Diocese of Rockville Centre

Good Samaritan Hospital



Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
Christine Hendriks,
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104

Date:           November 1, 2010


Success of Cardiac Services Leads to Preliminary Approval
of Good Samaritan’s Open Heart Surgery Program  

Rockville Centre, NY – Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center’s application for an open heart surgery program has received approval from the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council (SHRPC).  SHRPC’s recommendation will go before State Health Commissioner Richard Daines, MD, for official consent.  This approval will allow St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center®,to bring its nationally recognized and award-winning open heart surgery program to the residents of Suffolk County.

Good Samaritan and St. Francis are members of Catholic Health Services and have a strong history of collaboration.  Good Samaritan has performed more cardiac procedures than any other facility in the surrounding area.  St. Francis, in addition to being New York’s only specialty designated cardiac center, offers one of the leading cardiac care programs in the nation.  U.S. News & World Report, for the second consecutive year, named St. Francis one of the best hospitals in the entire United States for cardiac care and heart surgery.  Like St. Francis, Good Samaritan has achieved the highest level of care and patient safety available, with superior clinical outcomes.  Recognized for nursing excellence, Good Samaritan and St. Francis Hospital are both Magnet™ designated hospitals, making them two of only three on Long Island to hold this honor.  Nationally, out of approximately 4,600 hospitals, just 217 have successfully attained Magnet™ status.

Good Samaritan is committed to providing the best outreach, access and care for all patients in southwest Suffolk County.  This commitment is especially relevant to safeguarding the cardiac health of the underserved members of the community.  Leveraging their combined experience and expertise, the medical staff at Good Samaritan and St. Francis have delivered the specific treatments needed for every cardiac patient.

“We look forward to continuing our collegial partnership with the nationally renowned St. Francis Hospital in the development of our open heart surgical program,” said Larry Altschul, MD, Good Samaritan’s medical director of cardiology.  

Good Samaritan was the first facility on the south shore of Suffolk County to offer both elective angioplasty and cardiac rehabilitation.   Since 2001, the hospital’s cardiologists have performed almost 12,000 cardiac catheterization procedures and more than 1,500 emergency and elective angioplasties on patients with heart disease.  Good Samaritan has offered patients from Suffolk and Nassau counties a variety of cardiology services such as angioplasty, temporary pacemaker insertion, electrophysiology studies, stress testing, EKG testing and catheterizations, making it the destination for excellence in heart health.

Good Samaritan has more cardiologists and a greater base of physicians who rely on them than other local facilities.  The medical center provides Suffolk County’s south shore population access to more than 50 cardiologists who receive referrals from a very broad spectrum of more than 850 practitioners.  The physicians in the Division of Cardiology are top in their respective fields, including clinical cardiologists, interventionalists and electrophysiologists.  The fully integrated cardiovascular services offered at Good Samaritan give heart patients more comprehensive care, with cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons working side by side.  The hospital has further enhanced its Division of Cardiology by expanding the facility, upgrading technology and employing special services to address the individual needs of cardiac patients.  In addition, Good Samaritan is also a recipient—one of only three on Long Island—of the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines ® Heart Failure Silver Performance Achievement Award.

St. Francis Hospital is known as The Heart Center® for its unrivaled experience in performing more cardiac procedures than any other hospital in the state of New York.   Over the last decade, more than 100,000 cardiac catheterizations, more than 37,000 angioplasties and nearly 20,000 open heart procedures have been performed at St. Francis.

“As a premier heart institution, St. Francis seeks opportunities to offer its services to the community.  Partnering with another member of Catholic Health Services allows us to reach even more people,” said Alan Guerci, MD, president and CEO of St. Francis Hospital.  “Together, Good Samaritan and St. Francis bring the finest cardiac care to the community, with the combined skills and expertise of two of the region’s highest performing hospitals.” 

Recent developments in the initiative to meet the cardiac-related needs of the region include St. Francis opening an extension clinic at South Bay Cardiovascular Associates in West Islip.  The team of cardiologists in this group, one of the largest, single cardiology practices in Suffolk County, have had a long-term affiliation with Good Samaritan.  A number of these physicians are on staff, with one—Dr. Altschul—serving as Good Samaritan’s medical director of cardiology.  This team, along with many other expert cardiologists affiliated with Good Samaritan, will continue to collaborate with the medical center in providing excellent, patient-focused cardiac care to those in need.

For more information on Good Samaritan’s cardiac services, call (631) 376-4444 or for information on St. Francis, call (516) 705-6657.\

Catholic Health Services of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community based agency for persons with special needs. More than 15,000 employees and 3,300 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system.