Holston Valley earns No. 1 ranking in country for carotid artery stenting from national group

KINGSPORTHolston Valley Medical Center's carotid artery stenting program was named No. 1 in the country, and Bristol Regional Medical Center's neurology and trauma care achieved impressive national rankings in the latest scoring by a well-respected hospital quality rating service.

“Being selected the best in the nation for carotid artery stenting is quite an honor for Holston Valley and the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute,” said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont Health System’s president and CEO. “But in many respects, this ranking is not a surprise for anyone who has seen the superb work performed by outstanding physicians such as Dr. Chris Metzger, who has turned carotid artery stenting into an art form."

CareChex, a service of The Delta Group, the country’s largest privately held healthcare information service company, issued the ratings. Its rankings are part of the 2012 CareChex America’s Top Quality Hospitals program, which relies on several publicly reported hospital metrics to issue quality and safety rankings for acute hospitals in the United States.

Holston Valley and Bristol Regional are ranked against all hospitals in the nation, not just those who opt to share data. To view the rankings, please visit www.carechex.com.

CareChex placed the carotid artery stenting program in the carotid artery surgery category. The carotid artery stenting program and the carotid artery surgery program at the heart institute work collaboratively to meet the needs of patients.

In addition to topping the list in carotid artery stenting, Holston Valley is listed in the top 100 hospitals nationally by CareChex for cardiac care, major cardiac surgery, heart attack treatment and coronary bypass surgery. Holston Valley was rated in the top 10 percent in the country for pulmonary care, stroke care and trauma.

Bristol Regional is among the Top 100 in the nation in the categories of major neurological surgery and trauma care.
 
Also, Bristol Regional was rated in the Top 10 percent in the state for heart attack and heart failure treatment and cancer care. Bristol Regional holds the system record for restoring blood flow to a clogged artery from entry in a Wellmont hospital — just 22 minutes.
 
"It is quite impressive to see Bristol Regional ranked so highly in such highly skilled areas of care," DeNarvaez said. "These publicly reported quality metrics demonstrate that our skilled physicians and staff are highly trained and committed to delivering high-quality care to their valued patients."

Dr. Metzger, who is board-certified in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine, has performed as many or more carotid artery procedures as any other physician in the country in the last five years. He is widely recognized as an expert in carotid artery stenting. A year ago, he performed this procedure at Holston Valley while an audience of physicians at a medical conference in New Orleans watched live by satellite.

“This external validation for our carotid artery revascularization program shows the residents of the Tri-Cities area that the best in carotid artery care is available close to home at Holston Valley,” said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, the heart institute’s president. “Our world-class program, directed by Dr. Metzger, focuses on delivering the highest-quality care, eliminating the need for patients to consider large centers that would require them to travel long distances. It’s no accident that these services are available here because my colleagues at the heart institute and I are committed to delivering the best in cardiovascular care.”

Dr. Metzger said he is honored to achieve this recognition from CareChex. He stressed that the carotid artery revascularization program not only has a high volume of patients but also maintains high quality.

“Our program is focused on achieving only the best in outcomes for our patients, so it’s gratifying to know that an organization as prominent as CareChex thinks that they are well-positioned when they choose their care with us,” Dr. Metzger said. “However, this distinction is a reminder that the desire and need to deliver high-quality, expert care will not end but remain continuously front and center.”

The program is also the No. 1 or No. 2 enroller for four different major national carotid artery studies.

Dr. Metzger's standard for excellence in carotid artery care has led to many high-quality physicians training with him. That includes Dr. Rahul Sakhuja, who joined the heart institute after training with Dr. Metzger at Holston Valley. Dr. Sakhuja graduated from Harvard Medical School and was completing advanced fellowship training at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital when he trained at Holston Valley. This was Dr. Sakhuja’s third dedicated fellowship at Harvard, each of which lasted a year.

The latest publicly reported rankings for Holston Valley and Bristol Regional are yet another example of the high regard ratings agencies hold for the hospital. For example, in 2010, Thomson Reuters named Holston Valley one of the top 50 cardiovascular programs in the country. Bristol Regional has received national accolades for its heart care as well.

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