RI Hospital + Miriam Combine for New Open-Heart Surgery Program

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


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Combining resources in an age when open-heart procedures are less frequent

Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital have just launched a combined open heart surgery program this week, and it is expected to be one of the largest volume open heart surgery programs in New England. Nikola Dobrilovic, M.D., and James Fingleton, M.D., who performed cardiac surgeries at The Miriam, will now join Frank W. Sellke, M.D., and Arun Singh, M.D., in operating at Rhode Island Hospital.
While the new program consolidates open heart surgeries from both hospitals onto the Rhode Island Hospital campus, The Miriam Hospital has said it will continue to maintain a robust and comprehensive cardiac services program, including cardiac diagnostic testing, such as cardiac catheterization and coronary intervention, cardiac rehabilitation and prevention.
“Establishing the combined open heart surgery program at Rhode Island Hospital, while maintaining a strong cardiac services program at The Miriam, will enable clinicians to provide the best cardiac care possible to all of our patients,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital.

Adapting to the times

“New technologies and procedures, as well as lifestyle changes, have led to a decline in open-heart surgery cases across the country," Babineau said, "and Rhode Island is no different. Both hospitals are committed to providing the highest quality patient care, and we believe that bringing together these highly specialized programs will enable us to more effectively care for our most critical cardiac patients.”

Babineau added that the consolidation of the programs is the first element in the creation of a Cardiovascular Institute that will span both the Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital campuses.

New program will be housed at RI Hospital

The new program will be located in renovated space in Rhode Island Hospital’s Bridge Building, the hospital’s newest and most modern building. It will feature a total of 34 private patient rooms – 10 cardiology ICU beds; 14 cardiac surgery ICU beds; and 10 cardiac surgery “step-down” beds. The sixth floor has 38 beds – 24 private cardiology step-down beds; and 14 medical beds, which are located in either private rooms or shared rooms.
“The merging of open heart surgery programs will be a great benefit to our cardiac patients,” said Sellke, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. “By combining the resources of the hospitals, we’ve been able to bring together the talent and experience of the cardiac surgeons of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. This makes it possible for us to create the best possible environment and the best outcomes.”

The Miriam: retaining diagnostics and interventional cardiology

The Miriam Hospital campus will continue to offer comprehensive and robust diagnostic and interventional cardiology services. Plans are in place to replace one of the cardiac catheterization labs at The Miriam, modernizing the space for today’s technology. In addition, the hospital is greatly expanding the area where patients will be evaluated before, and recover after, diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations with the creation of an 18-bed outpatient unit adjacent to the catheterization lab. This new area will enable patients to be closely monitored and receive any and all necessary care following cardiac interventions.
“Providing quality health care to our patients is the driving force in everything we do,” said Kenneth Korr, M.D., director of the division of cardiology at The Miriam Hospital. “Combining the programs has allowed us to effectively streamline and improve cardiac services, positioning The Miriam and Rhode Island hospitals as leaders in cardiac care for all of southeastern New England.”

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