Bill Schmitt
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ChristianaCare’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health earns 3-star rating for heart bypass surgery from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

ChristianaCare’s renowned Center for Heart & Vascular Health has earned the highest quality rating—three stars—from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures.

The prestigious three-star rating places ChristianaCare among the elite health care organizations for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada.

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

“Earning a three-star rating for heart bypass surgery places us among the top heart hospitals in the nation,” said Ray Blackwell, M.D., the W. Samuel Carpenter Chief of Cardiac Surgery at ChristianaCare. “Delaware residents can be confident that they have one of the best heart surgery teams in the nation right here, close to home, at ChristianaCare.”

The three-star rating from STS adds to ChristianaCare’s long list of awards for quality heart care. For the past two years, the Center for Heart & Vascular Health has earned the designation HeartCARE Center National Distinction of Excellence from the American College of Cardiology for its commitment to high quality cardiovascular care. In addition, the Center for Heart & Vascular health received the American Heart Association’s 2021 Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks; the 2021 Get With The Guidelines NSTEMI Silver Award for patients with a less severe form of heart attack; and the 2021 Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Award for Heart Failure.

“Our Center for Heart & Vascular Health and our community have much to be proud of,” said Kirk Garratt, M.D., medical director of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health. “We provide great outcomes, and we also listen to patients and families and work to ensure that the stressful experience of surgery is as easy as it can be. That kind of commitment leads to this kind of recognition.”

Heart Disease Remains a Leading Killer in the U.S.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease remains a leading killer in the nation—claiming more than 600,000 lives each year. In addition, the AHA anticipates the effects of COVID-19 are likely to influence cardiovascular health and mortality rates for many years.

“February is American Heart Month, and there is no better time for us to take stock of our heart health than now,” Dr. Garratt said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to people living with chronic conditions such as heart disease. People with heart conditions are at greater risk of complications from the virus and also continue to need assistance managing their heart health. If you are a heart patient, please do not postpone your regular visit with your cardiologist.”

The STS is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,600 surgeons, researchers and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons.

About the Center for Heart & Vascular Health
ChristianaCare’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health is among the largest, most capable regional heart centers on the East Coast. It is one of the only centers in the region that integrates in a single location and under one roof cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, vascular interventional radiology, cardiology and interventional nephrology. Its team of experienced cardiovascular surgeons and heart experts perform nearly 700 open-heart procedures each year and treat more than 8,000 total heart and vascular cases annually. For more information, visit



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About ChristianaCare

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.

ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.