ST. CLOUD -- What's good for your heart is good for your soul and St. Cloud Hospital is proving just that after a recently released report.

The hospital ranked "better than expected" in both heart surgery categories on a list done by Consumer Reports. Coronary artery bypass surgery and aortic valve replacement surgery were the two categories.


John Castro is a heart surgeon at CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center at St. Cloud Hospital. He says having this recognition shows doctors and staff care about patients.

"It's nice that we would be recognized as excelling in these types of surgeries, that we are not just some backwater operation in the middle of Minnesota. But we can do the job and do it well."

Consumer Reports took heart surgery data from nearly 500 hospitals in the United States that are in partnership with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, to complete the list. In the mid-west region, 12 hospitals are on the list and in Minnesota only two, St. Cloud Hospital and Mayo Clinic Hospital-Rochester. The Mayo ranked "as expected" for the coronary artery bypass surgery and "better than expected" for aortic valve replacement surgery.

Castro says people having heart conditions in central Minnesota is prevalent and having a hospital nearby the specializes in heart surgery is good for the area.

"When people get in an emergency they get brought here. When we tell them they need heart surgery their first will be 'can I have it done here or should I go to a larger center or a world-famous center to have this done.' Now we can tell them that we have good results here and they can stay here where it's convenient for them, this is where they live and this is where their families live and we can help them more."

The heart and vascular team at St. Cloud Hospital is fairly large. Castro says they have about 20 cardiologists and three cardiac surgeons that primarily work in the CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center.

Since 2010, St. Cloud Hospital has received high ratings on Consumer Reports for heart surgery.

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