth consecutive year.

Dr. Zenoun Abouzelam, Affinity Medical Group cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon and his St. Elizabeth Hospital cardiac surgery team were the first to perform minimally invasive aortic valve replacement surgery and minimally invasive mitral valve repair surgery in Northeast Wisconsin.

"This accomplishment is the result of countless hours of hard work by our surgery team and their dedication to excellence and continuous improvement for the benefit of our patients," said Abouzelam. "Typically, less than 8 percent of hospitals nationwide receive a 3-star rating."

Minimally invasive surgery has been shown to have beneficial effects like reduced blood transfusions and faster postoperative recovery. St. Elizabeth Hospital has emerged as a regional and statewide leader for aortic, mitral and tricuspid valve minimally invasive surgery.

While Dr. Abouzelam has been leading the team for decades, Dr. Charan Mungara recently joined the program, which is renowned as a center for minimally invasive heart and lung surgery. Dr. Mungara is a board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, certified to perform minimally-invasive thoracic lung surgery and has a special interest in beating heart/off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery and aortic surgery.

Affinity's cardiovascular and thoracic surgery team at St. Elizabeth develops life-saving treatment plans for patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin and surrounding regions. To make an appointment, or for more information, please visit affinityhealth.org or call 920.730.7690.


About Ministry Health Care
Ministry Health Care (www.ministryhealth.org) (which includes Affinity Health System) is an integrated healthcare delivery network serving more than 1.1 million people across Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry generates nearly $2.2 billion in annual operating revenue with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and 10,000 associates, including 700 physicians and advanced practice clinicians. In 2013, Ministry Health Care joined Ascension, the largest Catholic and not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation. In that same year, Ministry became part of Integrated Health Network (IHN), which represents more than 5,000 physicians, 500 clinics and 42 hospitals in northern, central and eastern Wisconsin. IHN was created to improve the quality, efficiency and value of healthcare services in the markets served by its members.

Ministry is ranked among the top 20 percent of healthcare systems in the country according to Truven Health Analytics, and five Ministry hospitals are ranked in the top 10 in the state in Medicare’s Hospital Value Based Purchasing (VBP) program. Network Health, co-owned by Ministry Health Care and Froedtert Health, has received 4½-star recognition by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its Medicare Advantage plans.

About Ascension 
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to persons in poverty and struggling the most. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 150,000 associates and 35,000 aligned providers serve in 1,900 sites of care – including 129 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

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