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Northwell Cardiothoracic Programs Have Nation’s Highest Success Rates

Multiple programs across the health system were given the highest-possible ratings by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons


  • LIJ, Lenox Hill, South Shore and Staten Island hospitals received three stars for pulmonary resection for lung cancer, placing them in the top 15 percent nationwide for the procedure – and marking the first time all Northwell facilities received the top rating.

Five Northwell Health hospitals received top scores in cardio-thoracic surgery specialties, including certain lung procedures and open-heart surgeries, in the latest ratings from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

Five Northwell hospitals – Long Island Jewish Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, South Shore University Hospital, Staten Island University Hospital and the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital – received three-star ratings in their respective fields – the highest quality rating possible.

LIJ, Lenox Hill, South Shore and Staten Island hospitals received three stars for pulmonary resection for lung cancer, placing them in the top 15 percent nationwide for the procedure – and marking the first time all Northwell facilities received the top rating. LIJ and Lenox Hill also received three-star ratings for lobectomies, placing them in the top 10 percent for that procedure.

A lobectomy is a procedure where an entire lobe of the lung is removed and is commonly used to treat lung cancer. Pulmonary resection is a similar procedure that involves removing part of, or the entirety of, a lung. Northwell performs more than 3,400 lung procedures annually across the health system, many of which are minimally invasive and robotic assisted.

“Northwell hospitals consistently place among the best in the nation in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ ratings,” said Alan Hartman, MD, senior vice president and executive director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery for Northwell. He is also co-director of the Northwell Health Cardiovascular Institute.

“These exceptional ratings from STS are a testament to the collaborative efforts of multiple talented and dedicated individuals and teams across the Northwell Health system,” said Paul C. Lee, MD MPH, system director of thoracic surgery at Northwell Health. “Surgeons, nurses, intensivists, physician assistants, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists and many other healthcare professionals work tirelessly, striving to deliver top-quality care and outcomes for our patients. These ratings just prove the quality of our care and demonstrate the power of teamwork.”

STS also evaluated hospitals for cardiac procedures. Sandra Atlas Bass, South Shore, Staten Island and Lenox Hill hospitals all had the nation’s highest success rates. All four hospitals received three-star quality ratings for isolated coronated artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, placing them in the top 23 percent nationwide.

Sandra Atlas Bass also received three-stars for isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR), isolated mitral valve (MV) replacement/repair, and CABG+AVR surgery. South Shore was also awarded three stars for CABG+AVR surgery, and Lenox Hill was awarded three stars for isolated MV replacement/repair.

“The facilities that make up Northwell’s Cardiovascular Institute all account for multiple three-star ratings from STS across several programs in the health system,” Dr. Hartman said. “Patients should feel safe knowing they can get high-quality care from world-class physicians at any of our facilities.”

The cardiac report from STS includes data from 964 participants, while the thoracic surgery ratings included data from 293 participants. Both data sets cover the period of January 2021 to December 2023.

Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. It claims nearly 1 million lives annually, and nearly half of US adults have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Nearly 237,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and more than 127,000 will die from the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and accounts for 20 percent of cancer deaths in the country.

Nearly all the lobectomies performed at LIJ and Lennox Hill are minimally invasive, which leads to faster patient recoveries and less pain. It also allows older patients or those with complex issues to undergo surgery more successfully. Many of the surgeries are also done robotically, more than any other health system in the area.

The rating system from STS measures the overall quality of care and outcomes of thoracic surgery programs across the country. The ratings are calculated by testing whether the hospital’s score is significantly different from the overall STS average for lobectomy and pulmonary resection.

Participation in the STS general thoracic and adult cardiac surgery databases is voluntary, highlighting Northwell’s commitment to quality improvement and transparency of patient outcomes.

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