Christus St. Patrick Hospital Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care

LAKE CHARLES, LA - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has designated CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care.  St. Patrick is the only facility in Southwest Louisiana to receive this award. To date, more than 400 facilities nationwide have received a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation.

Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for cardiac patients. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations, including the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continue to evolve.*

"We are proud and honored to be the only Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care in the region," says Bernard Leger, Administrator of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. "Our commitment to quality care is demonstrated by our treatment of various cardiac health issues in our patients.  The people of Southwest Louisiana can feel confident in knowing they are receiving excellent healthcare right here in our region. "

St. Patrick Hospital offers comprehensive cardiac care services, including inpatient cardiac care, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery (including coronary artery bypass graft surgery).**

"Our medical and clinical staff set the bar at the highest standard in terms of technology advances, innovation, experience and compassionate service. Year after year, the American Heart Association recognizes CHRISTUS St. Patrick's sustained clinical excellence in the treatment of heart patients. Just last month, the hospital was awarded the Gold Level 2009 Louisiana Hospital Quality Award for improving the quality of health care given to patients," Leger adds.

"Our goal is always to provide the best quality care for our cardiac patients," says Cardiologist, Richard Gilmore, M.D.  "This designation recognizes our medical and nursing staff for successfully developing CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital into the regional leader in excellent heart care."

The need for quality cardiac care is urgent: The American Heart Association estimates that this year alone, 1.2 million Americans will experience a first or recurrent heart attack.

"Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information," says Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. "Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, St. Patrick Hospital met the selection criteria posted at, which includes:

  • an established cardiac care  program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures (e.g. a minimum of 125 cardiac surgical procedures annually, including both CABG and/or valve surgery)
  • appropriate experience of its cardiac team, including sub-specialty board certification for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
  • an established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency and a full range of cardiac services
  • full facility accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
  • low overall complication and mortality rates
  • a comprehensive quality management program

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Today, more than 1,600 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, and transplants.