Rejuvenated Cardiac Surgery Program Nears Significant Milestone at Prince George’s Hospital Center

For immediate release: February 03, 2016

Nearly 150 surgeries have been performed successfully since the program’s transformation

Cheverly, Maryland– As the nation kicks off American Heart Month, cardiac surgery services in Prince George’s County have seen a resurgence thanks to a partnership between Dimensions Healthcare System (DHS), the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM). The transformation of the cardiac surgery program began in 2013 with the first cardiac surgery performed by the new team in July 2014. Since then, nearly 150 open heart surgery cases have been performed successfully at Prince George’s Hospital Center (PGHC), with the majority of patients being Prince George’s County residents who would have otherwise needed to travel outside the county for care.

Enhancements to PGHC’s cardiac surgery program began with the addition of renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Jamie Brown, associate professor of surgery in the division of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and director of cardiac surgery at Prince George’s Hospital Center. Brown has been on the faculty at SOM for a decade and is a world-class heart surgeon and an expert in cutting edge, minimally invasive surgical treatment of cardiovascular and aortic diseases. He has performed more than 3,000 open heart operations including coronary artery bypass, valve repair and replacement, heart and lung transplants, and minimally invasive cardiothoracic operations.

To ensure that the Prince George’s Hospital Center Cardiac Surgery Program made a successful comeback, the hospital assembled the best cardiac surgery and cardiovascular care team along with a $3 million investment in new equipment. One of the first five patients to undergo open heart surgery at Prince George’s Hospital Center was Kevin Garner, an IT professional and resident of Bowie, Maryland. When he felt extreme pressure on his chest, he knew instantly that something was wrong. He drove to Bowie Health Center, and then was transferred to Prince George’s Hospital Center. Four weeks after his surgery, Mr. Garner walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and after completing several weeks of cardiac rehabilitation returned to work. Mr. Garner is one of many grateful patients benefitting from Prince George’s Hospital Center’s renewed cardiac surgery program.

The renewal of Prince George’s Hospital Center’s cardiac surgery program is just one example of the partnership between Dimensions Healthcare System, University of Maryland Medical System, the State of Maryland, Prince George’s County and the University System of Maryland, including the University of Maryland School of Medicine – all partners of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to meet the healthcare needs of Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland residents. As a result of the MOU, additional outcomes include: a public health impact study on Prince George’s County conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health; University of Maryland Medical System oversight of emergency medical care throughout DHS; and DHS filing a Certificate of Need application for a new regional medical center in Prince George’s County.

Quote from Jamie Brown, MD, associate professor of surgery in the division of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and director of cardiac surgery at Prince George’s Hospital Center: “Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Prince George’s County and I am excited about our recent accomplishment as Prince George’s Hospital Center strives to develop a true Cardiovascular Center of Excellence in an effort to save more lives,” shares Dr. Brown. “I have enjoyed working with a seasoned group of exceptional cardiovascular surgeons and other medical staff, and, together, we will continue to maintain a high standard of patient care. My goal as director of cardiac surgery is to provide patients with the latest technology to enhance their choices for treatment while obtaining the best cardiac care outcome.”

Quote from Robert A. Chrencik, president and CEO, University of Maryland Medical System: “The partnership among the University of Maryland School of Medicine, our flagship academic hospital the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Prince George’s Hospital Center is focused on providing patients with comprehensive cardiac care and ensuring that the right care is provided in the right place at the right time, close to home.  We at the University of Maryland Medical System are delighted that this partnership has yielded life-changing results for nearly 150 patients, and we look forward to continued success and improved cardiac care for this community,” said Robert A. Chrencik, president and chief executive officer, University of Maryland Medical System.


Quote from E. Albert Reece, MD, Ph.D., MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine: E. Albert Reece, MD, Ph.D., MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, added: “The success of the Cardiac Surgery program is due to the amazing teamwork and partnerships that have been formed by all those involved, including Dimensions Healthcare System, Prince George’s Hospital Center, the University of Maryland Medical System and the School of Medicine. We are pleased that our faculty provides their life-saving skills, and the tremendous resources and techniques they have mastered, in Prince George’s County.”


Quote from Stephen T. Bartlett MD, Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Executive Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief, University of Maryland Medical System: “I am delighted by the success of this partnership bringing expertise and innovation in cardiac surgery to Prince George’s County,” said Stephen T. Bartlett MD, Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Executive Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief, University of Maryland Medical System.  “Research advancements, new techniques, and clinical excellence mean less invasive procedures, faster recovery times, shorter hospitalizations, and improved quality of life for local heart patients.  The application and implementation of knowledge for the betterment of public health is at the heart of academic medicine, and I am inspired by what we have been able to accomplish thus far in this partnership.”

Quote from Kevin Garner, IT professional, Bowie resident and grateful patient of the Prince George’s Hospital Center Cardiac Surgery Program: “The medical staff at Prince George’s Hospital Center was highly professional and definitely contributed to the overall success and positive outcome of my healing,” shares Mr. Garner. “I am very grateful that the medical care I needed was available close to home. During my research, I read that ‘time is muscle’ and if the heart care services that I required were farther away, there could have been more damage to my heart resulting in a very different outcome.”

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About Dimensions Healthcare System: Created in 1982, Dimensions Healthcare System is an integrated not-for-profit, community-owned organization providing comprehensive, quality healthcare services to the residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland and surrounding areas. The facilities that comprise Dimensions Healthcare System include: Bowie Health Center Campus, Dimensions Healthcare Associates, Family Health and Wellness Center, Laurel Regional Hospital, Prince George’s Hospital Center and the Rachel H. Pemberton Senior Health Center. Dimensions Healthcare System is the largest provider of healthcare services headquartered in Prince George’s County, Maryland, caring for more than 150,000 patients each year. Both hospitals within Dimensions Healthcare System have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report. For more information about Dimensions Healthcare System, visit http://www.dimensionshealth.org/.