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A Maplewood milestone: first heart surgeries performed at M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital

The Heart Care program at St. John’s Hospital is the same team that has long been recognized for excellence in cardiac surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital offers a full range of expert heart care services.

On Jan. 19, M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital hosted two heart surgeries; a mitral valve repair and a quadruple bypass. While these surgeries aren’t out of the ordinary for the experienced team of heart care providers at M Health Fairview, they represented an important development in the reach of our care: they were the first cardiac surgical procedures performed, and now permanently offered, at St. John’s in Maplewood.

“The Heart Care program that was formerly at M Health Fairview St. Joseph’s Hospital is now based at St. John’s. It’s the same people, the same great doctors -- both cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists – providing the same great care our patients trust,” said Laura Keithahn, Vice President of Operations, St. John’s Hospital.

Expert care in the East Metro

The availability of cardiac surgery at St. John’s is part of exciting work at M Health Fairview to expand breakthrough healthcare in the East Metro. It’s all part of M Health Fairview’s vision of heart care that’s built around the community we serve.

“We’re bringing our expertise to St. John’s Hospital because we believe patients are best served closer to home, where they are most comfortable, have support systems in place, and are closer to their primary care doctors,” said Rose Kelly, MD, C. Walton and Richard C. Lillehei Professor and Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Program Director, Cardiothoracic Residency, University of Minnesota; and Heart and Vascular Service Line Chief, M Health Fairview.

“We are proud to offer our successful, advanced cardiac surgery program at St. John’s,” Dr. Kelly added.

The Heart Care program at St. John’s is the same team that has long been recognized for excellence in cardiac surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It was ranked “high performing” – the highest possible designation – for both aortic valve surgery and cardiac bypass surgery in the most recent U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” listing.  This same team will serve the East Metro in our new location.  The collaboration between cardiology and cardiac surgery provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care that spans the spectrum of cardiac care.

The surgical team includes talented cardiothoracic surgeons, all of whom are on the faculty at the University of Minnesota Medical School, as well as anesthesiologists, nurses, surgical technologists, clinical technicians, and other providers who have worked together to deliver outstanding outcomes for cardiac surgery patients in the East Metro for decades.

Care how you need it, close to home

In addition to cardiac surgery, St. John’s Heart Care offers catheter-based procedures through its invasive cardiology services and treats everything from heart attacks to heart rhythm problems using minimally invasive techniques.

Plans are underway to further expand cardiovascular care capacity at St. John’s. Over the next two years, St. John’s will undergo a vertical expansion, adding 19,000 square feet of treatment space to the existing building. With a target completion date in late 2022, the state-of-the-art expansion will include two cardiac catheterization labs, two electrophysiology labs, and a hybrid catheterization lab for advanced cardiology procedures.  

“M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital is proud to serve the East Metro area with the outstanding heart care services that they’re used to. St. John’s has always been an excellent community hospital, and we are now expanding our services so that St. John’s will be a tertiary care hospital,” said Keithahn. “We’re ready and open for any heart emergency that comes through our doors, 24/7/365.”