Today, the team performed its 500th TAVR — a procedure that has brought renewed hope for an extended and improved quality of life to patients with aortic stenosis, including many so acutely ill that they were considered too high a risk for an open procedure.
It’s another important milestone for the program and the team of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists and dedicated OR and heart catheterization lab staff who four years ago performed the region’s first TAVR procedure.
“The quality outcomes the team has achieved place this program amongst the most respected in the country,” said Sherry Hausmann, regional hospital president for Via Christi Health. “We are so fortunate that these doctors have created and continue to grow this stellar program that patients from throughout Kansas tell us has given them a second chance to enjoy life.”
Via Christi will be hosting a celebratory lunch next month to give patients an opportunity to reunite with the team that provided their life-extending and quality-of-life-improving care and tour the Valve Clinic, which recently moved to a larger location on the second floor of Via Christi Hospital St. Francis. That space has twice the number of rooms it previously had for evaluating patients for TAVR and other advanced therapies.
“We’ve become a comprehensive program — one that offers a vast spectrum of therapies in order to match patients’ needs — and we simply needed more room to accommodate our growth,” said Bassem Chehab, MD, the structural heart specialist who serves as the program’s medical director.
Other members of the team include surgeons Brett Grizzell, MD, and Sanjay Khicha, MD, both of Wichita Surgical Specialists; cardiologist Richard Steckley, MD, Cardiovascular Consultants of Kansas; and physician assistant Richard Allenbach, who serves as the Via Christi Valve Clinic’s director.
In addition to TAVR, Via Christi’s structural heart team has performed nearly 200 other procedures in St. Francis’ specially equipped hybrid OR — with outcomes that place the program among the top centers in the nation.
It’s this combination of experience and quality outcomes that has led to the program being invited to participate alongside the nation’s leading academic centers in TAVR, mitral clip and other structural heart pivotal clinical trials.
About Via Christi Health
In Kansas, Ascension’s Via Christi Health operates nine hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs more than 6,000 associates. Across the state, Via Christi provided more than $77.8 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.viachristi.org