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MercyOne Children's Hospital Achieves Mortality Rate Approximately One Third of National Average

March 7, 2019


Des Moines, Iowa, February 28, 2019 —The Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Program at MercyOne Children’s Hospital has achieved a mortality rate of one percent, which is approximately one third of the national average. The rate, calculated by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, was determined by data from July 2014 to June 2018, and from 118 national pediatric cardiovascular surgery programs. The Society’s national mortality rating is 2.9 percent. The criteria is based on Society of Thoracic Surgeons – European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (STAT) categories, which group procedures with similar mortality risks in increasing order from one to five.

“We are very pleased by this rate,” said MercyOne Des Moines President Karl Keeler. “It confirms what our patients and consumers already know – MercyOne Children’s Hospital provides the highest level of care for pediatric cardiovascular surgery. We applaud Dr. David Hockmuth and his team for their unwavering commitment to excellence and exceptional outcomes.”

About MercyOne Children’s Hospital

MercyOne Children’s Hospital is one of two Iowa hospitals included in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ database. The MercyOne team performs the highest volume of pediatric cardiac surgeries in the state, conducting 140 surgical cases annually. Additionally, it has maintained the highest survival average and highest case mix index among Iowa’s children’s hospitals since it began reporting in 2014. 

About MercyOne Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Program Team

The MercyOne Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Program team is led by David Hockmuth, M.D., Iowa’s only board-certified congenital heart surgeon (pediatric and adult) and the state’s longest-practicing pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, with 27 years of service at MercyOne Des Moines and Iowa Heart Center. The team of pediatric cardiologists is led by Thomas Becker, M.D., and the pediatric critical care team is led by Jessica Zuzga-Reed, D.O., medical director of MercyOne Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. In addition, they are supported by a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week team that includes pediatric cardiac perfusionists, anesthesiologists and nurses.


MercyOne Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Program team photo

(Front row, L-R): Amanda Cleppe, PA-C; Jaime Davis, RN, cardiac care nurse; and Brittany Quandt, pediatric cardiac perfusionist. (Back row, L-R): Kevin Devnich, chief pediatric cardiac perfusionist; Thomas Becker, M.D., pediatric cardiologist; David Hockmuth, M.D., pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon; and Jessica Zuzga-Reed, D.O., medical director of MercyOne Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.