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100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs

Written by Heather Punke (Twitter | Google+)  | January 02, 2013

Becker's Hospital Review has named "100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs." These hospitals offer outstanding heart care, and the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected them based on clinical accolades, recognition for quality care and contributions to the field of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. These hospitals have been set apart for excellence in heart care and research by reputable healthcare rating resources, including U.S. News & World Report, HealthGrades, Thomson Reuters and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Note: This list is not an endorsement of included hospitals or associated healthcare providers, and hospitals cannot pay to be included. Hospitals are presented in alphabetical order.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis). The Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital delivers care through its Integrated Cardiovascular Care Model, which combines clinical research, scientific innovation and medical services. The institute offers a full range of cardiovascular specialties and strives for excellence in heart disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. It is also one of the few centers in the Midwest to offer heart transplants.

Advocate Christ Medical Center (Oak Lawn, Ill.). The Heart and Vascular Institute at Advocate Christ Medical Center offers innovative treatment and technology to address the full range of cardiovascular diseases. The hospital performs more heart surgeries than any other hospital in northern Illinois and its Congestive Heart Failure Clinic treats more than 1,000 patients annually. Advocate Christ Medical Center was ranked among the top hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2012.  

Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh). The Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny General Hospital includes the Pulmonary Hypertension Program as a center of excellence. The program uses a community integration system to ensure care continues after diagnosis and treatment. The hospital is home to important cardiology advancements, as well. In 2004, Allegheny General cardiologists were the first in the world to demonstrate that advanced cardiac MRI is better than conventional diagnostic procedures for predicting heart attacks in women.

Aspirus Wausau (Wis.) Hospital. The Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute at Aspirus Wausau Hospital was the first center in its region to embrace beating heart surgery, a form of bypass surgery that has higher success rates than the traditional technique. Aspirus Wausau surgeons perform about 95 percent of bypass surgeries using this technique, compared with the national rate of 30 percent. Aspirus also developed the Level I Cardiac Care program to treat heart attack patients faster by streamlining diagnosis, transfer and treatment.

Augusta Health (Fishersville, Va.). Augusta Health is accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, meaning the hospital has integrated best practices into its cardiac care processes. It has a state-of-the-art vascular suite that combines a full operating room with angiography and imaging equipment. Under this design, physicians can perform surgical and radiological vascular procedures simultaneously, which is more convenient for patients. Augusta Health was named to Thomson Reuters' 100 Top Hospitals in 2012.

Aultman Hospital (Canton, Ohio). The Aultman Heart Center at Aultman Hospital offers a full range of non-invasive and invasive heart procedures. The center performs twice as many heart procedures as the other hospitals in its county combined. Giovanni Ciuffo, MD, the director of the Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program at the center, performs minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting procedures, which allow patients to recover and return to normal activity faster than more invasive techniques.

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center (Milwaukee). Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center recently opened the Cardiac Specialty Centers, where providers research and offer treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, adult congenital heart disease, Marfan and aortic disorders and valvular heart disease. The hospital is also known for its robotic-assisted heart surgery program, which it initiated in 2002 and has attracted physicians from across the country. The hospital is also home to the Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center, a nationally recognized resource center dedicated to increasing the awareness, diagnosis and prevention of heart disease among women.  

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix). Surgeons at Banner Good Samaritan's Cavanagh Heart Center were some of the first in the nation to implant the left ventricular assist device to treat heart failure in patients not eligible for heart transplants. The hospital's surgeons are also the only physicians in Phoenix who perform pulmonary artery endarterectomy to treat clot formation in the pulmonary artery. Heart and vascular researchers at Cavanagh have helped innovate several new technologies, including an implantable device that monitors the heart and alerts patients when a heart attack may be imminent — even with no symptoms.

Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital (Amarillo, Texas). The cardiology department at Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital offers full-service heart care. The team of cardiologists and providers uses established techniques and technology to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions. The hospital also has a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program, which emphasizes exercising to improve cardiovascular fitness and provides education on stress management and heart-healthy lifestyles.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis). Barnes-Jewish Hospital's Heart & Vascular Center has pioneered many procedures, from ablation therapies to valve repair and replacement. In September 2012, Barnes-Jewish physicians were the first in the country to implant the world's smallest heart pump in a heart failure patient. Also in 2012, Heart & Vascular Center physicians celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first Cox Maze procedure, a surgery invented there that has since become the standard treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation.

Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital (Dallas). Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital is the first North Texas hospital dedicated solely to the care and treatment of heart and vascular patients. Along with clinical care and expertise, physicians are involved in ongoing research projects, such as therapies for the management of heart failure, like cardiac resynchronization therapy.

Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich.). Beaumont Hospital has several centers devoted to heart and vascular health. The Ministrelli Women's Heart Center was the first of its kind in Michigan, dedicated to the detection, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in women. In 2012, Beaumont cardiovascular physicians led a landmark study, finding inappropriate coronary CT angiography can be reduced up to 60 percent through educational programs, physician collaboration and close monitoring. The research was published in August 2012 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Bellin Hospital (Green Bay, Wis.). The heart and vascular team at Bellin Hospital has more than 40 years of experience in cardiac care, making it the most experienced program in the region. The team at Bellin Hospital can unblock the artery of a heart attack patient in 49 minutes, well below the national average. Bellin Hospital's was one of five regional heart surgery programs to pass the selection criteria for use of the Sapien heart valve, the first artificial valve designed for implantation without major surgery.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston). The Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital is home to New England's first 320-slice clinical cardiac CT scanner. The center also has hybrid operating rooms that allow surgeons to perform advanced hybrid therapies, combinations of catheter-based, conventional and less invasive surgical procedures. The hospital is home to New England's first heart transplant in 1984 and first artificial heart transplant, which occurred in February 2012.

Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Hospital. Bryn Mawr Hospital's Heart Center, part of the Main Line Health Heart Center, takes a progressive approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. It was the first heart center in the country to introduce Aquenous Oxygen Therapy for heart attack patients, which improves patients' surgery recovery rates. Bryn Mawr was also one of the first centers in the region to offer patients access to coronary brachytherapy, an application to reduce restenosis.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). Cedars-Sinai's Heart Institute is known for excellent heart care and its involvement in cutting-edge research. For example, a team of the heart institute's stem cell researchers received a $1.3 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to continue studying stem cell therapy for heart attack patients. Also, Cedars-Sinai physicians have performed more percutaneous mitral valve repairs and aortic valve replacements than any other medical center in the nation.  

Clara Maass Medical Center (Belleville, N.J.). Located about five miles north of Newark, N.J., Clara Maass Medical Center offers its diagnostic cardiac services as a center of excellence. The medical center was named to Thomson Reuters' 100 Top Hospitals in 2012 and was also a recipient of HealthGrades' 2012 Patient Safety Excellence Award.

Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic's Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute includes centers for women's cardiovascular services, heart failure and other specific cardiac conditions. It has been ranked number one in the nation for heart care by U.S. News & World Report for 18 years in a row. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery, and is home to the largest cardiovascular practice in the nation. No other hospital in the country sees more patients for heart and vascular care, according to the hospital.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center (Browns Mills, N.J.). Deborah Heart and Lung Center is the only cardiac and pulmonary specialty hospital in the state. The hospital was also rated as the safest hospital in New Jersey in 2012 by Consumer Reports. Recently, Deborah Heart and Lung physician Edmund Karam, MD, was named to the Stereotaxis "Century Club," which recognizes the top robotic ablation experts in the nation. He is one of only 11 electrophysiologists on the list.

Decatur (Ill.) Memorial Hospital. Decatur Memorial Hospital was the first hospital in Macon County to provide a dedicated space for cardiac care. The Decatur Memorial Hospital Heart & Lung Institute's physicians have the expertise to perform virtually all open-heart surgeries with beating heart techniques. Decatur Memorial has been named one of Thomson Reuters' 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for two years in a row.

Delray Medical Center (Delray Beach, Fla.). Delray Medical Center's Heart Center offers multiple specialties, including invasive valve repair and minimally invasive cardiac surgery, among other cardio subspecialties. Delray Medical Center unveiled a 128 Multi-Slice CT Scanner in its heart center in February 2012. The scanner lowers the patient's exposure to radiation while taking multiple X-rays and combining them on a computer screen to identify artery blockage.

Dixie Regional Medical Center (St. George, Utah). Dixie Regional Medical Center has been named one of Thomson Reuters' 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for four consecutive years, most recently in 2012. The hospital boasts state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging technology, including CT, MRI and 3D Echo imaging tests. HealthGrades has given Dixie Regional Medical Center its Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award, based on excellence in coronary artery bypass graft and valve repair or replacement surgery.

Doctors Hospital (Columbus, Ohio). Doctors Hospital is an accredited chest pain center that offers state-of-the-art heart and vascular care. The cardiac team includes cardiac educators, who work one-on-one with patients so they better understand their heart problems and procedures. Doctors Hospital has been named one of Thomson Reuters' 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for two years in a row.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Fla.). Doctors Hospital of Sarasota's new PCI Heart Stenting Program provides lifesaving interventions that save time and heart muscle. The hospital was recognized as a top performer on key quality measures by The Joint Commission in 2012 — the second year in a row. It also received the gold award for heart failure care from the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program.

Doylestown Hospital (Bucks, Pa.). The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is ranked second nationally for 30-day heart attack mortality, as reported by the federal government. Joseph Auteri, MD, FACS, serves as The Heart Institute's medical director and is an expert in minimally invasive valve surgery, which is a growing specialty at Doylestown Hospital. Nearly one in three cardiac valve surgeries done at the institute is a minimally invasive procedure.

