October 13, 2008

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group to Join Aurora Health Care

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group, the largest cardiology group in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the Midwest, announced today that it plans to enhance and expand its services to patients by joining Aurora Health Care.

"We believe strongly that the affiliation with Aurora is in the long-term best interests of our patients," said Masood Akhtar, M.D., president of the cardiology group. "We look forward to leveraging the strengths of Aurora's fully integrated system to ensure that all patients benefit from best practices in heart care and the latest treatment options."

With the 39 cardiologists of Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care Group, known in the medical community as CCC, Aurora will be creating a cardiovascular care specialty group practice that will provide outstanding heart care services for patients throughout eastern Wisconsin. Wherever they access services, patients will be able to count on the same first-class heart care.

"Our goal is to set the highest standards for heart care and to make that care easily accessible to all of our patients," said Nick Turkal, M.D., Aurora's president and chief executive officer.

"The CCC physicians enjoy a stellar reputation for top-quality, leading-edge care," Dr. Turkal said. "Many of these cardiologists have national or international reputations. Working together, we will raise the bar for heart care."

CCC encompasses 15 interventional cardiologists, 8 electrophysiologists, 9 invasive cardiologists and 7 non-invasive cardiologists. The practice also includes one cardio-metabolic specialist and one research scientist. All will join Aurora Health Care, along with all 170 members of their staff. The physicians practice at locations throughout eastern Wisconsin.

The CCC cardiologists already provide heart care services at many Aurora hospitals and clinics. Through this affiliation, they will be expanding their practices to additional locations and communities.

"To really impact the way heart care is delivered across the state and move toward the next level of care, we need a strong partner," Dr. Akhtar said. "With Aurora, we will have the support we need to take the next steps with our practice and achieve more for patients."

The CCC cardiologists have a strong commitment to clinical research and currently are directing dozens of research projects, pioneering new ways to prevent and treat heart disease. They will continue this work with support from Aurora's extensive clinical research infrastructure.

The cardiologists also train the next generation of heart care specialists through a comprehensive cardiology fellowship program. Currently there are 23 fellows, ranking CCC's program as the largest heart care fellowship program in Wisconsin and the 17th largest in the United States. The program will soon grow to 28 fellows.

While Aurora offers excellent heart care services in many locations, patients requiring the most advanced treatment options receive care in Milwaukee, at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center or Aurora Sinai Medical Center. The CCC cardiologists are key partners in keeping these hospitals at the forefront of cardiac care.

"Our group is proud of the care we offer at these hospitals, and we will work to make sure that patients in all of the communities Aurora serves have access to the best heart care," Dr. Akhtar said.

The CCC cardiologists have worked with the Aurora organization for many years. The affiliation announced today will allow for a more complete integration of heart care services with all of the other services Aurora provides.

"We are an integrated health care system, which means we strive to coordinate patient care across many different services and sites, and also throughout a patient's lifetime," Dr. Turkal explained. "We believe this is the best and most cost-effective way to deliver care. The affiliation with CCC will help us achieve these goals for our patients."

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of care. Aurora provides care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Aurora Health Care

CONTACT: Jeff Squire, Vice president of corporate communications ofAurora Health Care, +1-414-647-3405

Web site: http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/