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Media Contact: 
Margaret N. Reese, President, Mercy Hospital Foundation and Interim Director Marketing and Community Relations
319-358-2622 or e-mail: margaret.reese@mercyic.org

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - Mercy designated as Blue Distinction Center+ for cardiac care
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that Mercy Iowa City is one of five Iowa hospitals to be designated as a Blue Distinction Center+, under the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated providers who show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and is expected to claim more than 23.6 million lives annually by 2030. Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care seek to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to find quality cardiac care. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers designation, hospitals must demonstrate expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft, and percutaneous coronary interventions episodes of care.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 400 hospitals under the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care program. Only those hospitals that first meet nationally established measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for designation as Blue Distinction Centers+.