Think you know which local health system is among the top in the nation? Think again.
Inside an ambulance, barely conscious and clinging to life – your heart is about to be in the hands of a doctor you’ve never met, inside a hospital you never knew existed. Three days later, the happy and healthy you goes home – your doctor is now your best friend, and the hospital staff is now your family.
It’s a story Greensburg, Pa.-based Excela Health is hearing over and over. Letters of thanks from patients and their families depict unending gratitude. The three hospitals in the system – Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland – were just named High Performing Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, designating outstanding performance, patient outcomes and patient safety.
Led by Harvard and Johns Hopkins-trained interventional cardiologist Howard Grill, Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization lab is also getting the attention of CareChex®*, an information service of Quantros, Inc., the most comprehensive resource for ranking hospital quality and patient safety. Excela Health is ranked among the top 10% in the nation for Medical Excellence in Heart Attack Treatment, by CareChex®* out of nearly 5,000 US hospitals. No other health system in western Pennsylvania ranks higher.**
“Patients coming to Excela Health are going to get extraordinary care,” says Dr. Grill. “And they’ll become greater participants in their overall health care thanks to our award-winning team.”
Jennie Lucchetti of Mount Pleasant, Pa., looks at albums full of pictures she has with her dad, John Zylka. From walking her to first days of school to cheering her on at swim meets and color guard competitions, he was her biggest fan. He steadied her walk down the aisle while marveling at the most beautiful bride he’d ever seen. And when his #1 daughter gave birth, he was right there … bursting with pride that his “little girl” had a little son of her own.
So when shortness of breath and chest tightness began to slow him down, he spoke with his cardiologist, given his strong family history of heart problems and the fact that he’d faced heart bypass procedures in the early 2000s. More importantly, with Excela Health’s high rankings in heart care nationally, John and his family had no doubts about putting his heart in Excela’s expert hands.
Excela’s three hospitals – Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland – have been designated as High Performing Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in the treatment of heart failure based on outstanding performance, patient outcomes and patient safety, all of which came as no surprise to John. “The expertise and treatment you need has always been here,” he explained. “And, it’s close. Why go through the hassle of traveling when the expertise is here.”
Ultimately, John underwent testing with results indicating a need for a cardiac catheterization, a procedure used to diagnose and treat various heart conditions. Performed by interventional cardiologist Dr. Nevin Baker, the test revealed some news … bad news. Three blockages. All very severe. Worse yet, John was no longer eligible for bypass surgery due to his medical history. With the news of John’s “broken heart”, Jennie and her family felt a rush of emotions from devastation to anticipation and finally elation when Dr. Baker performed a high risk procedure called rotational atherectomy or rotoblation to correct the problem.
“Excela Health Cardiology runs a progressive treatment program,” he noted. “When they know you’re having a problem, they keep a close eye on you. Whatever testing you need, they set it up quickly.”
Today, this retired professional is back tending his 10 acre-property, participating in church activities, and following the antics of his beloved grandchildren much to the delight of his daughter. “You never expect that something like this will happen to a parent,” Jennie explained. “But if it does, I’m thankful that Excela has the expertise needed to heal hearts, especially the one heart that means everything to me.”
*CareChex® is an information service of Quantros, Inc. CareChex provides clinical, financial and patient satisfaction findings to consumers, providers and purchasers of U.S. medical care. Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, outcomes of care, and patient experiences. For access to provider ratings, visit www.CareChex.com. To learn more visit Excela Health’s digital magazine.
**Market claims are based on CareChex® Composite Quality Scores™ and nationally balanced scorecard criteria for health systems serving the combined statistical area (CSA) of Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton.