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WakeMed News Releases

December 20, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. (December 17, 2013) — Home to the state’s leading heart program, WakeMed Health & Hospitals is one of only 11 healthcare systems nationwide chosen to participate in the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) new Patient Navigator Program. The first cardiology program of its kind, it is designed to support hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick return to the hospital.

"We partner with patients, families and providers to achieve the highest quality of heart health and well-being,” commented Betsy Gaskins-McClaine, vice president, WakeMed Heart & Vascular Services. “Our participation in this program is an extension of our leadership in cardiovascular care and our continued commitment to coordinate care and ensure cardiac patients are receiving the right treatments at the right time in the right place.”

WakeMed was chosen by the ACC because of its commitment to quality demonstrated by participation in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry and Hospital to Home program.

“Our responsibility to patients begins prior to admission and extends beyond discharge,” added Gaskins-McClaine. “Educating patients about their condition, coordinating ongoing follow-up after discharge, collaborating with expert heart and primary care providers and supporting healthy lifestyle resources in our community are all key to helping our patients and their families manage cardiovascular conditions, achieve optimum health and minimize risk for hospitalization.”

According to the ACC, nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis.

“The ACC Patient Navigator Program will serve as a test for innovative, patient-centered solutions to address issues that impact patient health and patient readmissions,” said ACC President John G. Harold, MD, MACC. “WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a pioneer in heart disease treatment and care by putting an emphasis on a team approach to meeting patients’ ongoing care and needs and helping them make a seamless transition from the hospital to the home.”

By the end of 2015, the American College of Cardiology will enroll at least 35 hospitals in the Patient Navigator Program with funding support from AstraZeneca.

The leader in cardiovascular care, WakeMed treats more heart patients than any other hospital in the state. Using the latest technology and advanced techniques, WakeMed’s staff of cardiologists, surgeons, cardiovascular specialists, midlevel providers, nurses and other professionals performed more than 21,000 procedures last year.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 884-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. WakeMed’s team of 8,500 employees, 1,500 volunteers, more than 1,200 affiliated physicians, and 240 physicians employed by WakeMed Physician Practices serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies to ensure the finest in health care. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit CardioSource.org/ACC.


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