DMC Launches “A New Era” in Cardiac Care With Groundbreaking for New Heart Hospital


DETROIT — The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) broke ground today on construction of the long-anticipated DMC Heart Hospital, during ceremonies for what officials said would mark the beginning of “a new era” in cardiac care in Michigan.

The groundbreaking event took place at the hospital construction site near the intersection of Mack and Brush Avenues in midtown Detroit, and included DMC and Vanguard officials, and community leaders and elected officials from all across Michigan.

The groundbreaking ceremonies formally launched an eagerly awaited DMC medical initiative that promises to transform cardiac care in Michigan and the Midwest – by providing a new home for the DMC’s pioneering Cardiovascular Institute (CVI).

Already acknowledged as a national leader in state-of-the-art cardiac care and heart-disease prevention, CVI and its 45 heart care physicians will manage the DMC Heart Hospital once construction is completed in early 2014.

“The establishment of the new DMC Heart Hospital will be a transformative event in cardiovascular care in Michigan,” said Theodore L. Schreiber, M.D., the President of CVI, who has spent the past five years planning for and leading the effort to build the new hospital.  “With the launch of this world-class facility, formulated for and dedicated exclusively to the care of heart patients, CVI is taking another major step toward becoming an internationally recognized center of excellence in cardiovascular medicine.

“The new heart center – which will include five floors outfitted with the latest in heart-care technology and be custom-designed to best serve the needs of cardiac patients – will be unique in Michigan.  It will also allow CVI to consolidate and expand its pioneering Cardio Team One program for speeding up average treatment times among heart-attack patients who come to the DMC for this vitally important cardiac care.

“CVI’s Cardio Team One started more than four years ago and has been saving lives and improving quality of life for heart patients. This nationally recognized program of innovative interventional cardiac care  is only going to get better with the arrival of the new heart hospital.”

Dr. Schreiber also pointed out that the new facility will bring together a uniquely innovative combination of skilled heart clinicians who will work “under one roof” to create a cardiology treatment center with unprecedented medical resources.

“For the first time in heart care,” he said, “cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons will all work together in a single dedicated place with a single goal: to provide extraordinary, immediate heart care to patients suffering from all forms of heart disease and vascular disease.”

Dr. Schreiber said he was “especially encouraged and gratified” by the fact that the brand-new hospital will be located on the DMC campus in midtown Detroit.  “What’s really exciting about this new facility is that it will be built right in the middle of one of the sickest and previously most underserved populations – in terms of cardiovascular disease – that exists anywhere in the United States.

“Within two years, we’re going to have the bricks and mortar in place to house both the cardiology specialists and the intellectual resources required to take care of this vulnerable population . . . along with thousands of other cardiac patients from all across Southeast Michigan and the Midwest.

“For the first time ever in Michigan, we’re going to be able to bring together all the tools we need – in one shining new facility in the heart of Detroit – to give patients the world-class heart care they deserve.”

DMC President and CEO Michael Duggan described the groundbreaking as a thrilling moment in the history of Detroit Medical Center. “This is another compelling example of our determination to provide the best medical care in the world to the residents of this city – while also making that gold-standard care available to patients from all across Michigan and the Midwest,” he said.

“In addition, we’re very pleased to be part of a major new construction initiative that will bring hundreds of well-paying construction jobs – and millions of dollars in new economic activity – to midtown Detroit,” he added.

“The groundbreaking at the new DMC Heart Hospital is a deeply gratifying moment for everyone who cares about Detroit, about Michigan…and about providing unsurpassed, top-of-the-line heart health care for both.”               

To be located on an eight-acre site at the south end of the 60-acre DMC campus, the five-story DMC Heart Hospital will cost $78 million to build over the next two years. The new facility will be accompanied by a nine-level, $30 million parking garage designed to hold up to 1,750 automobiles. The project is expected to employ at least 250 full-time construction workers and tradesmen during the next two years.

The DMC Heart Hospital will provide all of the facilities and high-tech tools required for heart surgery, vascular surgery and the treatment of a wide variety of cardiovascular ailments.  Cardiac patients will not remain overnight at the new Heart Hospital. They will be admitted to DMC Harper University Hospital and moved to the Heart Hospital as required for medical procedures.

The structure of the new hospital will allow for the following facilities:

First Floor: non-invasive cardiology procedures, tests, etc.

Second floor: invasive cardiology procedures, catheterization labs, etc.

Third Floor: same-day surgery and out-patient surgery

Fourth and Fifth Floors: Office and clinical space and administrative headquarters

DMC Senior Vice President for Facility Engineering and Real Estate David C. Manardo described the project as a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity. “We get a chance to use our skills to help make a powerful medical vision become a reality.

“Everything we’re doing – from the planning to the architectural design to the construction itself – has been decided on with one goal in mind: helping Dr. Schreiber and his team at CVI realize their dream of providing world-class medical care to cardiovascular patients.”

DMC System Director for Facility Engineering, Planning & Construction James J. Wright said he was “looking forward greatly” to the groundbreaking ceremonies.

“After several years of planning and number-crunching, we’re elated to actually start the building process,” said Wright.

Added Dr. Schreiber, “all of us at DMC are excited because the ultimate goal for everyone involved in this project is better service for cardiac patients.”

Dr. Schreiber noted that CVI’s Cardio Team One approach to speeding up interventional cardiac care by stationing heart doctors and support staff at the DMC 24/7 has reduced the average “emergency-room-to-catheterization” time for DMC heart-attack patients to only 45 minutes (compared to 75 minutes for the nation as a whole).  He said this pioneering approach – documented in recent medical studies – to saving the lives of cardiac patients could be “significantly expanded and enhanced, once CVI is able to begin operating out of its own dedicated facility.

“We’re very excited about this approach to carrying forward CVI’s program of making DMC heart care the equal of any in the world,” he said.  “Thanks to the visionary leadership of Vanguard Health Systems and Michael Duggan, we will be taking another major step toward that goal with the completion of the new DMC Heart Hospital less than two years from now.”

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