REGION'S LARGEST CARDIOVASCULAR PRACTICE
PARTNERS WITH WELLMONT HEALTH SYSTEM
KINGSPORT – An unprecedented partnership between the area's largest cardiovascular physicians' group and the region's top heart program will significantly enhance care for patients across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Cardiovascular Associates, with more than 30 specialists practicing in six area locations, is partnering with Wellmont Health System, which operates Tennessee's No. 1 cardiology hospital. The relationship was finalized earlier this month.
Under the agreement, CVA's physicians have become Wellmont employees and will provide clinical and administrative leadership for the cardiovascular programs at Wellmont hospitals.
"By fully integrating CVA's physicians and staff into our health system, we can maximize the quality and value we provide to our patients," said Bob Burgin, Wellmont's interim CEO. "This partnership is the natural evolution of a long-term relationship, and it will only serve to strengthen what is already the premier heart program in the region."
Cardiovascular Associates has managed the cardiac programs at Wellmont hospitals for several years as part of the Wellmont Regional Heartcare Network. During that time, Holston Valley Medical Center has twice been named one of the nation's Top 100 heart hospitals and, most recently, was ranked Tennessee's No. 1 hospital for cardiology by HealthGrades. Bristol Regional Medical Center has emerged as a regional leader in off-pump bypass surgery, and both hospitals consistently outperform the 90-minute national gold standard for door-to-balloon time for heart attack patients.
Dr. Gerald Blackwell, Cardiovascular Associates' president and chairman of the board, said the new relationship will be virtually transparent to patients but will yield significant benefits. Through this formal partnership, CVA and Wellmont will be better able to proactively ensure that Tennessee's premier cardiovascular care network continues to optimally serve the region despite the pressure of healthcare reform.
"This integration strategy represents the cutting-edge model being embraced at leading cardiovascular institutions throughout the United States," Dr. Blackwell said. "The strength of Wellmont Health System will enable us as physicians to do what we do best – and that is taking care of the more than 50,000 patients across the region who put their hearts in our hands."