Duke University Medical Center (Durham, N.C.). Duke University Medical Center's Duke Heart Center has a dual focus on clinical services and cardiovascular research. The center is home to the top congestive heart failure program in the nation, based on patient volume, National Institutes of Health and private funding and publications. It is also home to the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, the world's largest and oldest repository of outcomes data on heart patients, which was established in 1969.

Evanston (Ill.) Hospital. The Cardiovascular Care Center at Evanston Hospital, part of NorthShore University HealthSystem, specializes in comprehensive heart care. Its surgeons performed the first percutaneous mitral valve repair in 2004. Last year, NorthShore interventional cardiologist Ted Feldman, MD, studied the safety and effectiveness of the MitraClip and his results were later published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Florida Hospital (Orlando). The Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute manages more than 70,000 cardiac-related visits each year. Last year, one surgeon performed the first complete robotic cardiac surgery in central Florida. Researchers at the institute have been instrumental in developing various cardiovascular treatments, such as surgical and peripheral ablation techniques used to treat arrhythmia.

French Hospital Medical Center (San Louis Obispo, Calif.). French Hospital Medical Center's excellence in cardiac care dates back to 1981, when the hospital built the first cardiac catheterization lab and performed the first cardiac surgery in San Louis Obispo County. Now, French's Copeland, Forbes & Rossi Cardiac Care Center is the only center on the central coast to have non-radiation imaging technology that allows physicians to take more accurate images of the heart with improved clinical results.

Forsyth Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Forsyth Cardiac & Vascular Center has earned a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeon for four consecutive years. It was the first hospital in North Carolina to earn the advanced certification in heart failure from the Joint Commission. In 2012, Forsyth Medical Center was one of two hospitals in North Carolina to offer a newly approved subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, the first heart defibrillator that can be implanted under the skin without touching the heart.

Gaston Memorial Hospital (Gastonia, N.C.). Gaston Memorial Hospital is the home of CaroMont Heart. The hospital participates in the Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in North Carolina Emergency Department project, which aims to increase the rate and speed of coronary reperfusion through systemic changes in emergency care. Through a strategic partnership with Columbia University Medical Center's HeartSource, CaroMont Heart has access to clinical trials and physician training for innovative cardiovascular procedures.

Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, Pa.). As part of Geisinger Medical Center's Level 1 heart attack program, 90 percent of heart attack patients are treated within 90 minutes, much higher than the national average of 55 percent of patients. Geisinger Heart Institute's specialized physicians have a 96-percent success rate in opening blocked arteries. Surgeons at the institute have performed more than 10,000 cardiac operations since Geisinger established the first open-heart surgical unit in northeastern and central Pennsylvania more than 40 years ago.

Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center. The Heart & Vascular Hospital in the Hackensack University Medical Center is a hospital within a hospital. In October 2012, HackensackUMC named Joseph Parrillo, MD, a well-respected physician and cardiology researcher, as chairman of the Heart & Vascular Hospital. In February 2012, HackensackUMC expanded its heart services to an off-campus location, The Heart Center at Glenpointe in Teaneck, N.J., which offers outpatient services like stress tests and echocardiograms.

Heart Hospital of Austin (Texas). Heart Hospital of Austin is a campus of St. David's Medical Center. The hospital encourages families to stay with patients around the clock with its 24-hour visitor policy. In September, the hospital became the first facility in Austin to implant a new MRI pacemaker in a patient as part of a clinical trial, which will determine if patients with these devices can safely undergo MRI scans.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Heart and Vascular Center and Penn Cardiovascular Institute are integrated to provide cardiovascular care using the latest medical research. Penn Heart and Vascular conducts research in addition to providing the most comprehensive range of cardiology services in the region, while Penn Cardiovascular Institute, which was established in 2005, focuses on translational research. The hospital was named one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2013 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly known as the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis). As part of Indiana University Health, the cardiovascular program treats more heart and vascular patients than any program in the state. In October 2012, Indiana University Health Cardiovascular co-sponsored the inaugural Sports & Exercise Cardiology Think Tank and Sports Cardiology Summit. At the events, cardiologists, athletic trainers and others came together in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to better protect the hearts of athletes of all ages.

Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, Va.). The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute's network of heart care specialists is the largest in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Launched in January 2012, the hospital's vascular program brings cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons together, which leads to a higher standard of care. The institute recently opened a hybrid operating room that allows cardiac surgeons, electrophysiologists and cardiologists to operate on the same patient together.  

Intermountain Medical Center (Murray, Utah). The Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center includes 35 cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and heart failure specialists who provide comprehensive heart care. In October 2012, a nurse practitioner from the Intermountain Heart Institute received the Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award from the Heart Failure Society of America, a prestigious national award. The heart institute is also home to researchers, who recently developed a new, evidence-based tool that is proven to identify which heart attack patients are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital.

Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore). The Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute is recognized worldwide for advancing the scientific understanding of cardiovascular disease and using that knowledge to improve the care of people with heart and vascular disease. Adult and pediatric cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, and a full array of cardiac sub-specialists work together to deliver patient-focused care in a new, state-of-the-art hospital building with all-private rooms and a variety of amenities. Johns Hopkins' expertise spans every aspect of heart and vascular care, from arrhythmias and inherited heart diseases to heart failure, valve diseases, aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, and prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Kettering (Ohio) Medical Center. Located just outside Dayton, Ohio, Kettering Medical Center is home to the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Heart Hospital, which opened in 2010. The hospital offers the latest surgical and non-invasive procedures as well as diagnostic testing. Along with clinical programs and services, Kettering cardiovascular physicians and surgeons conduct research through the Kettering Cardiovascular Institute.  

Lahey Clinic (Burlington, Mass.). The Dr. Emanuel and Sheila Landsman Heart & Vascular Center at Lahey Clinic combines cardiovascular medicine, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery and vascular surgery to provide a full range of heart care in one place. Physicians at the Landsman Center are specialized in treating cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients, and the center is participating in a clinical trial that follows patients closely over five years to determine the best treatment for their conditions. Lahey Clinic is also home to The Cardiovascular Health Center for Women, where a team of female cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons treat women's specific heart care needs.

Lankenau Hospital (Ardmore, Pa.). Lankenau Hospital takes a progressive approach to preventing, diagnosing and treating heart disease and has a team with advanced technologies at its disposal. Francis Sutter, DO, a cardiac surgeon affiliated with Lankenau Hospital, is pioneering minimally invasive robotic heart surgery and has the best coronary bypass outcomes in Pennsylvania. In 2013, Lankenau Hospital will open the Lankenau Heart & Vascular Pavilion.

Lenox Hill Hospital (New York City). Lenox Hill Hospital is home to the Aortic Wellness Center, which is one of the few places in the nation to offer integrated care for aortic diseases. The nation's first minimally invasive coronary surgery was performed in 1994 by surgeons at Lenox Hill's Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Before then, the first angiocardiogram in the nation was performed at Lenox Hill Hospital in 1938.  

Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Ill.). The Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center was the first hospital in Illinois to staff a Heart Attack Rapid Response Team, which is a group of interventional cardiologists, nurses and technicians who are on call every day. Also, Loyola has achieved a 15-minute door-to-balloon time for heart attacks, one of the fastest in the nation. The center has been ranked as one of the top 50 in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery for 10 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

Martin Memorial Medical Center (Stuart, Fla.). The Frances Langford Heart Center at Martin Memorial Medical Center offers a full spectrum of heart care, from diagnostic to interventional services and rehabilitation. In addition to its cardiovascular surgery team of surgeons, physician assistants and anesthesiologists, the center has specially trained registered nurses and technicians who are dedicated to open-heart surgeries. In the cardiovascular intensive care unit, the ratio of nurses to patients in the immediate recovery period is 1:1.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). Massachusetts General Hospital's Corrigan Minehan Heart Center has 11 condition-specific programs, such as the Thoracic Aortic Center and the Corrigan Women's Heart Health Program. In 1990, heart center researchers opened the Cardiovascular Research Center, dedicated to discovering treatments for heart disease. More recently, scientists at the research center found a master heart stem cell that holds promise for recreating heart tissue to repair damaged hearts.

Maury Regional Medical Center (Columbia, Tenn.). Maury Regional Medical Center is home to southern middle Tennessee's only heart center. The hospital offers interventional procedures and is a Level III accredited chest pain center. The hospital also addresses the emotional and mental affects of heart disease. Local members of Mended Hearts, a national non-profit organization, provide additional emotional support for Maury Regional Medical Center heart surgery patients and their families.  

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.). Mayo Clinic's Division of Cardiovascular Surgery and the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases is one of the largest in the world, as physicians treat about 55,000 patients each year. In 2012, Mayo Clinic researchers participated in a study that monitored people climbing Mount Everest, which may provide insight into aging patients and heart disease. What the climbers experience on the mountain mimics aspects of heart disease due to the high altitude.

Medical Center of Central Georgia (Macon). The Georgia Heart Center in The Luce Heart Institute at The Medical Center of Georgia offers comprehensive cardiovascular services and treatments. Surgeons at The Georgia Heart Center perform more than 750 open heart surgeries every year. The heart center also offers AngioScreens, which use ultrasounds to scan arteries and determine the vascular health of patients.

Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center (Charleston). Medical University of South Carolina's Heart and Vascular Center is the only full-service center of its kind in South Carolina. South Carolina's first heart transplant was performed at the hospital more than 20 years ago, and today it is the only hospital in the state that offers heart transplants. In 2006, the hospital became one of the first in the state to use Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest Protocol for eligible patients. The process involves slowly cooling and then warming patients in a two-day period, and studies show the process improves neurological outcomes in patients.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital (Baltimore). The Heart Institute and the Vascular Institute are two of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital's four centers of excellence. Vascular surgeons at the hospital were some of the first in Maryland to perform minimally invasive vascular procedures. Along with a highly trained physician staff, more than half of the institute's nurses have 10 or more years of experience.

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (Houston). Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Institute's history of innovation stretches back to 1927. It was the first hospital in the world to show that heart disease can be reversed and the first hospital in Texas to perform a cardiac catheterization, among other highlights. The hospital is currently collaborating with the University of Texas Medical School on a five-year study that looks at lifestyle factors, preventive health teaching and advanced heart imaging for treating and preventing coronary heart disease.

Mercy Medical Center (Canton, Ohio). The Mercy Heart Center has an impressive list of "firsts" under its belt, including a world's first — it performed the world's first angioplasty in an emergency department. Mercy is also the nation's first accredited chest pain center and was the first emergency room in the nation to use cardiopulmonary bypass to resuscitate heart attack victims, among other accomplishments. Mercy helped pioneer some of the nation's most innovative heart procedures and was the first hospital in northeast Ohio to perform a minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass surgery.

Meriter Hospital (Madison, Wis.). The Heart & Vascular Hospital is a hospital within a hospital at Meriter Hospital that offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic, treatment and therapy heart disease services. The hospital, which has received HealthGrades' Coronary Intervention Excellence Award, hosted the first ever city-wide vascular and electrophysiology meeting in 2012, where Madison's specialists came together to discuss various discipline topics.  

The Methodist Hospital (Houston). Famed heart surgeon, the late Michael DeBakey, MD, helped pioneer the cardiology and cardiovascular specialties at The Methodist Hospital. In his name, the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in The Methodist Hospital is one of the largest transplant centers in the nation. In October 2012, the center became the first in Houston to offer a new kind of branched aortic graft, the Zenith Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft, which can be implanted through a minimally invasive procedure.  

Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center. Physicians at Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center perform more than 1,000 heart surgeries annually, more than any other facility in the state. The hospital is one of 20 in the nation to offer three minimally-invasive treatment options for heart valve repair and replacement. In June, the hospital named Linda Gillam, MD, MPH, a world-renowned valve heart disease and echocardiography expert, as the chair of cardiovascular medicine.

Morton Plant Hospital (Clearwater, Fla.). The Morgan Heart Hospital at Morton Plant Hospital performs more open heart and interventional procedures than any other hospital in its county, and the hospital continues to widen its scope for heart care. In January 2012, Morton Plant Hospital expanded the service line when it opened the Valve Clinic for the treatment of complex heart valve disorders, such as aortic stenosis. Morton Plant Hospital became the first hospital in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area to perform a transcatheter aortic valve replacement by the transapical approach in October 2012.  

Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York City). Mount Sinai Heart Hospital was established in 2006 and offers eight areas of heart care, including treatment for arrhythmia-heart rhythm disorder and pediatric and congenital heart conditions. The director of the heart hospital, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, received the American Heart Association's 2012 Research Achievement Award for his significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine. The cardiac catheterization lab was one of four in New York to receive the state's highest safety rating for angioplasty in 2012.

Nebraska Heart Institute & Heart Hospital (Lincoln). Nebraska Heart Institute & Heart Hospital was the first heart hospital in the state. Performing roughly 900 open-heart procedures and 1,500 interventions each year, Nebraska Heart Institute physicians perform more diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedures annually than any other cardiac program in Nebraska. The hospital emphasizes continuity of care, and patients stay in one room for their entire visit.

New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell (New York City). New York Presbyterian Heart is recognized by Castle Connolly for having the most top-performing heart specialists on its staff compared to other hospitals in the United States. New York-Presbyterian/Columbia is also home to the Naomi Berrie Center for Diabetes and Heart Care, a specialized center for diabetes patients with heart conditions. More heart transplants have been performed through New York-Presbyterian's transplant program than any other hospital in the country.  

NYU Langone Medical Center (New York City). The Cardiac and Vascular Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center includes eight comprehensive programs that bridge the gap between research and clinical care. The hospital is also home to the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology. In May 2012, NYU Langone's cardiology department published comprehensive analyses on the efficacy and safety of stents. NYU Langone, which is a Magnet-accredited hospital, was also named to Thomson Reuters' Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in 2012 — the only hospital in New York state with the distinction.

North Shore Medical Center FMC Campus (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). The Heart Institute of Florida at North Shore Medical Center FMC Campus was one of the first two hospitals in the state to offer 80-lead electrocardiogram technology, which measures electrical impulses throughout the entire heart, not just the frontal portion as with traditional ECGs. In June 2012, the hospital opened its valve clinic and cardiac hybrid operating suite, which combines imaging capabilities with traditional surgery and can reduce patient recovery time.

