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2005 Press Releases
Morton Plant North Bay Hospital Improving Response Time for Heart Patients

Cardiac Transport Vehicle Begins Emergency Transfers Between Hospitals

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., (April 19, 2005) - Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is meeting the needs of patients faster by getting behind the wheel of it's new emergency cardiac transport unit. The inter-hospital vehicle provides free transportation between North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey to other area medical facilities, including Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.

"If an emergency cardiac procedure can't be performed at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, such as an angioplasty, the transport unit can transfer the patient, free of charge, to Morton Plant Hospital in less than an hour," said William M. Jennings, administrator and COO, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. "The hospital-to-hospital transports provide a prompt response to our patient's needs and allow ambulances in Pasco County to be more readily available to handle other emergency situations within the community."

The cardiac transport unit meets all federal and state ambulance guidelines and is staffed by a full-time paramedic, an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a registered critical care nurse provided by MedFleet Corporation. In addition to acute cardiac cases, the transport unit also may be utilized for the transfer of stroke patients who would benefit from interventional neuroradiology procedures such as the use of a retrieval device to remove a clot from the brain. Both emergency procedures are performed at Morton Plant in Clearwater. The cardiac transport unit is also available to travel to local nursing homes and treatment centers. The hospital-to-hospital transport service is believed to be the first of it's kind in Pasco County.

"Morton Plant has pioneered many firsts in cardiovascular care," said Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive officer, Morton Plant Hospital Association, Inc. "The cardiac transport unit will provide the community of Pasco County with greater accessibility to the latest advancements in treating and preventing heart disease."

Morton Plant Hospital is one of only seven hospitals in the United States to receive the most prestigious ranking of cardiovascular care for six consecutive years. Named the 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success Study, 6th Edition, the study recognizes Morton Plant Hospital for setting national cardiac care standards. The hospital has also been the first to introduce many new heart and vascular techniques and procedures including:

* first to use a minimally invasive technique to retrieve veins for cardiac bypass surgery

* first to place drug-coated stent in Tampa Bay area

* first hospital in Pinellas 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

Morton Plant Hospital has also the only teaching hospital in Florida to be ranked as a 100 Top facility for its overall care in The Solucient 100 Top Hospitals(r): National Benchmarks for Success, 12th Edition. Morton Plant has been ranked in the study five times.

Construction is underway for Morton Plant's new heart hospital in Clearwater. The 148,000 square-foot building will include four new open-heart operating rooms, four new heart catheterization labs and 100 additional private rooms. Construction is expected to be complete in the spring of 2006.

Established in 1965, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is a 122-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 North Bay's stroke care has received the highest level of recognition -- the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is located at 6600 Madison Street, New Port Richey, Fla., (727) 842-8468.

Contact: Beth Hardy, (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 419-4471 Pager or Amy Morrow, (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager