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Dedicated to Heart Care: Lee Health & HealthPark Earn Distinction

Heart Health
Author name: Lee Health


Heart health graphic

Ten years versus 33 seconds.

The first number represents a remarkable achievement in high-level heart healthcare in Southwest Florida. The second number—33 seconds—is the driving force behind that achievement. Every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from heart disease. It remains the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in our nation.

Lee Health’s HealthPark Medical Center recently made the list of the 2023 Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the country. Formerly known as the IBM Watson Award, the PINC AI 50 top-performing cardiovascular hospitals represents the highest standard of heart care in the United States.

It’s no small feat to achieve yet another award for continual excellence, considering that more than 900 cardiovascular hospitals were evaluated according to measures that capture clinical outcomes, efficiency, patient experience, etc.

The annual objective study draws upon publicly available data to rank the top-performing heart hospitals.

The study metrics included identifying hospitals that demonstrated the highest performance in hospital cardiovascular services for four important patient groups: heart attack, heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft and percutaneous coronary intervention.

Hospitals and health systems don’t apply to participate in the study, and award winners don’t pay to market their honor.

PINC AI 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital The PINC AI 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study recognized only three other hospitals in our state. South of Tampa, HealthPark Medical Center is the only location in the entire state to receive this award.

“To earn a spot among the 50 best hospitals in the country is an honor,” said Richard Chazal, M.D., a medical director with the Lee Health Heart Institute and Past-President of the American College of Cardiology. “We are dedicated to providing world-class care to Florida and we couldn’t be prouder to receive this award.”

Specializing in everything from routine to complex care, the Lee Health Heart Institute includes primary and specialty care, advance cardiac imaging, nationally ranked hospitals, Shipley Cardiothoracic Center, cardiac rehabilitation and more.

“We are extremely proud to be included among the top 50 hospitals in the country for cardiovascular care for the tenth time,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Lee Health. “Our cardiovascular teams are committed to caring for their patients every day and they deserve to be recognized for their leading-edge, high-quality, patient-centered care. We’re committed to providing comprehensive cardiovascular services to the Southwest Florida community, so they don’t have to leave home to receive high-level heart care.”

What it means for our community

It indicates that the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals of the study delivered better outcomes while operating more efficiently and at a lower cost, based on comparisons between the study winners and a peer group of similar hospitals in the study.

In other words, compared to non-winning peer hospitals, the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals had:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Better patient outcomes
  • Significantly higher inpatient survival rates
  • Fewer patients with complications
  • Lower readmission rates

Continual innovative heart-care excellence

Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease costs the United States about $239.9 billion, which includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

That figure—33 seconds—is what drives our region’s most talented cardiovascular team members to continually innovate and advance world-class heart care for our community. Along the way, awards like the PINC Al 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals serve as recognition of their efforts.

Despite the honor, Dr. Chazal says they’re always looking at ways they can improve.

“We’re always comparing ourselves to the best places in the country,” he notes. “We’re seeing exactly how we measure up. How well are we doing? We identify where we may have opportunities for improvement, and we put in place processes to close those gaps. We do it all the time, constantly.

We never let up.”

Interested in a tour of Lee Health Heart Institute?

Want to learn more about how we improve our community’s heart health? Come take a tour of the Lee Health Heart Institute.

You’ll learn how your support will change the future of heart and lung care in Southwest Florida through innovation, education, and research.

Schedule a tour here.

Follow your heart with the Lee Health Foundation

Your support of the Lee Health Heart Institute through the Lee Health Foundation helps fund the recruitment of leading cardiovascular specialists, research fellows, nurse coordinators, statisticians, infrastructure and advanced technology, allowing for an expansion of research and treatment options aimed at the underlying causes of heart disease and its prevention.

The development of these programs is key to attracting leading cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and specialized team members to move us closer to the development of cardiology fellowship training programs, further enhancing the reputation of Lee Health and allowing the Lee Health Heart Institute to become a national leader in cardiac health and healing. 

Learn more about donating to the Lee Health Heart Institute here.

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