Northside Hospital – Forsyth (Cumming, Ga.). Northside Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute's trained medical professionals specialize in comprehensive cardiovascular services. In 2011, a physician at Northside Hospital – Forsyth implanted Forsyth County's first MRI-conditioned pacemaker, a device that allows patients to safely undergo MRI screens after implantation. In 2012, the hospital received the UnitedHealth Premium specialty center designation for its quality of care in cardiac services.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago). The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has six clinical centers for various heart conditions and for women's heart health. Northwestern researchers study all aspects of heart and vascular care through the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. The hospital continues to tailor its care to patients' specialized needs. In July 2012, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute launched a multidisciplinary program for patients with bicuspid aortic valve disease, one of the most common congenital heart defects.

Ochsner Medical Center (New Orleans). The John Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute consists of six sections that provide a continuum of cardiovascular care. Physicians at the institute pioneered the use of coronary angioscopy in the 1980s. The hospital has continued excelling in heart care since, as it has been ranked as one of the top 25 in the nation for heart care and heart surgery since 2010 by U.S. News & World Report.

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus). The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Center includes the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and 20 outreach clinics. The Ross Heart Hospital has the only adult heart transplant program in central Ohio. In October 2012, Ohio State scientists received a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study mechanisms associated with an elevated heart rate.

Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Medical Center. The Heart Institute at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center was the first hospital in Palm Beach County to perform open heart surgery. Since then, physicians have performed about 15,000 open-heart surgeries to date. The institute offers a range of cardiac services, from diagnostics to surgery to rehabilitation. In June 2012, the hospital expanded its cardiac services when it opened its new valve clinic, which focuses on treating aortic valve disease.

Palmetto General Hospital (Hialeah, Fla.). Employees at the Heart Institute at Palmetto General Hospital and the Palmetto Vascular Institute speak numerous languages in order to better serve the hospital's diverse multicultural community. The Valve Clinic has physicians who are specially trained to perform valve procedures designed to repair or replace the aortic valve. Palmetto General Hospital has received HealthGrades' Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award.

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital (St. Louis Park, Minn.). Park Nicollet's Heart and Vascular Center at Methodist Hospital was designed specifically with the patient in mind, as the center involves short walking distances and short waiting times. The design aims to provide patients and family members with the ultimate patient experience, and includes a scenic boardwalk along a local creek and wetlands. The hospital's nuclear cardiology lab uses non-invasive, state-of-the-art imaging techniques.  

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (Wash.). The Heart Center at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett has received more cardiovascular care excellence awards than any other hospital in Washington state. The Heart Center offers five centers of excellence and an emergency response network for cardiac and stroke care. Recently, the hospital introduced a new pacemaker monitoring technology that allows physicians to monitor patients from their offices.

Regional Hospital of Scranton (Pa.). Regional Hospital of Scranton offers a cardiac catheterization lab, a heart rhythm center and cardiac surgery and rehabilitation. It has a history of regional cardiac care "firsts." In 1971, the hospital performed the region's first open heart surgery and, in 1972, it opened the region's first tertiary cardiovascular care center, among other accomplishments. The hospital recently added to its list of regional firsts when a cardiologist implanted a newly-approved stent, the Medtronic Resolute zotarolismus-eluting stent, into a diabetic patient. It was the first time the stent had been used in northeast Pennsylvania.

Robert Packer Hospital (Sayre, Pa.). Robert Packer Hospital's cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons work together to provide comprehensive cardiac care. The hospital includes programs and centers tailored to patients' specific heart care needs. The Chest Pain Center at Robert Packer is accredited by the Society for Chest Pain Centers and has a highly-trained staff to evaluate and treat chest pain patients, and the Arrhythmia Center provides care management for patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers and ICDs.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles). The heart transplant program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is ranked as the best in the nation by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The hospital is also home to the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, which is one of four centers in the state with a Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation System. The machine allows for fine control of an ablation catheter when targeting cardiac tissue involved in a patient's abnormal heart rhythm. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has received HealthGrades' Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award.

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago). Rush University Medical Center offers surgical and non-surgical cardiovascular services related to the prevention, treatment and research of heart-related conditions. It is home to the Rush Heart Center for Women, the first program of its kind in Chicago. In October 2012, Rush partnered with six other major academic medical centers to form the Chicago Adult Congenital Heart Network. It is the first patient-centered, inter-institutional network in the city, designed to ensure all adults with congenital heart disease in the area receive follow-up care.

Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital. Sarasota Memorial Hospital offers more than 20 cardiovascular specialties. Heart failure readmission rates at the hospital are the lowest in Florida and among the lowest in the nation. Sarasota Memorial Hospital's nurses are Magnet-accredited and the hospital was named to Thomson Reuters' 100 Top Hospitals in 2012.

