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VCU Medical Center Heart and Heart Surgery Ranked as Top Programs by U.S. News’ America’s Best Hospitals

The VCU Medical Center’s Pauley Heart Center programs have been ranked 44th in the country by U.S. News Media Group’s 2009-2010 publication of America’s Best Hospitals.

The U.S. News health rankings editors say that because heart disease is the No. 1 killer for men and women in the United States, it is important to know what makes for great patient care. The editors cite the reputations of cardiologists and thoracic surgeons in handling complicated and complex cases, nurse staffing, technology, patient safety and cardiac intensive care units among important factors.

“Our community depends on us to provide the safest, most advanced comprehensive cardiac care, whether it is for common heart conditions or extremely complex cases,” said George W. Vetrovec, M.D., chief of cardiology. “This top 50 national recognition affirms the commitment of our entire staff to excellence in patient care, which means providing the highest quality and innovation in cardiovascular treatment.”

The VCU Pauley Heart Center is recognized nationally for its heart failure and heart transplantation programs, and was among the first in the United States to implant the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart, the only total artificial heart approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Pauley Heart Center also is the first in the United States to use a new type of intracardiac ultrasound machine that produces enhanced imaging of the heart, allowing cardiac electrophysiologists to better diagnose and treat atrial fibrillation.

“The Best Hospitals and other similar rankings validate our success and dedication to advance all areas of cardiac care – from the latest diagnostic tools and medical therapies to mechanical assist devices,” said Vigneshwar Kasirajan, M.D., professor and chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “All of this and more is making an impact and saving lives.”

A Thomson Reuters study also ranks the VCU Medical Center, through its Pauley Heart Center, as one of the top 100 U.S. hospitals that set the nation’s benchmarks for cardiovascular care.

The VCU Pauley Heart Center comprises the Divisions of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatric Cardiology.

The VCU Medical Center also was noted for excellence by U.S. News in rehabilitation, ranked 20th in the country; kidney disease, ranked 44th; and orthopaedics, ranked 45th in the country.

About the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and stands alone as the most comprehensive academic medical center in Central Virginia. The medical center includes the 865-bed MCV Hospitals and outpatient clinics, MCV Physicians -- a 600-physician-faculty group practice, and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University. The VCU Medical Center, through its VCU Health System, offers state-of-the-art care in more than 200 specialty areas, many of national and international note, including organ transplantation, head and spinal cord trauma, burn healing and cancer treatment. The VCU Medical Center is the site for the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center. As a leader in healthcare research, the VCU Medical Center offers patients the opportunity to choose to participate in programs that advance evolving treatment, such as those sponsored by the National Cancer Institute through VCU’s Massey Cancer Center, Virginia’s first NCI-designated cancer center. The VCU Medical Center’s academic mission is supported by VCU’s health sciences schools of medicine, allied health, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing.