Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center to open to patients in February

Ushering in a new era in comprehensive cardiac care, the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center celebrated its opening today at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Made possible by a $50 million gift from the Vivian and Seymour Milstein family — one of the largest philanthropic gifts in the Hospital's history — the state-of-the-art facility features advanced diagnostic technology and treatments that are frequently less invasive, more accurate, and require less healing time.

The six-story, 142,000-square-foot building, which will officially open to patients and their families in February, was designed by award-winning architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and daSilva Architects. Located on Fort Washington Avenue and 165th Street in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, it features a dramatic glass curtain facade and offers sweeping views of the Hudson River.

"As we open the doors to the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center, we look at the future of heart care, with advanced inpatient and outpatient care, including new minimally invasive treatment options, available together under one roof," says Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "This building honors the longstanding vision and support of the Vivian and Seymour Milstein family and signals a unique hospital setting where heart patients have access to the very best care, delivered with compassion in a comfortable and family-friendly environment."

First conceived more than five years ago, the new Heart Center was designed in collaboration with the Hospital's clinical team, including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and other specialists.

"The Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center is built for innovation and excellence, with the resources to care for even the most seriously ill patients. As one example, the building has two hybrid operating rooms with high-tech imaging equipment that allows surgical and catheter-based procedures to be performed in the same room, resulting in less-invasive procedures and making treatment available to patients with more complex conditions," says Dr. Allan Schwartz, physician-in-chief at the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center. He also serves as chief of cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the Harold Ames Hatch Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Patients will also have access to promising new medical treatments such as stem cell therapy to repair blood vessels and heart muscle following a heart attack."

"The Heart Center will allow NewYork-Presbyterian to continue on its path of advancing new treatments, a road that saw this Hospital perform the first successful pediatric heart transplant operation, the country's first robotically assisted open-heart procedure to be completed with a totally closed chest, and the country's first robotically assisted, totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass surgery, along with many other breakthroughs in cardiovascular research and patient care," says Dr. Craig R. Smith, surgeon-in-chief at the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center. He also serves as surgeon-in-chief and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and chairman of the Department of Surgery and the Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Following are highlights of the new Heart Center:

  • Outstanding specialists. Some of the best physicians in the world will bring expertise in important areas, including coronary artery disease, electrophysiology for the study and treatment of arrhythmia, and surgical and nonsurgical treatments for heart failure, including heart transplantation.
  • Advanced care. Cutting-edge technology, including sophisticated diagnostic and surgical imaging equipment and 20 new cardiac ICU beds, will help accommodate even the highest-risk patients.
  • Non-surgical alternatives. With a team of expert physicians, the facility will be a world center for interventional cardiology and for the development of nonsurgical procedures for conditions that previously required complicated and high-risk surgery.
  • Science at the bedside. Clinical experts will collaborate closely with basic science and clinical researchers in an environment for translating scientific discoveries into bedside applications.
  • Prevention and education. A dedicated Diabetes and Heart Education Center features an educational area where nurse educators will help patients learn about their condition and the best ways to ensure their health. A Preventive Cardiology Program will screen patients' family members for cardiovascular disease and offer them tools for lowering their risk.
  • Medical education. The Goldstein Education & Conference Center and Daniels Auditorium are connected by sophisticated communications links to operating rooms and cardiac catheterization labs to enhance training for the next generation of physicians and surgeons.
  • Convenient and efficient access to care. The new facility will be fully integrated with the adjacent Milstein Hospital Building and the Herbert Irving Pavilion, ensuring that cardiology services are conveniently accessible to patients in a "one stop" experience.
  • Environmentally friendly and award-winning design. The Heart Center is designed to reduce waste as well as cost. The building features recycled materials and is estimated to be 30 percent more energy efficient than a standard structure. The building is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The new facility has already been recognized by New York Construction Magazine with their 2009 Award of Merit in Health Care.
SOURCE NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

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