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Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart Vascular Hospital

New Heart and Vascular Hospital opens at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

More than 300 donors, former patients, healthcare staff, elected officials and guests gathered at MedStar Washington Hospital Center on June 16 to witness the dedication of the area’s first dedicated cardiovascular hospital. The occasion marked the end of years of planning, design and construction, and the beginning of a new era of tightly coordinated, centralized specialty care for the most complex cardiovascular cases in the region.

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New Heart and Vascular Hospital opens at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

“This is an extraordinary milestone for our patients,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, physician executive director of MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. “Every aspect of the new hospital was designed with patients’ comfort, convenience and safety in mind as we worked to create an environment conducive to healing.”

The result is a state-of-the-art facility that unites virtually the entire heart and vascular healthcare delivery staff—cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, nurse practitioners, cardiac care nurses, and other specialized caregivers—into one cohesive team in one location for more effective, streamlined care.

“Previously, patients with heart problems could have received care on one of 10 different nursing units,” says Allen J. Taylor, MD, chief of Cardiology at both the Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Adds Nancy Bruce, RN, BSN, assistant vice president for Nursing, “It makes it possible for us to ensure that the patient and family experience is seamless, and care is coordinated every step of the way.”

From admission to discharge, all aspects of the new hospital-withina-hospital help promote that goal. Patient units feature their own echocardiography, X-ray, stress tests and other non-invasive services for faster, more convenient examinations and evaluations. The majority of the 164 rooms are also private, furnished with couches and other amenities to increase the comfort and satisfaction levels of patients and their families.

July saw the opening of the last phase of the project, an expanded cardiovascular intensive care unit (CV ICU). A unique feature is a central boom suspended from the ceiling for medical gasses and electrical and data outlets. The design gives staff 360-degree patient access. 

“The new, highly advanced ICU will allow us to constantly improve care, comfort and efficiency for the sickest patients in the region,” says Paul Corso, MD, chairman, Cardiac Surgery. The new Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital is the culmination of a dream for cardiovascular care in the mid-Atlantic region.” The physical improvements position MedStar Washington Hospital Center—allied with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and nationally recognized for excellence in cardiovascular care—for even more achievements in the years ahead.

For that, thanks go to Nancy and Harold Zirkin and their $10 million leadership gift. “When Nancy and I learned about the vision of MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute and its important alliance with Cleveland Clinic,” Mr. Zirkin says, “we saw this as an ideal opportunity to bring together our strong interest in better health with the region’s need for world-class heart care. We’re thrilled we were able to help make this dream a reality.”

Dr. Seides concludes, “We’ve always been blessed with some of the most talented and dedicated physicians and nurses in the country. Now we are providing them with an environment that allows that teamwork to flourish—and ultimately allows us to provide the best possible patient care.”