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Cousins joins St. Mary’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons

Geoffrey R. Cousins(HUNTINGTON)— Geoffrey R. Cousins, MD, FACS, has joined St. Mary’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons.

A native West Virginian, Dr. Cousins received his doctor of medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed both his internship and residency in general surgery at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Mich., and his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va.

Dr. Cousins is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

For more information about St. Mary’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons, call (304) 399-7530.


Neal named St. Mary’s Director of Volunteer Services

Julie Neal(HUNTINGTON)— Julie Neal has been named the Director of Volunteer Services at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Previously, Neal worked as an occupational therapist at St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Services and Tri-State Otolaryngology. She is also the co-founder of PATH to the Cure, a 5K walk/run which raises funds for the St. Mary’s Pink Ribbon Fund and the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH).

Neal received an associate degree in applied science from Shawnee State University and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Findlay.

For more information about St. Mary’s Volunteer Services, call (304) 526-1400.


St. Mary’s Medical Center awarded advanced certification in heart failure

St. Mary’s Medical Center awarded advanced certification in heart failure

(HUNTINGTON)—St. Mary’s Medical Center today announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Mark for Advanced Certification in Heart Failure. The Gold Seal of Approval® and the Heart-Check Mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

St. Mary’s underwent a rigorous on-site review as Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with disease-specific care standards, as well as with heart failure-specific requirements. The certification recognizes heart failure programs that include either a hospital-based and hospital-owned outpatient heart failure clinic or have a collaborative relationship with one or more attending cardiology practices.

“St. Mary’s has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients who are being treated for heart failure,” said Wendi J. Roberts, RN, executive director, Certification Programs, The Joint Commission. “We commend St. Mary’s for becoming a leader in heart failure care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for cardiac patients in its community.”

“We congratulate St. Mary’s for this outstanding achievement,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, the American Heart Association. “This certification reflects their commitment to providing the highest quality of care for patients with heart failure.”

“St. Mary’s is pleased to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association,” said Shari Wiley, APRN-BC, CHFN, heart failure nurse practitioner. “The certification provides us with the opportunity to highlight the exceptional heart failure care we provide, as well as to continually strive to advance our care even further.”

Established in 2010 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification in Heart Failure was developed in collaboration with an external task force of experts and organizations with expertise in heart failure care, including representatives from the American Heart Association, Heart Failure Society of America and the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.

To be eligible for Advanced Certification in Heart Failure, healthcare providers must have achieved at least a Bronze level of performance from the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure program and established a comprehensive heart failure-focused program staffed by qualified medical professionals. By participating in the program, the hospital also must use the latest scientific research developed to meet individualized patient needs.

According to the American Heart Association, more than an estimated 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs. Although the heart keeps working, it’s not as effective as it should be. Each year, about 825,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than 275,000 will die of heart failure. However, many patients can lead a full life through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.


St. Mary’s Medical Center earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ recognition from The Joint Commission

(HUNTINGTON)— St. Mary’s Medical Center announced today that it has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.

St. Mary’s was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and immunization. St. Mary’s is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions.

To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure with at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Have at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above and within that measure set, achieve a performance rate of 95 percent or above on all applicable individual accountability measures.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of St. Mary’s for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

“Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to provide excellent care to our patients. Therefore, I am extremely proud to see those efforts rewarded by The Joint Commission through its Top Performer program,” said Michael Sellards, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Everyone at St. Mary’s is committed to continually improving patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes.”

For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.


Federal Trade Commission Challenges Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Plans to Acquire St. Mary’s Medical Center

HUNTINGTON, WV – Today, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) received notification that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has challenged their planned acquisition.

“It is our opinion that the FTC’s action announced today misreads the highly competitive landscape in our Tri-State region and overlooks the enormous community benefits that would result from the combination of CHH and SMMC,” stated Kevin N. Fowler, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHH. “Despite the FTC’s decision, we remain committed to this acquisition as we believe it assures quality medical care for the residents of our region.”

“It is our belief that this transaction is in the best interests of the communities and patients we serve,” stated Michael Sellards, President and Chief Executive Officer, SMMC.

After announcing plans to acquire SMMC in August 2014, CHH filed notice of the transaction with the FTC on December 23, 2014, as required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. CHH has cooperated with the FTC to provide it with the information required to conduct its review. Cabell provided more than 340,000 documents totaling over 2.3 million pages of paper documents, electronic documents, emails and reports. Cabell representatives and legal counsel met with each of the four serving commissioners of the FTC to advocate for the transaction.

On July 31, the West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that his review of CHH’s proposed acquisition of SMMC is consistent with the West Virginia Antitrust Act and other applicable state and federal laws. The Attorney’s General’s Assurance of Voluntary Compliance set forth terms and conditions by which Cabell would operate St. Mary’s, in order to limit any anti-competitive effects of the transaction. In addition to the FTC, remaining government and regulatory processes that must take place before closing the transaction include the West Virginia Healthcare Authority review as part of the Certificate of Need process and the Roman Catholic Church.