Saint Vincent Hospital (Worcester, Mass.). Physicians at Saint Vincent Hospital's Center for Heart & Vascular Services performed the first open-heart surgery in Worcester in 1959, and the hospital continues to garner cardiac care achievements today. The center offers an electrophysiology lab, a vascular lab and cardiac surgery and rehab. Along with clinical care, Saint Vincent physicians have made significant contributions to their field. Robert Bojar, MD, the director of cardiac surgery, authored the acclaimed book, Manual of Perioperative Care in Adult Cardiac Surgery.

Scripps La Jolla Hospitals and Clinics (San Diego, Calif.). Scripps La Jolla Hospitals and Clinics offers a range of cardiology care services. The hospital performs about 6,000 heart catheterizations every year. Scripps Health is currently constructing a new cardiovascular facility on the Scripps La Jolla campus. The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, which is expected to open in 2015, will include 168 inpatient beds and a center for graduate medical education for physicians, among other additions.

Sentara Norfolk (Va.) General Hospital. Sentara Heart Hospital has advanced centers for arrhythmia, heart valve and structural disease and thoracic surgery. It is the first and only dedicated heart hospital in Norfolk's local region. Sentara Norfolk General's valve and arrhythmia centers offer program managers who strengthen the care continuum by guiding patients through the referral and screening process.

Shands at the University of Florida (Gainesville). Heart care experts at Shands at the University of Florida care for adults and children with a variety of heart and vascular problems. The hospital is a tertiary care center, allowing the team of cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons to treat the most complex problems with advanced skills and technology. In January 2012, Shands physicians were approved to offer a new treatment technique, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, which improves blood flow by using an artificial valve to take over the work of a deceased aortic valve.

St. Francis Hospital (Roslyn, N.Y.). St. Francis Hospital is New York's only specialty designated cardiac care center. It offers heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias. In the past 10 years, the St. Francis physicians have performed more than 98,000 cardiac catheterizations. The hospital has consistently had the largest cardiac surgical volume in the state since 1992. St. Francis also operates a mobile outreach clinic dedicated to serving patients who do not have access to care for heart disease.

St. Helena Hospital (Deer Park, Calif.). The Heart & Vascular Center at St. Helena Hospital was the first in the North Bay area to perform coronary angiogram, coronary angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery. It was also the first in the area to offer minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery and percutaneous thoracic aortic aneurysm repair. St. Helena Hospital is one of few hospitals in the region with the rapid-response care team and specialized technology required to respond to the most serious form of heart attack, an ST elevation myocardial infarction.

St. John's Hospital (Springfield, Ill.). Prairie Heart Institute at St. John's Hospital is the largest heart program in Illinois and performs more cardiovascular procedures than any other hospital in the state, according to the hospital. The institute's physicians conduct research at the Prairie Education and Research Cooperative. In addition to its location in St. John's Hospital, the Prairie Heart Institute also has an off-campus diagnostic center with a hotel-like atmosphere that offers diagnostic cardiac catheterization, cardiac CT and vascular ultrasounds.

St. Joseph Medical Center (Reading, Pa.). The St. Joseph Medical Center Heart Institute offers and array of comprehensive and innovative cardiac and vascular services. St. Joseph Medical Center received heart failure accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in November 2012, and the hospital is also a certified chest pain center. The hospital was named one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2013 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly known as the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

St. Luke's Boise (Idaho) Medical Center. More heart procedures are performed at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center than any other hospital in Idaho. The hospital has worked beyond its walls to ensure cardiovascular health in the community, providing hundreds of automated external defibrillators to local schools, civic organizations and businesses. St. Luke's Boise is currently planning and seeking donations for a new heart care facility, the Cardiovascular Tower, which will serve as a single, regional location for heart and vascular treatment.  

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (Houston). St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart Institute, where one of the first few successful heart transplants in the nation took place in 1968, according to the hospital. Surgeons at the Texas Heart Institute also performed the world's first total artificial heart transplant. In March 2012, the hospital received accreditation as a heart attack receiving center from the American Heart Association and Society of Chest Pain Centers. It is the only hospital in Houston to earn that recognition.

St. Mary's Hospital (Richmond, Va.). St. Mary's Hospital is top-ranked by HealthGrades for cardiac surgery in Virginia. The hospital is accredited for heart failure care by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Along with providing quality care, St. Mary's also offers innovative technology and heart resources. The hospital's digital cardiac lab is home to the world's first all-digital X-ray cardiovascular imaging system. The hospital was the first community hospital in Richmond to achieve Magnet accreditation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana (Indianapolis). St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana was the first hospital in the state to earn the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Coronary Artery Disease Gold Performance Achievement Award in 2007. The hospital includes six centers of excellence and offers an array of other programs and services. In October 2012, the heart center earned the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Cardiology Fellowship Accreditation, meaning the hospital can train medical residents as heart transplant fellows.

