This article is sponsored by MedStar Heart Institute with headquarters at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. To learn more visit

MedStar Heart Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center long ago earned the reputation as the best heart hospital in the region.  Now, it’s one better.

The Heart Institute forged a new and unique alliance with the nation's #1 heart program, the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. The very best heart programs—-regionally and nationally-—are joining forces to further strengthen the Washington region’s premier destination for heart care, which has a well-known history of achievement.

Forty years ago, doctors there created a better way to treat sudden cardiac events by launching the region’s first Code Blue System.  They then opened the area’s first Coronary Care Unit, performed the region’s first open-heart surgery, opened an advanced cardiac catheterization lab—now among the busiest in the nation—and performed the District’s first heart transplant.

Today, Heart Institute physicians have made such advances that they can replace heart valves through an artery without opening the chest.  And they can remotely diagnose heart attacks—-miles away—-instantaneously using the Code Heart mobile app developed by a MedStar physician and a national cell phone company.

MedStar Heart Institute’s latest milestone is due to both its past strengths and its forward thinking approach.

“Working shoulder to shoulder with Cleveland Clinic, our whole is now greater than the sum of our parts,” says Stuart F. Seides, M.D., the Heart Institute’s Physician Executive Director.  “With this alliance, the future of heart care in this region is transformed.”

What does this alliance mean for patients?

“It means even better heart care,” says Paul J. Corso, M.D., Chairman of the MedStar Heart Institute Board of Directors.  “We treat more patients in almost every category of cardiac care than anyone else in the region.  Together—-MedStar Heart Institute and Cleveland Clinic—-we have seen it all, we have experienced it all.  And research shows that more experience yields better outcomes.”

As one example, Dr. Corso points to a telling statistic.  “Our mortality rate for cardiac surgery is a full 33 percent lower than what is usually expected for the kinds of critically ill patients we often treat,” he says.  “Through our new alliance with Cleveland Clinic, we will be working to improve upon these already excellent results.”

“Nobody has all of the answers all of the time,” says Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute Chair Bruce Lytle, M.D.  “But medical care today is a team sport and we are pleased to be working with one of the best cardiac teams in the country.”

The patients and physicians of the Washington region already know the MedStar Heart Institute team is the most experienced.  They know its history, its reputation, its results.  Now, they also know that the region’s best is one better.

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