Year in review: Health care

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Penrose Hospital’s innovative and successful cardiovascular surgery staff helped the hospital achieve a coveted national recognition status.

Penrose Hospital’s innovative and successful cardiovascular surgery staff helped the hospital achieve a coveted national recognition status.

Hospitals receive kudos

Like many other comparable, ambitious hospitals, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services earns its fair share of national and state-level recognition.

But some of those honors mean more, and that’s the case now as Penrose-St. Francis has been named one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics.

“It’s a difficult award to obtain,” said Margaret Sabin, president and CEO of the local hospital system.

The Colorado Springs system was the only Colorado hospital to make the cardiovascular hospital list.

Earlier in the year, Memorial Hospital achieved national accreditation in preventing and treating heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the U.S., by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

The Society awarded Memorial full Percutaneous Coronary Intervention accreditation. Hospitals with this accreditation have implemented protocols and procedures that lead to faster, better care for patients experiencing heart attacks and chest pain, according to a press release about the accreditation.

To become accredited, Memorial Hospital had to demonstrate expertise across a stringent set of criteria and underwent a rigorous on-site review by a team of the Society’s accreditation review specialists.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ‘extra,’ ” said Memorial Hospital President and CEO Mike Scialdone. “As an accredited chest pain center, we’ve focused on the extras that improve lives and help people in life-or-death situations return home to their families.”

Later in the year, Colette Martin, 43, was named chief operating officer of Memorial Hospital.

Peak Vista contributed $75.3 million to the local economy in 2011, according to a state study released this year. Statewide, community health care centers produced $735 million in activity, including $396 million in operating expenses, the study showed. Statewide, 18 centers operate much like Peak Vista. Later in the year, Peak Vista announced its merger, beginning early next year, with Plains Medical Center, which serves Limon, Kiowa, Strasburg and Flagler and their surrounding areas.

Earlier in the year, Peak Vista received a $758,333 grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services, the federal agency announced. The money will be used at Peak Vista’s North Academy Boulevard location “and will enable us to fund several more providers and six support staff,” said Communications Director Randy Hylton.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado ranked top in the nation for best performance in prevention and health promotion, according to a new survey of employers released by the nonprofit National Business Coalition on Health.

“At Kaiser Permanente, prevention is in our DNA,” said Eric Harker, MD, medical director for prevention services. “Eating right, exercising regularly, staying up to date on preventive screenings and staying away from harmful habits like smoking can have tremendous impacts on health.”

The 2013 eValue8 survey is an annual assessment used by employers and coalitions to manage the quality and efficiency of  health plans. The Colorado Business Group on Health is one of several statewide coalitions to participate in the project.