ECU News Services

youtube twitter facebook rss feed

Medical center named one of the nation's 50 best for heart, urological care

Dr. Joseph Babb, left, an ECU cardiologist, prepares to perform cardiac angioplasty using radiation to open a patient's narrowed artery at Pitt County Memorial Hospital's Heart Center. Such advanced technology helped land PCMH on a list of the nation's 50
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (July 18, 2003)   —   Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville has been named among the nation's top 50 centers for treatment of cardiovascular and urological diseases and disorders.

PCMH is the primary teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked PCMH 44th among its list of top cardiovascular centers throughout the nation. The magazine also ranked PCMH the 45th best hospital for urology care.

U.S. News takes into account mortality rates, technology, the ratio of registered nurses to beds and other data that are keys to quality patient care. U.S. News also considers the hospital's reputation among physicians.

The hospital rankings were in the July 28 issue.

"It's wonderful news to have the recognition that gives the general public an idea of the quality of services delivered here," said Dave McRae, chief executive of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, PCMH's parent corporation.

Dr. Randolph Chitwood, a cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the Heart Center at PCMH, agreed that the fact PCMH has such a strong cardiovascular disease program reflects the pervasiveness of heart and circulatory disease in eastern North Carolina and the need for the advanced patient care and research capabilities the new center will offer.

"The treatment of heart disease, vascular disease and stroke is very important," said Chitwood, who is also a faculty member at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. "The research component is especially important."

Chitwood added, "We're very pleased to achieve this high ranking among all the cardiovascular centers in the U.S."

In the 2002 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, physicians at the Heart Center treated more than 5,000 cardiac catheterization patients, performed electrophysiology procedures on more than 1,700 patients and performed cardiothoracic surgery on more than 1,200 patients. On an average day, the Heart Center has 80 inpatients.

In addition to advanced treatments available at the Heart Center, PCMH also offers the latest treatments for urological diseases and disorders in cooperation with Eastern Urological Associates, the local private urology practice. Surgeons there offer advanced services such as robot-assisted urology surgery, adult and pediatric reconstructive urology surgery, radioactive seed implantation to fight prostate cancer and others, said Dr. Dieter Bruno, one of the practice's five surgeons.

"We have a wonderful medical center here ... and a wonderful staff of physicians who are well-trained," Bruno said.

In 2002, physicians with Eastern Urological performed 2,448 inpatient and 1,978 outpatient procedures at PCMH, along with 140 procedures in the emergency department and 39 more at SurgiCenter Services of Pitt.

Other N.C. hospitals that made the cardiovascular list are Duke University Medical Center in Durham (fourth), N.C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem (37th) and Mission-St. Joseph's Health in Asheville (42nd). Other hospitals that made the urology list are Duke (8th) and Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte (40th).

U.S. News ranks hospitals in 17 specialty areas. PCMH was ranked 41st in heart care in 1998 and 42nd in neurology/neurosurgery in 1999. Last year, PCMH was ranked among the nation's top 100 cardiovascular centers by Solucient, a firm that collects and analyzes health care information. The same firm ranked PCMH as one of the nation's top 100 stroke centers in 2000.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481