Holston Valley Named One Of '100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs' By National Publication

Holston Valley Medical Center's high-quality cardiovascular care has achieved additional recognition for being among the nation's elite programs.

Becker's Hospital Review, a highly respected publication that covers the medical industry, recently named Holston Valley to its list of "100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs." Holston Valley was the only hospital in the region and one of only two in Tennessee to earn this status. The other was Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"We're extremely grateful to receive this latest external validation of our outstanding cardiovascular program," said Tim Attebery, the hospital's interim president. "All our physicians, nurses and other staff deserve tremendous credit for their commitment to deliver world-class care close to home for patients in our region. It has made a positive difference in this area's quality of life."

In evaluating Holston Valley, Becker's cited the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute's Level One Heart Attack Network for its valuable role in the treatment of heart attacks.

The network is a coordinated effort between medical providers in the field and physicians and other caregivers in the emergency departments and cardiac catheterization labs at Wellmont Health System hospitals to restore blood flow to a blocked artery as swiftly as possible. Medical professionals who respond to a potential heart attack patient at the scene perform an electrocardiogram and transmit the test to a hospital emergency department for a physician to interpret.

When one of these physicians at a Wellmont hospital concludes the patient is suffering a heart attack, the cardiac catheterization lab is mobilized to work on a patient as soon as he or she arrives. This system has empowered Holston Valley and its sister hospital, Bristol Regional Medical Center, to have blood flowing properly again in as little as 15 minutes.

"Wellmont's Level One Heart Attack Network, the only one of its kind in the region, exists to improve times for heart attack treatment across the region," Becker's said in its assessment.

Becker's also highlighted Holston Valley's ranking in 2011 as the No. 1 carotid artery stenting program in the nation, as well as recognition the hospital earned from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the American College of Cardiology Foundation.

The carotid artery rating came from CareChex, a division of Comparion, as part of its 2012 America's Top Quality Hospitals program. The selection reinforced the quality of care for which Dr. Chris Metzger, an interventional cardiologist with the heart institute, has long been known and been used as a benchmark across the country.

Dr. Metzger, a medical doctor, has performed as many or more carotid artery procedures as any other physician in the country in the last seven years. He is widely recognized as an expert in carotid artery stenting, and the heart institute is the No. 1 enroller in the country in carotid stent research trials, such as ACT 1 and Sapphire WW. Dr. Metzger has performed carotid artery stenting procedure multiple times at Holston Valley while an audience of physicians at a medical conference in New Orleans watched live by satellite.

Holston Valley's prestigious carotid artery program has since been enhanced with the addition of Dr. Rahul Sakhuja, a medical doctor and a Harvard University-trained interventional cardiologist who also specializes in structural heart disease and endovascular interventions. 

Recently, Holston Valley's cardiac care program received a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program.

The program's goal is to help consumers find quality specialty care consistently, while enabling and encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide. Blue Distinction Centers® are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes.

Holston Valley has also been selected to receive the American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR ACTION Registry-Get With The Guidelines Platinum Award for its treatment of heart attack patients. The award signifies the hospital met levels of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Bristol Regional has also earned the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and cardiology foundation honors.

"We're extremely proud of the recognition Holston Valley has received from Becker's for the full-service cardiac care we innovatively deliver at Kingsport's flagship hospital," said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, a medical doctor and the heart institute's president. "It also showcases the quality and breadth of cardiovascular care available throughout our program in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

"This latest honor reflects our focus on providing the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost with the greatest access to the residents of our region. It's a philosophy we will vigorously continue to follow."

To view the list of 100 hospitals, please visit bit.ly/1fFjPE4. Further information is also available at www.wellmont.org.