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Centegra Receives Approval for Open Heart Surgery

Soon McHenry County residents will not have to travel far from home to receive high quality cardiac care, including open heart surgery. After years of preparation and dedication, Centegra’s Certificate of Need application to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board to establish an open heart surgery program at Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center was approved on July 19 at the board’s monthly meeting, which was held in Chicago.

“The establishment of an open heart surgery program for the McHenry County community is a vital component of Centegra’s plan to actively improve the health of the people of McHenry County,” Michael S. Eesley, Centegra Health System President and CEO said. “We want to thank all the members of the community, as well as our patients and physicians, for their support during our CON process. We are confident that this much needed program will exceed expectations and will help to save many lives in the years to come,” he added.

The addition of cardiovascular surgery at Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center further helps Centegra to offer a full-continuum of cardiac care services to its patients. “We have a very strong cardiovascular program already in place here at Centegra with our cardiac rehabilitation services, anticoagulation clinic and heart failure clinic and with the expansion into open heart surgery we are further enhancing the high quality of care people have learned to expect from Centegra,” Suzan Buchaklian, Executive Director of Centegra Cardiovascular Services said.

Centegra has partnered with one of the area’s most renowned cardiothoracic surgical teams, Cardiac Surgery Associates (CSA), to perform open heart surgeries at Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center. Centegra’s open heart program is expected to be operational by the fall of 2006.

By offering open heart surgery capabilities at Centegra, the cardiothoracic surgeons will be able to perform such procedures as coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (bypass surgery), valve replacement and repair surgery, vascular surgery to help those with aneurysms and surgery to help repair congenital cardiac conditions.

Currently, the Centegra cardiovascular team is putting the finishing touches on the operations of the program and actively training with our cardiovascular surgeons and their staff, CSA, to make sure everything is in place. CSA will have a full-time surgeon dedicated to Centegra’s open heart program. The surgeon will move to the community and be committed to the success of the program.

“We are very excited to have the surgeons and staff of Cardiac Surgery Associates as part of our team here at Centegra,” commented Aaron Shepley, Senior Vice President Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center. “Their vast knowledge and experience is unsurpassed and will help in our quest to offer our patients and the community a high-quality cardiovascular program right here in McHenry County,” he added.

CSA is the largest surgical group in the state and annually they perform over 3000 cases. They provide university medical center quality at over 29 cardiac surgical practice locations throughout Illinois. “We will bring a depth of experience to the Centegra program that most programs do not have,” Bryan Foy, MD, a surgeon with CSA said.

“We are very proud of the cardiovascular program we have developed over the last 20 plus years at Centegra. We have built our cardiac catheterization and angioplasty programs very strategically in accordance with state regulations and we are anxious to see our plan for cardiovascular excellence come full-circle with our open heart surgery component,” Shepley added.

For more information on Centegra’s open heart program or Centegra’s cardiovascular program, please visit Heart Surgery. For more information on Cenegra’s cardiovascular surgical team, CSA, please visit www.openheart.net.