Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network Expands beyond Tennessee

Thu Jul 3, 2008 11:12am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Network Supports Hospitals in Providing Premier Cardiac Care to
                           Local Communities
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(Business Wire)--
Saint Thomas Health Services has built the largest network of
freestanding, affiliated chest pain centers in the nation, and now it
is expanding the services of the network into southern Kentucky,
officials announced today.

   The Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network is a division of Saint Thomas
Health Services that coordinates with local emergency medical services
(EMS) and hospital providers to offer a complete range of cardiac care
services to populations at risk for heart-related problems. Currently,
the Chest Pain Network includes eleven hospitals accredited by the
Society of Chest Pain, including the first hospital in the country to
receive certification as a Medicare Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

   "At Saint Thomas Health Services, we have the ability and the
expertise to extend our exceptional heart care practices beyond our
hospitals' doors and into communities in three states," said Jim
Houser, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health Services. "The Chest
Pain Center Network allows us to quickly provide the highest level of
heart care in close range of those most in need of life-saving

   The Society of Chest Pain accredits centers based upon a variety
of rigorous criteria, including clinical outcome statistics and
comparisons nationwide. In 2007 alone, facilities in the Saint Thomas
Chest Pain Center Network saw a number of significant improvements in
their clinical outcomes. For example:

   --  Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. reduced their
        door-to-balloon time from 84 minutes in January 2007 to 69
        minutes in January 2008.

   --  Crockett Hospital in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. reduced their door to
        EKG time from 21 minutes in April 2007 to 7 minutes in January

   --  Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Tenn. reduced their
        door to EKG time from 18 minutes in December 2006 to 8 minutes
        in June 2007.

   "As the number one heart-care provider in Middle Tennessee, these
results reflect our ability to apply best practices, continually make
improvements and achieve the most positive outcomes for patients and
their families," added Houser.

   The goal of the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network is to standardize
chest pain protocols among network partner sites, resulting in
consistent implementation of evidence-based protocols across the
region. A more systematic coordination of existing protocols for
treatment, quality data collection, and outcomes monitoring come as a
result of this initiative.

   "Moving patients, especially those living in remote areas, through
the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network quickly and efficiently is
critical to saving more lives," said Chris Thomson, Executive Director
of the Saint Thomas Chest Pain Network. "Through this network, we hope
to improve community awareness and emergency access, and work with
patients throughout the continuum of cardiac care - from the 9-1-1
call all the way to the patient's discharge after a heart attack."

   In order to implement the program, the Saint Thomas Chest Pain
Center Network received accreditation from the National Society of
Chest Pain Centers. The centers that have achieved Cycle II Society of
Chest Pain accreditation and are members of the Saint Thomas Chest
Pain Network, include:

   --  Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.;

   --  Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.;

   --  Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.;

   --  Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tenn.;

   --  Livingston Regional Hospital in Livingston, Tenn.;

   --  Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tenn.;

   --  Southern Tennessee Medical Center in Winchester, Tenn.;

   --  Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Tenn.;

   --  Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville, Tenn.;

   --  Crockett Hospital in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.;

   --  Hardin Medical Center in Savannah, Tenn.; and

   --  Lincoln Medical Center(1) in Fayetteville, Tenn.;

   --  Monroe County Hospital(1) in Tompkinsville, KY.

   (1) Pending accreditation

   About Saint Thomas Heart

   In 2007, Saint Thomas Health Services launched Saint Thomas Heart,
a combined entity that utilizes all of Saint Thomas Health Services'
heart services under focused leadership. The physicians of Mid-State
Cardiology, with offices on the Baptist Hospital campus, and The Heart
Group, located on the Saint Thomas Hospital campus, now practice under
the umbrella of Saint Thomas Heart. This combined group of 60 heart
specialists sees more than 130,000 heart patients in a 69-county
region that stretches throughout Middle Tennessee and into southern

   About Saint Thomas Health Services

   Saint Thomas Health Services is a faith-based ministry with more
than 8,000 associates serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health
Services' regional health system consists of four hospitals - Baptist
and Saint Thomas in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in
Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville - and a
comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics,
cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices,
the Center for Spinal Surgery, clinics and rehabilitation facilities.
STHS is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is
the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For
more information, visit

Saint Thomas Health Services
Rebecca Climer, 615-284-6839

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