A Decade of Advancements in Cardiac Care at Maimonides: Continuing to Foster a Record of Clinical Excellence

cardiac surgery at maimonides medical center
Providing innovative, cutting-edge cardiac care is the mission at Maimonides Medical Center.
Photo courtesy Maimonides Medical Center

Maimonides Medical Center, the largest hospital in Brooklyn, is a cornerstone of care in the borough of Brooklyn. By investing in new technologies and excellent clinical staff, Maimonides has long been able to achieve outstanding results for their cardiac patients In fact, the first ever heart transplant in the United States took place at Maimonides in 1967.

As a testament to this innovation, the hospital’s TAVR, LVAD and ECMO programs have been key to achieving excellent clinical results for cardiac patients. “The mission is to provide cutting edge care at the highest quality possible,” said Dr. Jacob Shani, the Chair of Cardiology at Maimonides. “And with these programs, we’ve done that and will continue to do so.” 

Since 2012, when they were introduced, these three programs have continued to build on a legacy of innovation under the overarching leadership of Dr. Jacob Shani, Chair of Cardiology and Dr. Greg Ribakove, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

The TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) program, run by Dr. Robert Frankel as Medical Director and Dr. Gregory Crooke as Surgical Director, is an aortic valve replacement surgery done without opening the patients chest, which makes this life-saving technology available to more patients.

Maimonides was the first in Brooklyn to adopt the TAVR program, and currently receives the highest rating of three stars for its patient outcomes related to the surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology.

The LVAD (left assist ventricular device) program, run by Dr. Paul Saunders, is an implant that helps the heart circulate blood, either to buy the patient time for a full transplant or to improve the functioning of a failing heart.

Maimonides is one of the leading hospitals in New York City performing the LVAD procedure, and the only hospital in Brooklyn to perform it.

The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) program, also run by Dr. Saunders, is a complex device that supports or replaces the functioning of a patients lungs and heart, and is key to recovery from cardiac surgery.

Due in part to these programs, Maimonides has continued providing lifesaving, advanced cardiac care for Brooklynites – including many underserved communities.  

As a safety net hospital, Maimonides also serves a large number of Medicaid and Medicare patients (80% of their patients). These patients would not have had access to these services in their home borough were it not for Maimonides prioritizing innovation and excellence in cardiac care. 

maimonides doctors
Maimonides’ LVAD, TAVR and ECMO programs have allowed them to provide livesaving care to thousands of patients in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy Maimonides Medical Center

Recognized nationally as a leader in cardiac outcomes, Maimonides Medical Center has been a Gold Level Center of Excellence since 2018 and is one of ~100 globally recognized centers to achieve such an honor from the Extracorporeal Life Support organization.

 Maimonides continues to invest in building state-of-the-art facilities for cardiac patients. In December 2022, Maimonides cut the ribbon on a new cardio-thoracic intensive care unit. This modernized and expanded intensive care unit features advanced equipment and is designed to make patients and their families more comfortable while they recover from heart surgery. 

The enhanced unit will help serve over 1,000 patients a year who choose Maimonides for cardiac procedures. “It has state of the art facilities and not only makes patients feel comfortable during recovery, but their families do too,” said Dr. Shani. 

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a Federal agency, Maimonides has been a top-rated hospital for heart attack survival since the beginning of CMS reporting in 2015, including being ranked among the top 1% of hospitals nationally for the last 5 years in a row.

Healthgrades named Maimonides Medical Center as one of America’s Top 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery from 2021-2023, placing it in the top 5% of hospitals nationwide.

U.S. News and World Report named Maimonides as a “High Performing Hospital” for heart attack and heart failure care from 2022-2023.

Dr. Shani appreciates the patient population — one of the reasons he’s been at the hospital since 1983. “The diversity is something I’ve always treasured,” he said. “And when it comes to a deep commitment to innovation and patient care, Maimonides is second to none.” 

Maimonides Health is Brooklyn’s largest healthcare system, serving over 300,000 patients each year through the system’s 3 hospitals, 1800 physicians and more than 80 community-based practices and outpatient centers. 

This post was sponsored by Maimonides Medical Center.