Metro Health, Mercy Health launching open-heart surgery program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Metro Health and Mercy Health are teaming up with Michigan Medicine to give patients another option for open-heart surgery in the Grand Rapids area. 

The partnership will be known as the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan.  

“Michigan Medicine, one of the world’s leading health care organizations, especially in cardiovascular disease, I think they bring a different level of expertise. We’re proud to be a part of that,” Dr. Peter Hahn, the CEO of Metro Health-University of Michigan Health, said.

Michigan Medicine surgeons already perform heart surgeries at Mercy Health Muskegon. 

“We’ve had Michigan Medicine providers on the Mercy Muskegon campus providing cardiac surgery for over a decade,” Dr. Matt Biersack, the interim president and chief medical officer of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, said. “(It has) really been a relationship that’s grown over the years.”    

Currently, Spectrum Health is the only hospital system providing open-heart surgeries in Grand Rapids. 

“If you look at Grand Rapids, it’s the largest metropolitan area in the country with only one open-heart program,” Hahn said. “We truly felt the need was great to bring another program.”

The new open-heart surgery program is scheduled to begin in about a year. It will operate out of Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming.

There are plans to build a new facility dedicated to cardiovascular care.

“A cardiovascular institute, if you will,” Hahn explained, “potential for us to drive the narrative around the country. There’s not a lot of open-heart programs starting around the country.”

He said the facility should be completed in five to eight years. Once it opens, he thinks the services offered through Metro Health and the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan could rival those offered by nationally renowned programs. 

“I think our competitors in five to 10 years will be Mayo Clinic, will be Cleveland Clinic. We’re aiming high,” Hahn said. “That’s what West Michigan deserves.”