Trident Medical Center’s Open Heart Surgery Programs Earns Top 10% Ranking

Your Heart's In Good Hands at Trident Medical Center

Your Heart's In Good Hands at Trident Medical Center

North Charleston, SC (December 15, 2021) – Trident Medical Center’s open heart surgery program has earned its second consecutive highest rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and outcomes in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures for 2021. The rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places Trident Medical Center among the Top 10% of participating hospitals in the U.S. and Canada for CABG outcomes. Surgeons James Benner, MD and Karen Gersch, MD, FACS, FACC, with Palmetto Cardiovascular and Thoracic Associates Trident Health led Trident’s team that earned the recognition.

Cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon James Benner, MD said. “To earn the STS’s highest ranking for the second consecutive year during the time COVID dominated healthcare is a testament to our focus on providing high quality care to patients needing increasingly complex medical care.”

Dr. Benner added, “For open heart surgery patients in the Lowcountry and beyond who need a CABG procedure the rating means the care they receive at Trident Medical Center is among the best of the best.”  About 500,000 CABG procedures are done in the U.S. each year. It’s one of the most common major surgeries and performed to treat coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Karen Gersch, MD, FACS, FACC, added, “The recognition is truly an indication of exceptional team work and the team’s consistent attention to detail in every case. Dr. Benner and I are the lead surgeons, but there’s a large group of other physicians and clinicians who share in this success.”

The STS star rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada. The star rating is calculated using a combination of quality measures for specific procedures performed by an STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database participant.

The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database ACSD houses approximately 6.9 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 3,800 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists from more than 90% of groups that perform heart surgery in the US. STS public reporting online enables STS ACSD participants to voluntarily report to each other and the public their heart surgery scores and star ratings.

About Trident Health
For 46 years Trident Health has provided acute care services to families in South Carolina’s Lowcountry including Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. Trident Health includes two acute care hospitals – 321-bed Trident Medical Center and 124-bed Summerville Medical Center; three freestanding ERs – Brighton Park Emergency, Centre Pointe Emergency and Moncks Corner Medical Center – and two urgent care centers – CareNow Urgent Care Goose Creek and CareNow Urgent Care North Charleston.

Trident Health is one of the region’s largest employers with more than 2,500 staff and a medical staff of more than 600 physicians. In 2020 Trident Medical Center was recognized by Healthgrades as among American’s 50 Best Hospitals for Vascular Surgery. Additionally, The Joint Commission has recognized Trident Medical Center as a national Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center and Summerville Medical Center as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. Trident Medical Center is also a Trauma Center. In 2020, Trident Health provided $45.6 million in charity care and paid more than $35.4 million in local, state and federal taxes.

To learn more about how Trident Health is expanding services to meet the growing healthcare needs of South Carolina Lowcountry families go to

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