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  • AHA Quest for Quality Prize seal

    Memorial Healthcare System Honored for Commitment to Quality by the American Hospital Association

    Memorial Healthcare System has been recognized for its leadership and innovation in quality and performance improvement as a finalist for the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize. Memorial is a finalist along with two other hospitals and health systems across the nation.

    The American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize recognizes health care leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities. The Quest for Quality Prize was first awarded in 2002. The prize is sponsored by RLDatix. This year’s recipients will be honored on July 28 at the virtual AHA 2021 Leadership Summit.

    “This year’s finalists have been remarkable leaders in elevating the quality of care they provide each day to their patients and communities. During the pandemic – when they were experiencing surges in patients – they employed innovative techniques to ensure the highest quality of care for COVID-19 patients,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO. “Their organization-wide commitments to excellence in improving care and health are a model for the entire hospital field.”

    Memorial Healthcare System plays a leading role in pandemic response efforts in Florida, including partnering with the Florida National Guard and other community organizations. During the pandemic, the system made a concerted effort to keep patients connected with their families virtually while in the hospital, realizing how critical this was to their well-being. Memorial Healthcare System also worked closely with local nursing homes, bringing in infectious disease staff to educate nursing home workers on how to reduce infection rates, reflecting the system’s long-standing commitment not only to safety, but to its community.

    As part of its philosophy to make its communities healthier, Memorial Healthcare System uses social determinants of health and other community data to identify patient and family needs and other societal factors influencing health. This has led to efforts such as providing free diapers to needy families, organizing life skills trainings, setting up a prayer line for spiritual needs, running a neonatal abstinence syndrome program, going door-to-door to help eligible people sign up for Affordable Care Act coverage, and helping with food outreach and supporting local food banks. The system has also provided well-being resources for caregivers and staff and has established an employee culture that is self-driven and focuses on accountability.

    Yale New Haven Health and Yuma Regional Medical Center were also recognized by the American Hospital Association.

  • Carmen shoulder replacement patient

    Shoulder Replacement Gives Carmen Her Life Back

    Carmen, a hairdresser, lived for years with worsening shoulder pain. It got so bad she couldn’t lift her arms. That meant she couldn’t serve her customers. She couldn’t even comb her own hair or dress herself.

    “I couldn’t lift my great-grandchild. The pain was unbearable. I fell into depression,” Carmen said.

    Her orthopedic surgeon, Alex Fokin, MD, Memorial Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Center, knew Carmen from a previous knee replacement. “Her diagnosis was bilateral shoulder arthritis — loss of cartilage, a narrowing of the joint,” said Dr. Fokin. “Basically, bone-on-bone arthritis in both shoulders.”

    The solution Carmen chose was patient-specific instrumentation for joint replacement. That meant two sets of computer-designed 3D replacement parts and computer-guided shoulder replacement surgery.

    “I’m like the bionic woman, now,” said Carmen. Most importantly, she’s back to her busy life of work and family with no pain.

    “I can even pick up my great-grandbaby,” she said with emotion. “Dr. Fokin gave me my life back.”

    Smart Snippet: Video
    Datasource: Carmen's shoulder replacement story      
  • thaddeus mcvi patient

    Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute Replacing Heart Valves without Open-Heart Surgery

    By the age of 12, Thaddeus Holmes had already endured four open-heart surgeries to address issues related to congenital heart disease. The Aventura resident was born with the left side of his heart smaller than his right, leading to a childhood filled with physical limitations, restrictions on exercise, and worry that heart and lung transplants might be required to survive.

    “I was afraid of another open-heart procedure,” said the now 29-year-old Holmes. “As an adult, you’re much more aware of a recovery period that could last months, the time that you’d be out of work, and the disruption of the life you lead.”

    But Holmes couldn’t outride his past, even though the avid cyclist gave it his best effort. When 15-20 mile bike rides he once did with ease became 1-2 mile struggles, he knew it was time to once again address his always tenuous cardiac health.

    Holmes trusted his care to the Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute (MCVI) and learned the pulmonary valve pediatric surgeons had repaired more than two decades ago was now blocking the flow of blood and leaking, leading to shortness of breath and chronic fatigue. Finding out the valve could be replaced, using catheter-based technology and a minimally-invasive approach that in the past would have required open-heart surgery, was just the news the tech professional needed to hear.

    Smart Snippet: Video
    Datasource: Thaddeus and Dr. Ligon      

    “Knowing I’d only be hospitalized for a day and would recover quickly at home put me in a good head space. It was a huge relief knowing I wouldn’t have to give up the things I loved to do,” said Holmes.

    “The technology is really peaking where we can help people like Thad that have struggled with complex heart disease,” said Ronald Ligon, MD, one of the MCVI interventional cardiologists that perform the percutaneous valve procedure that changed Holmes’ life. “In his case, we were able to enter the body through the leg vessels and replace the pulmonary valve with a transcatheter that is wider and allows more blood flow, but also has leaflets that prevent blood from leaking backward.”

    MCVI houses the only accredited adult congenital program in South Florida and specializes in non-invasive cardiac procedures. They can’t always correct problems without traditional surgery, but can often provide options patients didn’t know they had. “Our team of multidisciplinary specialists, using the latest technology, can improve the quality of life for congenital heart patients at whatever stage of life they’re at,” said Ligon.

    For Thaddeus Holmes, a cardiovascular system that’s working efficiently has meant a return to the bike and the discovery of a new passion. “I was able to hike up a mountain in North Carolina and really loved being part of nature. Now I’m planning a trip to Tennessee so I can get back out there.”


    Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute offers a full complement of services, including preventative, diagnostic, and treatment options tailored to each patient’s specific needs. It features an experienced team of board-certified cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, medical, and interventional cardiologists that are supported by knowledgeable staff and access to state-of-the-art equipment that help deliver the best possible outcomes. With its extraordinary medical expertise, advanced technology, and exacting quality guidelines, MCVI has earned a reputation for superior cardiovascular care. For more information, visit