February 9, 2007

Heart Institute’s growth subject of ‘Town Hall’ meets

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Heart Institute’s growth subject of ‘Town Hall’ meets

The leadership of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI) will hold two Town Hall Meetings on Thursday, Feb. 15. The informational meetings are designed to bring the staff and faculty up to speed on the vision for Vanderbilt Heart.

The past three years have seen a flurry of activity — the opening of the cardiovascular intensive care unit, the introduction of the Hybrid OR, the opening of the new 40,000-square-foot outpatient facility on the fifth floor of Medical Center East and the recent faculty additions that secured Vanderbilt's place as the largest cardiology group in the state.

The Town Hall meetings will highlight the initiatives, clinical services and goals of Vanderbilt Heart. The informal gatherings, set in the fifth floor conference rooms in Medical Center East, will be held from 7:15-8 a.m. and again from 7:15-8 p.m.

“We'll be talking about what the big picture is, why we are working so hard, what our goals are and where we are today in keeping those goals,” said Doug Vaughan, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

“The whole point of building the Heart Institute and the reorganization/investment of it was to give Vanderbilt a top-10 vascular center,” said Vaughan.

“I am really confident that we are on our way to making that happen now. There's been some substantial growth … the clinical augmentation has given us an opportunity to have the impact we would really like to have.”

During the 45-minute sessions, Vaughan will be joined by John Byrne, M.D., Tom Di Salvo, M.D., and Keith Churchwell, M.D.

Byrne, credited with bringing the Hybrid OR concept to the region along with David Zhao, M.D., said Vanderbilt is well on its way to becoming a premier cardiovascular center because of the collaboration among the cardiovascular specialties.

“The main thing I would highlight is the way we are organized — cardiology and cardiovascular surgery are on one page,” said Byrne, chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery. “Together we are working to deliver great care and value.”

Churchwell, associate director of VHVI, points to the near-doubling of faculty positions that has led to the “significant expansion in the number of patients we are taking care of, both inpatient and outpatient.”

Growth in faculty coupled with the tremendous expansion in the diagnostic studies performed at Vanderbilt offers vast opportunity to “expand the presence of Vanderbilt in the cardiovascular arena in the Middle Tennessee region, as well as nationally,” Churchwell said.

Vanderbilt Heart is a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-designated Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) program in Hemostatic and Thrombotic diseases as well as a member of the Cardiac Cell Therapy Network.