AHN Earns Prestigious Three-Star Rating for Lung Cancer Resection Surgery from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Allegheny Health Network's Allegheny General and Forbes hospitals have earned distinguished 3-star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database.

PITTSBURGH, PA. (April 28, 2022) – Allegheny Health Network (AHN)’s Allegheny General and Forbes hospitals have earned distinguished 3-star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD) for their lung cancer resection surgery program.

The 3-star rating for lung resection surgery indicates the highest quality of patient care and outcomes and places AGH and Forbes among the elite general thoracic surgery programs in the United States. AHN is one of only 16 centers in the United States to receive the 3-star designation.The latest analysis of data for the GTSD covers a 3-year period, from July 2018 to June 2021, and includes 214 participants.

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 U.S. and Canadian thoracic surgery programs. The GTSD star ratings are derived by testing whether the participant's scores on quality outcomes are significantly different from the overall STS average for resection for lung cancer performed by GTSD participants.

“I am proud of our thoracic surgery team and the skill and dedication they bring every day to the care of our patients, said Benny Weksler, MD, System Chief of Thoracic Surgery at AHN. “Lung cancer is a difficult diagnosis, and our team works together to treat our patients holistically, combining state-of-the-art capabilities and leading expertise with the great compassion and support they need and deserve from diagnosis through survivorship.”

Lung is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and is linked to 80-90 percent of lung cancer deaths.

“Pennsylvania, unfortunately, has one of the highest lung cancer incidence rates in the country,” Dr. Weksler said. “Patients can look to this 3-star designation as assurance that at AHN they will receive high-quality, patient-centered care that gives them the best possible chance at a good outcome.”

Resection surgery is a common treatment for lung cancer, with treatment regiments also often including chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy. Types of resection surgeries may include lobectomy, segmentectomy, and wedge resection, depending on the size and location of the tumor.

“Congratulations to Dr Weksler and his team on this significant achievement,” said Stephen Bailey, MD, chair of the AHN Cardiovascular Institute and System Chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. “He and his colleagues in the division are a dedicated group of professionals who work as a cohesive team with an unwavering commitment to providing outstanding care to lung cancer patients and their families.”

The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgical programs. The GTSD—the largest and most robust clinical thoracic surgical database in the United States and Canada—contains more than 616,000 general thoracic surgery procedure records and has approximately 1,000 participating physicians.

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About the Allegheny Health Network:

Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region.The Network is composed of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more.AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,600 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

About STS:

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 7,700 surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lungs, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through collaboration, education, research, and advocacy.