Continuing the Legacy of World-Class Cardiovascular Care
Dr. Robert Riley, Dr. Tim Smith, Dr. Dean Kereiakes and Dr. Satya Shreenivas.
Photo by Jon Keeling
Over the past 25 years, many significant firsts in cardiovascular medicine have taken place at The Christ Hospital, including the region’s first balloon angioplasty, first open-heart bypass and first stent procedure. Arriving and remaining at the forefront of world-class cardiovascular care, ensuring patients continue to receive the best in diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of heart disease right here in Cincinnati is no accidental feat. It has taken generous community philanthropic support, passionate physicians, intensive clinical research and significant investments by the hospital itself to reach such top-level excellence as a regional/national leader in heart care, says Dr. Dean Kereiakes, medical director for both The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and the Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research and Education at The Christ Hospital.
“Currently, we are doing more clinical cardiovascular research than any other institution in the state of Ohio,” he says. “We are carrying over 160 active trials, including new coronary stent technologies and structural heart innovations including trans-catheter aortic valve replacement or mitral valve repair, which allow heart valve repair or replacement without open heart surgery.”
Physicians at The Lindner Research Center at The Christ Hospital have conducted more than 1,400 clinical trials, pioneering innovative devices, medicines and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
“Clinical research has driven innovation and excellence in patient care and it has driven the development of multidisciplinary programs for disease management, which has become one of the buzzwords of modern medicine,” Kereiakes says. “Clinical research results in better care for all patients because research protocols are guideline-compliant and quality-assured to conform to best practice standards. As a result, more patients get better care due to clinical research. Research also provides access to novel technologies. At The Lindner Center, we’ve been the gateway, or portal, for access to potentially life-saving technologies years in advance of when they become commercially available for our entire region.”
According to Kereiakes, conducting leading-edge clinical research requires credible, networked physician champions. “Any health care system can say they want to do clinical research, try to get the technology and then look for physicians to be in charge of their trial. That’s top-down research. At the Lindner Center at The Christ Hospital, we recruit nationally credible physician thought leaders with proven track records and have physician directed or ‘bottom-up’ research. We will stay on the leading edge because we’ve been able to recruit and retain superior talent, in part due to philanthropic endowments.”
In addition to research and endowments, The Christ Hospital also focuses the philanthropic support it receives on emerging technologies and patients in need. The hospital’s hybrid operating suite, for example, provides the space and technology to perform a wide range of leading-edge cardiovascular procedures and surgeries. Memorial gifts provide financial help for those patients who cannot afford out-of-pocket expenses.
A recent $5 million donation from the Farmer Family Foundation has enabled The Christ Hospital to recruit a national-caliber, board-certified cardiac critical care physician to serve as the medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), a nursing excellence program to recruit, support and retain the best nurses for the CVICU as well as renovations of the CVICU. Established by Richard T. Farmer, founder and chairman emeritus of Cintas Corporation, the foundation supports healthcare, education and social service initiatives throughout the country.
The hospital – in addition to advancing The Lindner Center for Research – is also developing four other highly specialized centers to secure the level of expertise needed to maintain and grow Cincinnati’s position as a regional/national heart care leader: The Heart Failure Center of Excellence, The Structural Heart Center of Excellence, The Heart Rhythm Centre of Excellence and The Vascular Center of Excellence. To recognize current physician leadership and to recruit physician leaders of the future in heart failure treatment and heart valve-structural heart disease, the Margo and Frank Homan Endowed Chair for Heart Failure and the Harold C Schott Foundation Endowed Chair in Structural Heart have recently been bestowed upon Drs. Eugene Chung, Cardiovascular Service Line Executive Medical Director and Ian Sarembock, Director of Valvular and Structural Heart Disease, respectively.
“We’re always looking ahead and trying to be the very best we can for our patients,” Kereiakes says.
The Christ Hospital Health Network is located at 2139 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219. For more information, visit www.thechristhospital.com.