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National Study Rates Monongahela Valley Hospital a Healthgrades Five-Star Recipient for Pulmonary and Gastrointestinal Care

(October 20, 2015 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Monongahela Valley Hospital received five stars for the quality of its treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Gallbladder Removal Surgery six years in a row (2011-2016) from Healthgrades. This achievement is part of new findings and data released today on and in the Healthgrades 2016 Report to the Nation. Healthgrades is a leading online resource that helps consumers make informed decisions in finding the right doctor, the right hospital and the right care.

A five-star rating indicates that Monongahela Valley Hospital's clinical outcomes are statistically significantly better than expected when treating COPD or when its medical teams perform gallbladder removal surgery.

Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 33 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions. In addition to these most recent achievements, Monongahela Valley Hospital was recognized as a recipient of Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award for three consecutive years (2013-2015).

The new report demonstrates how clinical performance continues to differ dramatically between hospitals nationally and regionally. This variation in care has a significant impact on health outcomes. For example, from 2012 through 2014, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving five stars as a group, on average 222,392 lives could potentially have been saved and 166,086 complications could potentially have been avoided.

From 2012-2014, patients treated for COPD in hospitals with five stars for in-hospital mortality have on average a 81.9 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals with one star for in-house mortality. Moreover, patients having gallbladder removal surgery in hospitals with five stars have, on average, a 52 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated by hospitals with one star.

"An outstanding health care experience for patients requires excellence in medical care - including convenient access to skilled specialists, advanced therapies and state-of-the-art facilities," said Louis J. Panza Jr., president and CEO of Monongahela Valley Hospital. "Receiving five stars from Healthgrades shows the community that our physicians, nurses and everyone who provides care to our patients and their families are committed to delivering high-quality care, and that we have the progressive facilities to meet today's patient needs."

MVH's commitment to providing care to patients with COPD also has been recognized by other prestigious organizations. In 2014, MVH received accreditation from The Joint Commission in Advanced Disease Specific Certification in COPD.

MVH's Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) played a key role in the Healthgrades and Joint Commission distinctions. The hospital established the PCRC to better serve patients by reducing readmissions of chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). The PCRC staff follows patients in the hospital and after discharge. Its mission is to increase the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases, assist in the transition of care from hospital to home and decrease preventable readmissions. The program increases patient self-management through patient and family education, collaboration with community resources and improved communication with primary care providers.

In terms of gall bladder surgery, the surgeons at Monongahela Valley Hospital have four state-of-the-art operating suites which opened in 2012. Each of the suites offers the most advanced equipment, information technology and lighting. By having the suites, MVH can attract some of the most talented young surgeons including those who are skilled in noninvasive surgical techniques.

"I spent my training and my early career at very populated, urban hospitals," said Hiram A. Gonzalez, M.D., a surgeon who performs a large number of general and noninvasive gall bladder surgeries. "I wanted to make a career and a life in a community where the hospital has a patient-centered focus and I found that commitment at Monongahela Valley Hospital."

For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare inpatient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, and assessed hospital performance relative to each of 33 common conditions and procedures. Healthgrades recognizes a hospital's quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as five star (statistically significantly better than expected), three star (not statistically different from expected), and one star (statistically significantly worse than expected) categories. The complete Healthgrades 2016 Report to the Nation with detailed cohort-specific outcomes data, hospital-specific quality achievements and detailed study methodology, can be found at

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