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Virtua Permitted to Continue Top Docs Ad Campaign
Date:2/17/2009

MARLTON, N.J., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a hearing today in Superior Court in Camden, N.J., the Honorable Mary E. Colalillo, lifted the temporary restraints that had required Virtua to stop its Top Doc advertising campaign. The restraining order had been imposed for the last six days in response to a complaint by Cooper University Hospital.

In entering this relief, Judge Colalillo permitted Virtua to continue with advertisements that state it has the most Top Docs in South Jersey. The methodology to support Virtua's advertising was to take the names of Top Docs from four publications -- Philadelphia Magazine, SJ Magazine, South Jersey Magazine and New Jersey Monthly -- and compare them to the medical staff lists posted on the websites of South Jersey hospitals. If a doctor was on the medical staff of more than one hospital, each hospital was given credit for that Top Doc. Using that methodology, Virtua had 220 Top Docs and Cooper had 143 in 2008.

Virtua's advertisements had referenced an independent study done by the Plesser and Clifford research firm and which had been posted on sjtopdocs.org. Because the nature of the study was in dispute, Virtua agreed to remove references to the independent study in its advertisements until the issue can be resolved by the court.

"We are very proud of the many distinguished physicians on Virtua's medical staff who are regularly recognized by their peers in the Top Doc process," said Richard P. Miller, President and CEO of Virtua Health. "Virtua has always had the highest ethical standards and we are dedicated to holding firm to the values of our mission. We want to ensure that the public has the correct information."

Virtua Health is a comprehensive healthcare system headquartered in Marlton, NJ. Its mission is to deliver a world-class patient experience through its programs of excellence in cancer treatment, cardiology, orthopaedics, women's health, pediatrics, surgery, neuroscience and wellness. A non-profit organization, Virtua employs 7,900 clinical and administrative personnel, and approximately 1,800 physicians serve as medical staff members. Virtua has distinguished itself as one of the first Six Sigma organizations in healthcare, as an early adopter of clinical and digital technologies, and for its innovative partnerships with nationally renowned organizations such as GE Healthcare, Fox Chase Cancer Center and A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. It has been honored twice with the New Jersey Governor's award for Clinical Excellence (Bronze in 2005; Silver in 2006) and recognized with the Leadership Award for Outstanding Achievement by Voluntary Hospitals of America. Virtua has been honored as the #1 Best Employer in the Delaware Valley by the Philadelphia Business Journal three years in a row and is the recipient of the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 Consumer Choice Awards by National Research Corporation. For more information, visit our website at www.virtua.org or call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823)


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SOURCE Virtua Health
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