Departmental News

CARDIAC CARE ACHIEVEMENTS: Heart Center Receives Top Ranking and Hospital's Chest Pain Center Accreditation Is Renewed

Cardiac services provided by Stony Brook University Heart Center are found to be in the top tier with those of the nation's top academic medical centers, according to recent data from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), an alliance of about 90% of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers.

For the 12-month period ending in March 2008, the Heart Center was ranked third out of 96 academic medical centers for the lowest overall cardiac mortality; fifth out of 95 hospitals for the lowest mortality following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; angioplasty); and tenth out of 96 hospitals for the lowest mortality following acute myocardial infarction.

In the category of mortality for patients with heart failure, the Heart Center ranked fifth out of 96 hospitals.

Stony Brook University Heart Center has a 98.5% success rate in coronary artery bypass surgery, higher than the New York State average.

"By combining the highest quality care with the newest technology in an academic environment, Stony Brook cardiologists are able to accurately diagnose cardiovascular disease and treat it with the latest evidence-based therapies," says David L. Brown, MD, professor of medicine and chief of cardiovascular medicine, who is co-director of the Heart Center. "The UHC data confirms that this approach improves survival."

Commenting on our top ranking, Todd K. Rosengart, MD, professor and interim chairman of surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, who with Dr. Brown co-directs the Heart Center, says: "The national top status of our cardiac care program reflects not only the high caliber of our surgeons, but that of the cardiac team as a whole. The care that our nurses and nurse practitioners deliver at 2 am is important as what we do in the operating room and we have the best team around."


In September 2008, Stony Brook University Medical Center received full reaccreditation as a chest pain center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). Stony Brook was the first hospital on Long Island to receive national accreditation in 2005, and is one of six in New York State to be accredited as a chest pain center.

"This reaccreditation is truly a sign that the community, EMS, our emergency department, and our cath lab collaborate successfully," says Steven L. Strongwater, MD, Hospital CEO.

"Clearly, this certification," Dr. Strongwater adds, "has helped improve patient survival and quality of life, as indicated in Stony Brook University Medical Center's emergence as one of the nation's best for clinical outcomes for cardiology a direct testament and endorsement of the Society of Chest Pain Centers' criteria."

Stony Brook University Medical Center is the only chest pain center on Long Island accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Hospitals accredited by the SCPC have been shown to perform better in the heart attack core measures established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as compared to non-accredited hospitals, according to a national study reported in the July 2008 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology (see study abstract).

Established in 1998, the SCPC is a non-profit international society that bridges cardiology, emergency medicine, surgery, and other professions focused upon improving care for patients with acute coronary syndromes and acute heart failure.

The Society promotes protocol-based medicine, often delivered through a chest pain center model to address the management of acute coronary syndromes and acute heart failure, and to promote the adoption of process improvement science by healthcare providers.

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