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2003 Press Releases
Morton Plant Nationally Recognized as a Heart Hospital

CLEARWATER, Fla., (November 5, 2003) - Morton Plant Hospital's cardiovascular care has been recognized as a 100 Top Hospital for the fifth consecutive year in the "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" study. The findings of the study were recently published in the October 27 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

"Solucient's annual study identifies hospitals that display superior performance in the clinical management of cardiovascular disease," said Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive officer of Morton Plant Hospital. "The Top 100 means that we are setting the standard of care to which other hospitals around the country aspire."

Developed to identify the nation's highest performing cardiovascular hospitals and to set performance standards for clinical treatment and management, the Solucient study is part of an ongoing series. Hospitals named in the study were grouped into categories including 30 teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency programs, 40 teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residency programs and 30 community hospitals. Morton Plant is a teaching hospital without a cardiovascular residency program and the only one in the Tampa Bay area to be named a 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospital.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and men in the country, claiming one life every 33 seconds. The Solucient study found that an additional 4,000 cardiovascular patients could survive each year if all hospitals performed at the level of the 100 Top Hospitals.

In July 2003, Morton Plant announced plans for a new heart hospital as part of its major expansion project. "Since 1975, Morton Plant has been a leader in cardiovascular care consistently bringing new procedures and treatments to the Tampa Bay area. By creating a hospital focused solely on cardiac care, we will continue to be a pioneer," said Beauchamp.

Morton Plant conducts more open heart and interventional procedures than any other hospital in Pinellas County. Nearly 850 open heart surgeries are performed annually at Morton Plant Hospital. In April, the hospital was the first on Florida's West Coast to implant the new drug-eluting stents. Other firsts in cardiac care include:

* first hospital in the county to have an electrophysiology program for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias

* first to perform coronary angioplasty and valvuloplasty

* first to perform minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass

* first hospital on Florida's West Coast to implant drug-eluting stents

In addition to cardiovascular treatment, Morton Plant Hospital has more than 50 specialty areas of service including cancer treatment, behavioral health, neurosciences, emergency care, surgery services, women's health, rehabilitation and orthopaedics. Additionally, Morton Plant Hospital has joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients.

Solucient is the leading source of health care business intelligence. Its mission is to provide comprehensive, results-oriented information to drive business growth, manage costs, and deliver quality care. For more information, visit the Solucient Web site at http:// The 100 Top Hospitals Web site is

In 2002, Morton Plant was named one of America's Top 50 Hospitals, according to AARP Modern Maturity magazine and a 100 Top Hospital Top Hospital Overall list in 2002. In 2000, HCIA-Sachs (now Solucient) named Morton Plant as the only hospital in the country to achieve 100 Top Hospital status in four categories - cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall. In June 2003, Morton Plant Hospital was the second hospital in Florida to receive "Baby Friendly" status from the World Health Organization/UNICEF.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Beth Hardy

Morton Plant News Bureau

727-461-8117 Phone

727-468-7586 Pager