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PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center earns top rating for Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

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A team of surgeons and supporting providers performing surgery

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center has earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in cardiothoracic surgery. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center among the elite for cardiothoracic surgery in the U.S. and Canada.

The news comes on the heels of the program’s recognition as a top-performing cardiac program by The Foundation for Health Care Quality and Cardiac Care Outcomes Assessment Program (COAP) in July. PeaceHealth received COAP awards for its Cardiothoracic Surgery Outcomes and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Program.

“Achieving the best possible patient outcomes can be a challenge for cardiothoracic surgery programs around the country due to the complexity of the surgery, and the stretch goal of a three-star quality award ranking is an incredible accomplishment that puts PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in the top decile among reporting health care organizations,” said Paul Connor, MD, medical director of Cardiovascular Services. “This superior rating reflects the world-class expertise and collaboration of our cardiac surgery team.”

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs in the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

“The Society of Thoracic Surgeons congratulates STS National Database participants who have received three-star ratings,” said David M. Shahian, MD, chair of the Task Force on Quality Measurement. “Participation in the Database and public reporting demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement in health care delivery and provides patients and their families with meaningful information to help them make informed decisions about health care.”

Cardiothoracic Surgery is a critical component of the comprehensive heart care provided at the Cardiovascular Center at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. For more information, visit


About PeaceHealth: Based in Vancouver, Wash., PeaceHealth is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center provides quality care for northwest Washington with its full-service 253-bed hospital and PeaceHealth Medical Group clinics. Key services in Bellingham include comprehensive cardiology, oncology, orthopedic and rehabilitation services and a joint venture outpatient imaging service.

About STS: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,300 surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.