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Salinas Valley Memorial Designated ‘Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care’

SALINAS, CA, July 27, 2009 - Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System received national recognition by being named a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by BlueCross BlueShield Association.  This designation recognizes Salinas Valley Memorial's advanced expertise in providing quality patient care for heart patients, and it is the result of meeting stringent clinical criteria on important standards of quality, collaborative care, and affordability.  Salinas Valley Memorial is the only hospital in Monterey County to be designated a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, making it one of only 10% of California hospitals to receive this honor.

According to BlueCross BlueShield Association, "Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care have demonstrated their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for cardiac patients.  Each facility meets stringent clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations."

"We are pleased to receive this national recognition," said Nathan Olivas, President of the Board of Directors for Salinas Valley Memorial.  "It is an acknowledgement of our commitment to quality, research and technology.  But the true success of our program lies in the talent of the many men and women who work to provide the best in cardiac care on a daily basis.  Our staff and physicians strive for excellence every day, and it is their talent and abilities combined with strategic leadership that make our program what it is today."

Salinas Valley Memorial pioneered heart care on the Central Coast more than 20 years ago with the launch of the Harden Memorial Regional Heart Program.  Since then, physicians have performed tens of thousands of cardiac procedures and diagnostics.  Today, the program provides a full range of services, from heart disease education, support and diagnosis, to sophisticated cardiac catheterization and open-heart surgeries.  Through a commitment to advanced research, Salinas Valley Memorial patients have access to national clinical research trials with the latest technology in cardiac care.

Last October, Salinas Valley Memorial forged a partnership with Stanford Hospital & Clinics to create the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.  Through this partnership with one of the leading academic centers in the country, residents of this region have access to unparalleled cardiac care.

"The partnership between Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Salinas Valley Memorial is invaluable for the Central Coast region," said Vincent DeFilippi, MD, Medical Director of the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.  "With greater access to Stanford expertise, facilities and technologies, we are performing more minimally invasive procedures, including some that are robotically assisted.  We are able to make available to our patients clinical research trials of surgical procedures—now in the FDA approval process--that represent the next generation of cardiac surgery."  Dr. DeFilippi is a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Stanford, but is a resident of Monterey County, living and working here full time.

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