St. Elizabeth Healthcare is increasing access to quality cardiac care in the Northern Kentucky community with system-wide enhancements to the Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI), including the construction of a new, 67,000-square-foot facility in Edgewood and expansions to the Ft. Thomas and Florence facilities.
Expected to be completed in November 2021, the new HVI building in Edgewood will bring more than 30 multi-specialty physicians and 30 advanced practice providers to one, centralized location.
“We opened the Heart & Vascular Institute six years ago with the goal of improving access to quality cardiovascular care for individuals in our region, and since then, we’ve made impressive strides in service offerings and patient outcomes,” said D.P. Suresh, MD, Cardiologist and Executive Medical Director of the St. Elizabeth HVI. “Our team of specialists leverages innovative and truly transformative technologies to enhance the quality of life for patients with serious heart conditions.”
When the HVI opened in 2015, St. Elizabeth set a goal to work with the community to decrease heart-related deaths 25 percent by 2025, coining the phrase “25 by 25.” At the end of 2020, the System reported a 12.57 percent decrease, based on the most recently available data from the Centers for Disease Control, tracking on target to meet the goal.
Over the last six years, St. Elizabeth has added specialists in every field of heart care and adopted leading-edge technology, including pacemakers small enough to fit inside the heart, heart valves that can be replaced without open heart surgery and implantable heart pumps that extend life for patients with heart failure. St. Elizabeth also achieved accreditation as a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence from the American Heart Association, and is the only hospital in Greater Cincinnati to hold this distinction.
“Our focus on heart health and cardiac care allows us to effectively fight heart disease, right in our own backyard,” said Victor Schmelzer, MD, Cardiac Surgeon and Medical Director at the HVI. “It’s rewarding to see so many different moving pieces — increased access to care, efficient processes, enhanced technology, partnerships with pre-hospital partners and community education initiatives — come together to achieve one, crucial goal.”
In order to provide exceptional care all under one roof, the new HVI facility in Edgewood will include the following medical specialists and services:
- Cardiac electrophysiology
- Cardiac surgery
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Outpatient cath lab
- Advanced Heart Failure Management Center
- Structural Heart and Valve Center
- Cardiac diagnostic services
- Cardiovascular Genetics
- Cardiac Clinical Trials
- On-site lab
In addition to St. Elizabeth’s investment in state-of-the-art heart care facilities, treatment options and cardiovascular specialists, the network has also built partnerships with pre-hospital care providers in the region, including the Independence Fire Department.
“St. Elizabeth has been a true partner of the Independence Fire Department, allowing us to work together to improve patient outcomes in our community,” said Phil Dietz, Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Director for Independence Fire Department. “With St. Elizabeth resources and our capabilities, we reduce the time between the first EMS contact to artery-opening care at the hospital, which is critical to saving lives.”
St. Elizabeth also provides post-care reports to all the pre-hospital care providers in the region. These reports allow the organization to review each patient encounter and determine which objectives it met and which it can improve upon, creating a culture of continuous improvement.
Ratona Harr, owner of Full Body Fitness & Yoga in Northern Kentucky, experienced this continuum of care after facing an unexpected heart attack while teaching a group fitness class.
“When I had a widowmaker heart attack, I knew that the team of doctors and nurses at St. Elizabeth were fighting for me,” said Harr. “The quick and responsive care was nothing short of phenomenal — they saved my life. I gain a deeper appreciation for St. Elizabeth, their medical team and staff through every step of my healing process.”