Memorial Regional Hospital Receives Gold Seal For Its Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy

September 20, 2014

Memorial Regional Hospital

Memorial Regional Hospital, a leading provider of adult cardiac services in Florida, recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its ventricular assist device (VAD) destination therapy program, offered through its Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute.

Memorial Regional Hospital is the first hospital in Broward County to receive this coveted accreditation and only one of two programs now serving the South Florida community.

“Achieving the ventricular assist device destination therapy Joint Commission certification is an essential component of Memorial’s goal to provide state of the art heart failure care to the South Florida community,” said Enrique Gongora, MD, medical director of the Adult Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at the MCVI.

A VAD, used for destination therapy, is a continuous flow pump that is surgically placed inside the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart. The VAD propels blood from the ventricle to the body, supporting the function of the heart. Surgeons at the Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute (MCVI) began implanting the life-saving devices in early 2014.

This month, the flagship hospital of the Memorial Healthcare System underwent a rigorous two-day, on-site review and demonstrated full compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for disease specific care quality and safety, obtaining approval without receiving any recommendations for improvement.

Destination therapy VADs are implanted in patients with refractory heart failure who are not eligible for a heart transplant. VADs have been proven to dramatically improve the long term survival and the quality of life of end stage heart failure patients, said Ioana Dumitru, MD, medical director of Adult Cardiac Transplant, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy at MCVI.

The advanced heart failure team at Memorial was recently approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to begin performing adult Heart Transplantation, Gongora added.

“This achievement reflects the steadfast commitment of the Memorial Healthcare System to provide its community with world class cardiovascular care. The Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute provides the full breath of cardiovascular services from newborns to the elderly, including ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation for both the pediatric and adult populations. We truly offer Total Heart Care” said Michele Slane, vice president for MCVI.

The Joint Commission evaluates healthcare organizations ensuring that they provide safe and effective care of the highest quality. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 5,700 acute care hospitals in the country, of which only 139 have the infrastructure to support an accredited destination therapy VADs program. Memorial Regional Hospital is now among the top 2.5 percent of hospitals that provide advanced heart failure care.

The full spectrum of services include heart transplant, ventricular assist device, electrophysiology, vascular surgery, congenital heart disease and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to name a few – all components of a Total Heart Care program.

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Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute is a leader in cardiovascular care in South Florida, offering a wide array of services dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Its specialists work together as a multidisciplinary team using sophisticated diagnostic equipment and facilities dedicated solely to cardiovascular care. Outcomes of cardiovascular care are reviewed on a regular basis by multidisciplinary physician-review panels assisted by nurses specializing in quality assurance and utilizing computerized data collection. With extraordinary medical expertise, advanced technology and exacting quality guidelines, Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute offers a superior level of cardiovascular care to the South Florida community and beyond. For more information on your total heart care, visit


Geo Rodriguez, 954-265-3455
Digital Media Relations Specialist

Heart Attack and Kens Vad

Ken had his first heart attack at age 29. In the years that followed, he suffered a stroke and a second heart attack.