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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; November 4, 2005 - Of the 37 hospitals in New York State that are approved to perform heart surgeries on adult patients, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation takes a top ranking position in Western New York, and high ranking positions in New York State. The data appears in the recently released New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) report, "Adult Cardiac Surgery in New York State 2001-2003", dated October 2005.

Included in the report are statistics on: coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, combined heart valve/CABG surgeries, heart valve replacement/repair, multiple valve surgeries, and various other combinations of these procedures, as well as such data by surgeon.

For coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery alone, ECMC takes a Western New York lead with a high survival rate [interpreted as a low, 0.88 risk adjusted mortality (death) rate in WNY]. ECMC's rate is lower than the 1.61 percent New York State average (death) rate for CABG procedures across all 37 hospitals. For valve or valve/CABG surgeries, ECMC performed better than the average risk adjusted mortality rate of 6.43 for these hospitals, with a score of 4.07.

ECMC medical director John R. Fudyma, MD, stated, "We are pleased with our mortality results, but the real winners are the patients who need to undergo these procedures. It should also be noted that it is the quality initiatives we have in place that drive the program, and the surgical teams of nurses, perfusionists, anesthesiologists, physicians, and others who efficiently perform their roles, that enable us to achieve these results."

ECMC's Heart Care Center is staffed by many of the finest cardiac physicians and clinical personnel in New York State. In addition to ECMC's top-notch cardiac surgery program, ECMC offers comprehensive cardiac services, including cardiology care for evaluation and management of patients with heart conditions, electrophysiology laboratories (EP Labs) with the latest technology to study and correct irregular electrical activities of the heart, and advanced cardiac catheterization laboratories (Cath Labs) to perform such procedures as angioplasties to open blocked arteries. ECMC operates the area's first 24/7 emergency cardiac care program.

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation encompasses an advanced academic medical center with 550 inpatient beds and 156 skilled nursing home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics, and the Erie County Home, a 586-bed skilled nursing facility. The medical center serves as the regional center for trauma, burn, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. The ECMC Corporation is dedicated to being the medical center of choice through excellence in patient care and customer service.

For the complete NYSDOH report, log on to: www.health.state.ny.us./nysdoh/heart/pdf/2001-2003_cabg.pdf. For more information about ECMC and its Heart Care Center, call 716-898-3000.

NEWS CONTACT: Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300

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