NGMC Named Georgia's #1 Heart Hospital for Sixth Consecutive Year

Published on October 20, 2010
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is ranked number one in Georgia and in the top 5% in the nation for cardiac care for the sixth year in a row (2006-2011), according to a comprehensive study released today by HealthGrades®.  Specifically, for 2011, NGMC is:
In fact, for 2011, NGMC is one of only five hospitals in the nation to rank number one in all four cardiac categories.  The study also found NGMC is five-star rated for:
  • Coronary Bypass Surgery
  • Valve Replacement Surgery
  • Treatment of Heart Attacks
  • Treatment of Heart Failure
"Each year, the cardiac care team at NGMC raises its standards in the ongoing commitment to maintain and improve clinical excellence," says J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, an interventional cardiologist with Northeast Georgia Heart Center and medical director of Cardiac Cath Labs at NGMC. "These ratings reflect that commitment in both interventional and diagnostic procedures in the Medical Center’s Cardiac Cath Labs."

"We’ve worked tirelessly to implement the latest technology and to take advantage of our new surgical space in the new North Patient Tower," says Daniel Winston, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons and medical director of Cardiac Surgery at NGMC.  "I’m personally honored to lead a group responsible for such great outcomes from the operating room."

The thirteenth annual HealthGrades® Hospital Quality in America study also found patients admitted to the nation’s top performing (five-star rated) hospitals, like NGMC, are approximately 53 percent less likely to die compared to the national hospital average.

"The most difficult part of attaining a #1 ranking is retaining that ranking the following year.  The fact that our cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists and Heart & Vascular Services clinical and support staff have retained the #1 ranking for six consecutive years is astonishing," says Jim Gardner, NGMC President and CEO. "The findings continue to illustrate that the people of northeast Georgia can receive the best heart care in the state without driving to Atlanta."

Northeast Georgia Medical Center offers comprehensive cardiac care to the residents of northeast Georgia.  Services provided include open-heart surgery (including valve replacement, coronary artery bypass, minimally invasive valve repair/replacement, and off-pump bypass procedures), cardiac interventions (such as angioplasty and stent placement), electrophysiology procedures, diagnostic procedures, Heart Failure Center, Cardiac Rehab, and inpatient care in a 17-bed state-of-the-art cardiac intensive care unit.  The American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgery have also recognized NGMC for outstanding outcomes for surgical and interventional cardiac patients.  Learn more at 

HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 28 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons.

More information about today’s HealthGrades study, including the complete methodology, can be found at
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