Beebe Medical Center to Begin Open Heart Surgery Program
Beebe Medical Center Announces New Open Heart Surgery Program in Affiliation with Christiana Care Health System
Jeffrey Fried, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, and Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, announced today their plans to develop a new joint cardiac surgery program at Beebe Medical Center.
“Through this affiliation with a quality heart surgery program such as Christiana Care, people in Sussex County who need heart surgery will have the safety and convenience of having heart surgery near their homes,” explains Fried. “In addition, people who need interventional heart procedures, such as balloon angioplasty or stent placements, will be able to have those services at Beebe Medical Center.”
World-renowned cardiac surgeon, Gerald M. Lemole, M.D., Christiana Care’s W. Samuel Carpenter III Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery, and his surgical team from Christiana Hospital, will expand their practice to Beebe in late 2005, extending the state’s first and most experienced cardiac program to Sussex County. Under the new agreement, a Christiana Care heart surgeon will be located at Beebe Medical Center making open heart surgery available around the clock.
Lemole brings heart surgery to Delaware in 1986
Dr. Lemole first introduced cardiac surgery to Delaware in 1986, with his surgical team at Christiana Hospital in Newark. Dr. Lemole trained under the direction of heart surgery pioneers Dr. Michael DeBakey at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Dr. Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute. In 1968, he was a member of the surgical team that performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States. Today, under Dr. Lemole’s direction, Christiana Care’s cardiovascular surgical team has four full-time surgeons and runs three operating rooms, an 8-bed cardiovascular intensive care unit and a 15-bed cardiac surgery intermediate care unit. The Christiana Care team performed close to 1,000 heart surgeries last year alone, making it one of the largest, most experienced cardiovascular surgery programs in the mid-Atlantic region today. Along with being first in Delaware to perform open-heart surgery, other “cardiac firsts” for Christiana Care include:
· First in Delaware to perform beating heart “off-pump” surgery.
· First in the region to offer smaller chest and leg incisions.
· Among first in the nation to perform transmyocardial revascularization (laser surgery for chronic angina).
· First in region to offer revolutionary drug-coated stents.
· First—and only—in Delaware to offer sophisticated cardiac MRI technology.
Beebe begins construction on two new ORs
In preparation for the affiliation, Beebe is constructing two large operating rooms in its Surgical Services area to accommodate the additional technology that is used in heart surgery. As a first step in this process, the preadmission testing area from Surgical Services has been relocated to the first floor of the Lewes hospital, near the information desk.
Beebe Medical Center has a long history of providing non-invasive diagnostic cardiology services; however, the scope of heart services at Beebe increased dramatically in 1998 with the opening of Beebe’s first cardiac catheterization laboratory for diagnosing heart disease. Once heart surgery comes on board, cardiologists in Sussex County will also be able to perform interventional cardiology treatments, such as balloon angioplasty and stent placements, at the hospital on Savannah Road. The two health systems are working closely to establish a cardiac surgery program at Beebe that combines the experience, technology and successful outcomes gained from Christiana Care’s 19-year impressive history in heart surgery with local convenience for Sussex County residents.
The new affiliation will bring the following procedures to Lewes:
· Traditional and minimally invasive (“keyhole”) coronary artery bypass grafting with endoscopic vein harvesting (tiny incisions in the legs to remove veins for bypass grafts)
· Beating heart surgery
· Valve repair and replacement
· Surgical treatment of acquired and congenital disorders
“This affiliation is tremendously important to the people of Delaware as it combines the rich history of both health systems with today’s latest advances in cardiac surgery,” explains Dr. Laskowski of Christiana Care. “Now, patients in Sussex County have the advantage of choosing Beebe Medical Center for heart surgery, knowing that they will benefit from Dr. Lemole’s expertise and that of the surgeons from the state’s leading cardiovascular program at Christiana Care along with the comfort of staying close to home.”
This is the second affiliation for Beebe and Christiana Care which in 2003 announced a successful statewide clinical collaboration in cancer care.
Christiana Care’s heart program is named “Best in Delaware” for heart surgery and overall cardiology services and ranks among the nation’s top 10% in heart surgery by HealthGrades, a nationally recognized authority on evaluating the quality of hospital services.
About the two health systems
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community medical center with a mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness and restore optimal health with the people residing, working or visiting in the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebemed.org.
Christiana Care Health System, which traces its roots back to 1888, is one of the region’s largest not-for-profit health care providers, serving the people of Delaware as well as neighboring counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A teaching hospital, Christiana Care is recognized as a regional center for excellence in cardiology, cancer care and women's health services, Level-I trauma care and Level-3 neonatal intensive care (both highest intensity). Christiana Care operates two hospitals, long-term and transitional care services, and an extensive range of outpatient and home health services. Christiana Care provided more than $26 million of charity care last year. www.christianacare.org.