February is American Heart Month, offering a remarkable opportunity to raise awareness about the country’s leading cause of death among both men and women, and to educate our community about preventing and controlling heart disease.
With all of the work being done by our hospital team in support of American Heart Month, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the incredible work they do each and every day of the year to keep Henry Ford Hospital at the forefront of heart and vascular care and cutting-edge treatments.
Among our “firsts” in 2013:
- Performing a world-first transcaval TAVR to create a new route to the heart by temporarily connecting major blood vessels that do not normally intersect. The Structural Heart team, led by Dr. William O’Neill, is pioneering new methods to reach and repair damaged heart valves seemingly every day.
- First in the U.S. to implant an aortic replacement heart valve in the mitral valve.
- One of only two hospitals in Michigan using the MitraClip for mitral valve repair in a study.
- First in Michigan to implant the only subcutaneous defibrillator, for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, protecting the heart without touching it or traveling through blood vessels.
- First and only hospital in Michigan to provide robot-assisted vascular surgery for narrowed blood vessels.
- First in Michigan to take part in a new national research study assessing the effect of stem cells in preserving heart function after an acute heart attack.
- First in Michigan to deliver medication to the site of a narrowed artery via balloon, helping patients who cannot have stents, or who have developed scar tissue.
Our team also was recognized for:
- Receiving more than $6 million in research grants annually for heart failure, hypertension and vascular research.
- Exceeding the national average for three-year heart transplant survival rates (90.9%).
- Being awarded the Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care (BlueCross Blue Shield of Michigan), and a three-star rating (highest possible) from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.