Friday, July 11, 2014 4:48 PM

National cardiac society awards Fresno Heart & Surgical top ranking

Recognized nationally as a top facility for patient satisfaction and high quality outcomes, Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital was recently awarded a 3-star rating for coronary artery bypass graft with aortic valve replacement from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

STS enhances the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy. The not-for-profit organization represents more than 6,800 surgeons, researchers and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.

Fresno Heart & Surgical’s performance rating was for the STS time period ending Dec. 31, 2013 for overall composite quality rating. The composite rating consists of a weighted average of four categories: absence of operative mortality, absence of major morbidity, utilization of internal mammary artery and use of all evidence-based perioperative medications.

Fresno Heart & Surgical’s performance in this area rates in the top tier of participating hospitals across the nation.

Community Medical Centers performs more heart surgeries than any other healthcare system in the region and Fresno Heart & Surgical offers advanced minimally invasive procedures like bypass and valve replacement, and innovative cardiac, life-saving procedures such as the left-ventricular assist device and transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Minimally invasive approaches to cardiac surgery typically have shorter recovery times and are likely to have superior outcomes.  Recovery time can be measured in days, not weeks, because cutting through the sternum is eliminated using some approaches.

“It takes a great deal of discipline, hard work and focus on high quality measures to reach this top rating,” said cardiothoracic surgeon Shamsuddin Khwaja, who serves as Fresno Heart & Surgical’s cardiac services medical director. “I’m not only proud of our team for its commitment but also that we can give our patients this highest standard of care and quality right here in Fresno.”

Fresno Heart & Surgical is one of three acute-care hospitals in the Community Medical Centers’ healthcare system, which partners with UC San Francisco School of Medicine.

Mary Lisa Russell reported this story. Reach her at