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Community Health Needs Assessment | Financial Assistance

Heart First Receives Quality Recognition

Release Date: 05/03/2012

Heart First Cardiology Associates, in Waterville, has been awarded the Bridges to Excellence® Cardiology Practice Recognition for meeting rigorous thresholds established by the American College of Cardiology and Bridges to Excellence®. Heart First, a department of Inland Hospital, is the first cardiology practice in Maine and one of only 15 practices nationwide to receive the prestigious award.

In earning the Bridges to Excellence Recognition, Heart First Cardiology Associates has shown a commitment to providing safe, effective, high quality care,” said William A. Zoghbi, MD, FACC, President of the ACC. “Cardiology practices that complete this program take steps to evaluate and improve almost every aspect of their work to ensure the best outcomes for their patients.”

Heart First Cardiology Associates is among a select group of cardiology practices in the nation that have achieved the Bridges to Excellence Cardiology Practice Recognition. According to Francois deBrantes, Executive Director of the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute®, “We're delighted to recognize Heart First Cardiology Associates for the quality of care they deliver to patients. The Cardiology Practice Recognition is an important indicator that Maine health plans and employers should look for when recommending cardiology practices to patients.

We are very proud of the care Heart First delivers to patients in our community,” said John Dalton, President and CEO of Inland Hospital. “And we are honored that Heart First has received this national recognition. Our Board-Certified cardiologists, Kevin White, MD, FACC; George Welch, MD, FACC; George Petropoulos, MD, FACC; and Shelley Falik, MD, FACC are outstanding and everyone on the Heart First team is truly dedicated to the highest level of patient care.”

To earn the Recognition, practices submit a wide array of information to be evaluated including:
  • Clinical performance data for Hypertension, Stable Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation/Atrial Flutter;
  • Information about practice-level systems that promote safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient, and patient-centered care;
  • Professional credentials of each cardiologist to calculate a practice-level commitment to professionalism.
Practices that receive the Cardiology Practice Recognition have demonstrated a commitment to continuous quality improvement,” said William Oetgen, MD, Senior Vice President of Science and Quality of the ACC. “This program sets the bar high for practices across America. Our goal is that all cardiologists nationwide will work towards gaining this esteemed credential.”

For more information about the American College of Cardiology and its Quality Programs, visit www.cardiosource.org/ACC. For more information about Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute® and its Bridges to Excellence® Recognitions, visit www.hci3.org.

About Heart First Cardiology Associates
Heart First Cardiology Associates, a department of Inland Hospital is located at 244 Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville on the Inland campus.
Heart First is focused on helping patients learn more about their heart, helping them heal and return to better health than they’ve had in years. Board-Certified Cardiologists have decades of experience along with a team of diagnostic and rehabilitation professionals who always put the patient’s heart first. When needed Heart First provides a direct link to the Heart Center of Eastern Maine at EMMC. In 2011, Heart First was honored for its high quality heart and stroke care by the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Heart/Stroke Recognition Program.

About the American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 40,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at www.cardiosource.org/ACC.

About Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.
The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc. (HCI3™) is a not-for-profit multi-stakeholder umbrella organization for Bridges to Excellence® and PROMETHEUS Payment®. The mission of the organization is to create significant improvements in the quality and affordability of health care by developing and implementing programs that recognize and reward physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care. HCI3 offers a comprehensive package of solutions to employers, health plans and coalitions to improve the flawed incentives that currently permeate the U.S. health care system. Visit www.HCI3.org.
~May 3, 2012