Heart transplant program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital celebrates anniversary

15 transplants in one year, 100 percent survival rate

CHICAGO - More than a dozen heart transplant recipients joined physicians, nurses and administrators of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Tuesday to celebrate the first anniversary of the re-launch of the Institute's heart transplant program. The event was a chance for hospital staff to celebrate the hard work that has resulted in 15 heart transplants in one year with a 100 percent survival rate and to re-connect with patients and their families.

The heart transplant team presented a gift to each patient, including the ninth-heart transplant recipient, Edward Razo. Mr. Razo, an ironworker, had helped build the Feinberg and Galter pavilions of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and recently worked on the new Prentice Women's Hospital due to open in fall 2007.

"Even though I knew that a heart transplant was potentially in the cards for me, I was still shocked when, at 41 years old, I was told that a heart transplant was now my only option," said Mr. Razo. "Although the experience of the heart transplant was challenging, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's heart transplant team answered all of my questions and met all of my needs."

Remarks were made by John B. O'Connell, M.D., director of the Bluhm Institute's Center for Heart Failure, and William Cotts, M.D., and Edwin McGee, Jr., M.D., the medical and surgical directors respectively for the advanced heart failure program.

"I am very proud of the program that we have established at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's Center for Heart Failure," said Dr. O'Connell. "Heart failure and heart transplant patients benefit from the Center's multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, social workers, dietitians and nurses. Physicians collaborate on cases and bring their full range of expertise to treatment decisions."

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's first heart transplant patient, Diane Bik, received her heart on June 7, 2005. A native Chicagoan, she had been prepared to go to Ohio when she heard she would be placed on Northwestern Memorial Hospital's transplant waiting list. "We were ready to go to the Cleveland Clinic for the heart transplant, but instead the Cleveland Clinic came to us," said her husband.

Patrick McCarthy, M.D., co-director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Northwestern Memorial, came from The Cleveland Clinic, where he led a program performing approximately 75 heart transplants per year and boasting the world's lowest mortality rates (80 percent survival at five years). Dr. McGee also came from The Cleveland Clinic.


About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 744 beds and more than 1,400 affiliated physicians and 5,000 employees. Providing state-of-the-art care, Northwestern Memorial is recognized for its outstanding clinical and surgical advancements in such areas as cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial was the sole recipient of the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and eight of its medical specialties are listed in this year's U.S. News & World Report's issue of "America's Best Hospitals." The hospital also has been cited as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine six consecutive years and has been chosen by Chicago-area consumers for more than a decade as their "most preferred hospital" in National Research Corporation's annual survey.

About the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a world-class heart program offering comprehensive services and state-of-the-art surgical treatments in all areas of cardiovascular care. Recently named by Solucient, an industry-leading healthcare information provider, as the only Chicago hospital on its list of the country's 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers a timely response to referrals and a multidisciplinary approach that joins physicians, nurses and a range of other medical specialists and caregivers from Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiovascular Anesthesiology and Radiology from evaluation to follow-up. Patients benefit from the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques and are offered the opportunity to participate in a range of clinical research trials.

Advanced Cardiovascular Care

Patients referred to the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute experience as a healthcare environment in which the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options are supported by state-of-the-art technology and a commitment to medical excellence through research.

Expertise is available in all areas of cardiovascular care, including:

Cardiac Surgery
Valve repair and replacement
MAZE and atrial fibrillation ablation procedures
Coronary artery bypass with arterial conduits
LV and aortic aneurysm repair
Congestive heart failure surgery
Ventricular assist devices
Heart transplantation

Vascular Surgery
Thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery
Carotid endarterectomy and stents
Endovascular surgery for aortic aneurysms and limb salvage
Lower extremity bypass procedures
Uncommon mesenteric and upper extremity revascularization
Supraaortic trunk revascularization

Primary and secondary prevention
Advanced diagnostic testing including echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac MRI and computed tomography
Cardiac electrophysiology, including diagnostic EP procedures, catheter ablation and pacemaker and ICD implantation
Heart failure management
Evaluation of heart valve disease
Acute coronary care
Diagnostic catheterization and interventional cardiology

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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