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A Meeting of the Minds Saves Lives

Our cardiovascular service line is doing great work. The team provides support and knowledge that help our hospitals deliver high-quality heart care.

About a year ago, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Bradley Wolf and cardiologist Dr. Arie Szatkowski — with assistance from CV service line leader Georganne Gairhan — began the High Risk Cardiovascular Surgery Case Conference. Every two weeks, cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, the CV registry team, members of the anesthesia team, surgery directors and Georganne meet to discuss treatment options for heart patients with complex health challenges. Having these professionals in one room at the same time gives patients second, third and maybe even fourth opinions that can save lives.

The team evaluated 66 patients in its first year, and the experience has been invaluable for our doctors, our CV service line team and – most importantly – our patients. They, along with their families and our physicians, have more confidence in the advice that comes from the conference. Patient outcomes have improved. It has fostered a team approach and camaraderie. It’s bringing the different parts of our CV service line together.

I am so grateful for the team’s dedication. These meetings start at 6 a.m., and none of them gets paid for attending them. Yet all of them make this sacrifice because they know it’s what’s best for our patients.

I also want to thank all of you who are involved in multidisciplinary teams like this. I know members of our cancer service line have been doing this for years. These teams’ success depends on commitment, humility and dedication to the greater good. That spirit is evident throughout our system.

Are you part of a multidisciplinary team? If so, what benefits have you seen? Email them to me, tweet me @jason_m_little or find me on LinkedIn.

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