Northwell, Mount Sinai hospitals put their hearts in it

Heart to heart: Alan Hartman, senior vice president and executive director of cardiothoracic services at Northwell Health, in action at the award-winning Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Long Island hearts are in very good hands – literally, when necessary.

Two of the region’s busiest healthcare systems, operating some of Long Island’s most active hospitals, have earned high praise for their cardiac operations, ranging from emergency surgeries to postoperative discharge protocols.

First up are a pair of Northwell Health facilities – Manhasset’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital and Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital – commended in a fresh New York State Department of Health report for producing some of the state’s best outcomes for certain types of open-heart surgeries.

The August 2020 Adult Cardiac Surgery report, which reviews statewide surgeries performed between 2015 and 2017, credits cardiothoracic teams at the Bass Heart Hospital – part of North Shore University Hospital – and Southside Hospital as the only teams on Long Island to achieve the state’s best survival rates for patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, heart valve repair/replacement procedures or both CABG surgery and valve work.

The DOH report analyzes 65,460 total adult cardiac surgeries performed between December 2014 and November 2017 at 38 hospitals across the state, including 8,097 surgeries performed at NSUH, Southside Hospital, New Hyde Park’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital and Staten Island University Hospital.

Based on a statistical analysis of risk-adjusted outcomes, the average mortality rate following such surgeries at NSUH was 1.66 percent, while Southside Hospital posted a 0.79 percent rate. Each easily bested the statewide average risk-adjusted mortality rate of 2.22 percent, earning both cardiac-surgery programs the DOH’s prestigious “double asterisk” rating.

Southside Hospital further distinguished itself as Long Island’s only hospital to receive a double asterisk in the Valve or Valve/CABG surgical category, with a risk-adjusted mortality rate of 0.98 percent – way below the state’s 3.0 percent average. And NSUH was one of only two statewide hospitals recognized for superior outcomes in the post-surgical category of Isolated CABG Discharges (another double asterisk, this for a 0.82 percent mortality rate, below the state’s 1.6 percent average).

Southside Hospital Cardiothoracic Surgery Chairman Robert Kalimi – one of two Northwell Health surgeons to personally earn double-asterisk ratings for significantly low mortality rates, along with surgeon L. Michael Graver, who died in a 2018 plane crash – said Southside’s cardiac program now ranks “among the best in New York State.”

“In less than 10 years since we started this program, Southside Hospital has become the best destination for cardiac surgical care in Suffolk County,” the surgeon added. “I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and the entire cardiac team that works collaboratively to provide superior care to our patients both in and out of the operating room.”

Kenneth Davis: Innovative approach, higher standards.

Meanwhile, Oceanside’s Mount Sinai South Nassau – Long Island flagship of the New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System – has collected an armful of cardiac-care awards from the American Heart Association, which has singled out several Mount Sinai facilities for “exemplary treatment for stroke, heart failure and heart attack patients.”

South Nassau earned four separate AHA honors: the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll Award, the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Award and the Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll Award.

All told, seven Mount Sinai hospitals earned achievement awards and honor roll placements from the AHA – proof positive of the health system’s “innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment of stroke, heart failure and heart attack,” according to President and CEO Kenneth Davis.

“Congratulations to our teams for these significant achievements, [which] demonstrate Mount Sinai’s dedication to quality of care,” Davis said in a statement. “I commend them for their dedication to setting standards for excellence and making the care and safety of our patients a top priority.”