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Oakland Thoracic Surgery Department earns top nationwide rating

The rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a first at Kaiser Permanente.

The Oakland Medical Center Thoracic Surgery Department has been awarded the distinguished 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for both high-quality lung and esophageal cancer treatment.

Thoracic surgeons operate on organs inside the chest, including the esophagus and lungs. While the majority of thoracic surgeries treat cancer, such as lung and esophageal cancer, they also can be performed to treat benign conditions, which range from infections in the lung to complex chest trauma.

The award is Kaiser Permanente’s first in its history and comes on the heels of the department’s recognition by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for being the third program in the country to be ACS Thoracic Surgery Verified.

“The STS rating signifies the highest category of quality,” said Smita Rouillard, MD, associate executive director, The Permanente Medical Group. “This honor places Oakland’s Thoracic Surgery Department among the elite for lung and esophagus cancer care in the United States and Canada.”

Based on patient data

Consideration for the STS ratings began with a rigorous process of compiling data for all patients operated on since January 1, 2020.

The STS ratings are calculated using a data-driven combination of quality measures to assess risk and monitor progress and health outcomes. The STS data shows that top performers have a lower risk of complications or death after surgery.

“We are extremely honored and humbled to receive the award alongside some of the top surgical innovators in the country,” said Jeffrey Velotta, MD, thoracic surgeon at the Oakland Medical Center. “Achieving a 3-star rating from the STS is extremely difficult to accomplish in one category. Receiving it in all areas elevates the reputation of our thoracic surgical program to new heights.”

“Achieving the 3-star rating for thoracic surgery validates our own findings at Kaiser Permanente from a highly respected third-party organization,” said Rita Ng, MD, physician in chief at the Oakland Medical Center. “These ratings are extremely important as high-quality care leads to less risk and better health outcomes.”

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Congratulations! I have certainly known for many years that Oakland Thoracic Surgery Department has had a very good reputation here in Northern California and at Kaiser. I have assured many a patient headed to Oakland from the San Rafael service area for thoracic procedures that they are in very good hands. I have not met Dr. Velotta, but we have done Pulmonary Function Studies on many of his patients here. This kind of national recognition is not only very well deserved but should certainly reassure our patients even more when they are referred to Oakland with, often, a very frightening diagnosis. Again, Congratulations!

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