Thursday, February 28, 2013 - Gundersen Lutheran teams with Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, P.C., and Allen Hospital to expand heart surgery services

Gundersen Lutheran Health System and Cedar Valley Medical Specialists (CVMS) have formed a partnership to enhance cardiac services available to patients in the Cedar Valley at Allen Hospital.

Cardiac surgeons from the Gundersen Lutheran Heart and Vascular Institute will team with CVMS Departments of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery to see patients in Waterloo and offer advanced cardiac procedures at Allen Hospital. Gundersen Lutheran heart surgeons will begin seeing patients in Waterloo in early 2013.

“Our new venture will enhance the overall cardiac services offered in the Cedar Valley,” says Kalyana Sundaram, M.D., Medical Director of the new venture for Cedar Valley Medical Specialists. “Gundersen Lutheran is well-known throughout the Midwest for excellence in cardiac care,” continued Dr. Sundaram. “The resources Gundersen Lutheran has to offer will benefit our patients and help us add new services at Allen Hospital.”

Some of those new services include minimally-invasive heart surgeries and complex aortic surgeries. Advantages of minimally-invasive heart surgeries include less pain and often quicker recoveries.

“CVMS is proud that our strong relationship with Allen Hospital has produced a nationally- recognized heart program right here in the Cedar Valley. We are confident our joint venture with Gundersen Lutheran Heart and Vascular Institute will ensure the world-class level of service that our patients have come to expect,” stated Gil Irey, CEO of Cedar Valley Medical Specialists.

“This partnership fits our focus on continuous improvement,” said Allen president and CEO Pam Delagardelle. “It combines the strengths of all three organizations to give Cedar Valley patients cardiac care options that none of us could provide alone.”

The partnership brings together two highly-regarded heart programs. Gundersen Lutheran, which is headquartered in La Crosse, WI, is ranked #1 in Wisconsin by Healthgrades for Overall Cardiac Services, Cardiology and Coronary Intervention Procedures in 2013. Allen Hospital is ranked among the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in the United States for 2013 by Truven Health Analytics. Allen Hospital also received the 2012 ACTION Registry® – GWTG™ Platinum Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology Foundation. CVMS cardiologists and cardiac surgeons run the Allen heart program.

Gundersen Lutheran and CVMS are developing a joint recruiting program to guarantee full-time cardiac surgery into the future.

“This partnership is a great option for our patients who live on the southern end of our service area and we are pleased to partner with two outstanding organizations in Iowa,” says Prem Rabindra, MD, Cardiovascular Surgeon and Department Chair of the Gundersen Lutheran Heart & Vascular Institute. “By offering Gundersen Lutheran heart surgery in partnership with CVMS and Allen Hospital; our patients will have the opportunity to receive their heart care closer to home. In addition, we look forward to bringing new services to people living in the Cedar Valley,” Dr. Rabindra adds.

“I believe people are becoming more conscious of their own health and demand world-class care,” stated Dr. Sundaram. “Gundersen Lutheran is a well-respected institution, and we are looking forward to collaborating with them.”

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