Heart Center at WFUBMC Designated a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C. Cardiac Center of Excellence

May 10, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Heart Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has been designated one of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Cardiac Centers of Excellence, which are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Blue Centers for Cardiac Care program.

The designation means the Heart Center at Wake Forest Baptist has met or exceeded criteria set by the organization that demonstrate reliability in delivering a full range of cardiac care services and better overall outcomes for patients. Criteria include: inpatient cardiac care, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization (including percutaneous coronary interventions) and cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery).

“We are pleased that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has recognized our Heart Center for the excellent care it provides the people of our region,” said Len B. Preslar, Jr., president and chief executive officer of North Carolina Baptist Hospital. “For example, we are ahead of the national average in treating patients with chest pain—less than 68 minutes from the time a person comes to our Emergency Department with chest pain to the time they are treated with balloon angioplasty—compared to the American College of Cardiology standard time of 90 minutes or less.”

The Heart Center at Wake Forest Baptist is western North Carolina’s most comprehensive facility for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. The National Institutes of Health considers the Heart Center one of America’s leading academic heart disease research centers, where dozens of key clinical trials are conducted annually and patients have the opportunity to be among the first to benefit from new technology and treatment. Wake Forest Baptist was the first hospital in the region to be granted the designation of Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Only 1 percent of all hospitals in the United States have this designation. The Heart Center offers expertise in minimally invasive surgeries, natural valve replacement, treatment of complicated arrhythmias, pediatric cardiology and heart transplants.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele, jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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