Stanford Hospital & Clinics (Palo Alto, Calif.). Stanford Hospital & Clinics offers its cardiovascular heart program as a center of excellence. Physicians at Stanford claim to have performed the first successful human heart transplant in the nation in January 1968. The achievements at Stanford have continued since. Sharon Hunt, MD, a Stanford cardiologist, received the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation award for lifetime achievement, one of the most prestigious awards in the field of heart-transplantation medicine, in April 2012.

Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. The Cardiovascular Center at Tampa General Hospital has six cardiac catheterization laboratories and six interventional radiology suites. Physicians with the hospital's heart transplant program have performed more than 1,000 transplants in the program's history, which is the fifth busiest heart transplant program in the country with one of the highest survival rates. In 2012, Tampa General began offering an investigational treatment for people battling treatment-resistant hypertension.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia). The heart-lung bypass machine was invented at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and is just one of the hospital's claims to fame. Hospital researchers also discovered the pivotal role a protein called GRK2 plays in the heart's function, a finding that is helping advance the prevention of heart failure. In June 2012, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital added a new, state-of-the-art device that allows surgeons to monitor patients' complete cardiac function at the bedside.

University of California, San Diego Medical Center. The UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center became San Diego's first dedicated heart center when it opened in 2011. The center has four smart operating rooms and four cath labs. In February 2011, surgeons at the center completed a rare cardiac surgery called heterotopic heart transplantation, in which the patient's heart remains in place while a donor heart is implanted, leaving the patient with two hearts.  

University of Chicago Medical Center. University of Chicago Medical Center is home to one of the largest heart transplant and ventricular assist device programs in the Midwest. It was the first hospital in the world to perform a successful heart-kidney-liver transplant. The hospital is also involved in extensive cardiovascular clinical research. The medical center is one of 17 hospitals in the nation to be part of a clinical trial for the HeartWare HVAD left ventricular assist device, which claims to provide patients with up to 10 liters of additional blood flow, giving them a better quality of life.

The University of Kansas Hospital (Kansas City). The Center for Advanced Heart Care at The University of Kansas Hospital, which opened in 2006, added several new and innovative procedures in the past year. In May 2012, the hospital became one of the few to offer the Sapien transcatheter aortic heart valve, which doesn't require open-heart surgery to be implanted in a patient's chest. In October 2012, the hospital became the first in the country to use GPS technology on a cardiology patient. The technology shows physicians where a catheter is in the body during heart procedures to treat atrial fibrillation and other rhythm abnormalities.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Cleveland). University Hospitals Case Medical Center offers cardiovascular care through University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. The institute boasts 11 centers of excellence, each with its own subspecialty, including electrophysiology and atrial fibrillation. UH Case Medical Center exceeds or matches the national average of heart attack care standards measured by the University HealthSystem Consortium.

University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). The University of Maryland Heart Center offers many cardiovascular services, including procedures for high-risk patients. The Heart Center has a cardiac hybrid operating room and offers a unique team approach to care, from both heart surgeons and interventional cardiologists. The hospital's Pulmonary Hypertension Program is one of the few in the country to offer pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, a complex surgery that can cure chronic pulmonary hypertension.   

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor). The University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center treats more than 6,000 patients each year. The center has garnered more than $180 million in research grant funding and participated in more than 700 cardiovascular clinical trials in the past five years. In May 2012, the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center surgeons celebrated after performing the 500th heart device implant at the hospital.

UPMC Hamot (Erie, Pa.). The Heart Institute at UPMC Hamot was established to coordinate and manage the delivery of heart care. The institute is the region's only provider of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which offers a unique way to treat coronary artery disease through lifestyle changes and education. UPMC Hamot was named one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2013 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly known as the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, Tenn.). Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the first academic medical center in the country to use the PREDICT program, a genetic test to find which blood-thinning drug works best for each patient. It is also the first U.S. medical center to offer GGF2, a drug for patients recovering from heart failure that helped redevelop damaged heart muscle in trials. In 2012, Vanderbilt Heart surgeons performed the hospital's 100th transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement, the first of which was performed in 2011.  

WellStar Cobb Hospital (Austell, Ga.). Located roughly 20 miles outside Atlanta, WellStar Cobb Hospital is an accredited chest pain center through the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Two WellStar cardiologists were recently named to regional leadership roles in prominent cardiac organizations. Barry Mangel, MD, was named as president of the American Heart Association's metro Atlanta division advisory board and Donald Page, MD, was named the president of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Yale New-Haven (Conn.) Hospital. The Yale-New Haven Heart & Vascular Center treats the most heart and vascular patients of any center in the state. Yale-New Haven's history of innovation dates back to 1949, when two of the hospital's physicians created the first working heart-lung machine, which is now part of the Smithsonian's permanent collection. Yale-New Haven Hospital is also home to the multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support and Heart Transplantation. The center offers a range of evidence-based treatments, from drug therapies to surgery.

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