Published on September 16, 2022

60 years

Celebrating 60 Years of Heart Care for Our Community

Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center performed the first heart surgery in the Washington, D.C., region in 1962. It was then that Adventist HealthCare’s long-standing commitment to innovation and clinical excellence in heart care began.

Announcing the Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute

Providing 60 years of nationally recognized, comprehensive and compassionate heart care services to the community is a privilege and an honor. You can be assured that whenever you need heart or vascular care that you’ll get the latest, most comprehensive care close by at any of our hospitals. In recognition of this expanded commitment and our growing offerings, we have named our program across all our locations the Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute. Our highly experienced teams are always advancing heart and vascular care so that you’ll have the latest medication, technologies, and treatments for a healthier body, mind, and spirit.

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Today, our trusted care teams throughout the Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute continue to bring the very best in heart and vascular care to our community.

Unparalleled Heart Attack Care

“The most common critical illness is heart attack. Over the last few decades we’ve developed one of the most experienced and cohesive heart attack teams in the region,” said Dennis Friedman, MD, cardiologist and medical director for the Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville and White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring are recognized by the American College of Cardiology as accredited Chest Pain Centers because of our team’s exceptional ability to diagnose and treat chest pain and heart attack patients, when every minute matters. In spring 2022, both hospitals again earned awards from the American Heart Association recognizing their high-quality, rapid and life-saving heart attack treatment.

Heart Surgery in Top 10% Nationwide

“Heart surgery is so much different than it was in 1962. It’s dramatically safer and much more sophisticated,” said Steven W. Boyce, MD, heart surgeon and chief of Cardiac Surgery.

Notably, White Oak Medical Center, the Adventist HealthCare hospital that performs heart surgery, again achieved the highest quality rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 2021 for excellent outcomes and patient care in three main types of heart surgery. The recognition places our program among the top 10% of U.S. hospitals.

Individualized Treatments and Care

Being a trusted source for heart care starts in our cardiologists’ offices and continues throughout diagnosis and treatment at all Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute locations. Our commitment to our patients is to listen, help to educate and offer individualized care.

Anees Ahsan, MD, cardiologist, chair of Cardiology, adds that over the program’s history there has always been a genuine focus on doing what’s best for the patient. “I’ve been part of this team for more than 30 years and the heart and compassion of our people to care for our patients is extraordinary.”

Innovation and Research

Adventist HealthCare has been on the forefront of innovation since that first surgery. White Oak Medical Center is credited with many regional firsts in heart care, including the first heart bypass surgery, first carotid artery stent procedure and first comprehensive heart program in the region.

“Our community benefits today from the advancement of medical science, an active Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute clinical research program that brings new medication, technologies and treatments to our patients and an insistence on innovation and providing new and advanced heart treatments,” added Fayaz Shawl, MD, cardiologist and medical director of Interventional Cardiology. Many of Adventist HealthCare’s heart treatments use minimally invasive approaches through small incisions that mean an easier recovery and quicker return to normal activities for patients.

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Connecting People to Heart-Healthy Living

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation program, which is a comprehensive, accredited exercise program to help prevent or treat heart problems and improve cardiovascular fitness, has long been a vital part of our heart care in Silver Spring and Rockville. Shady Grove Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program started in 1986, soon after the hospital opened and its heart care program began.

The program offers supervised exercise, education for a heart-healthy life including nutrition, smoking cessation and stress and weight management. Many rehab patients choose to continue exercising at Shady Grove for ongoing monitoring and support from the caregivers and other people they’ve met through the program.

“We not only have one of the best cardiac teams, but we also have one of the most robust cardiac rehabilitation programs in the state,” Dr. Friedman explained.

Susan Glover, vice president for the Adventist HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute, added, “The quality, excellence and compassion provided to our patients has helped hundreds of thousands of people in our community over the last 60 years get back to their lives and on a path toward heart-healthy living.”

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