MVHS Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Group
The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is a tertiary care center for cardiac services, providing award-winning, patient-centered care right here in Utica. Our Cardiac Services team is dedicated to bringing high-quality care to the hearts and people of our community. MVHS provides technologically advanced cardiac care from diagnosis to rehabilitation, right here in Utica, where patients can remain close to their homes and families.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC), one of the hospitals affiliated under MVHS, is recognized as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program through Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. In 2015, the national program added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.
In 2015, MVHS established the Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Group, employing three surgeons specializing in cardiac and thoracic procedures. Laszlo Fuzesi, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, relocated from Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where he also held the department chief role. Anne Cahill, MD, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, served at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York, before joining MVHS and specializes in women’s cardiac health. They joined Frederic Joyce, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, at SEMC, where he has practiced since 1997.
In early 2016, the Cardiac Services team at MVHS performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure in the Mohawk Valley. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for people who have been diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and who may be too ill or too high-risk for open heart surgery. This groundbreaking procedure opens up treatment options to patients who would not previously been candidates for open heart surgery. In many cases the TAVR procedure allows significantly reduced recovery times and a shorter hospital stay than traditional open heart procedures. The organization has invested nearly $3 million dollars in the program including a specialized hybrid operating room, specialized equipment and the training of staff. The procedure involves a team of specialized physicians including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists. The surgeons at MVHS Cardiac Services perform operations on the heart, lung and blood vessels in the chest, including TAVR, cardiac bypass surgery, aortic and mitral valve surgery, surgery to repair aortic aneurysms and correct irregular heartbeats, hybrid coronary revascularization, intra-operative echocardiography, esophageal surgery and surgery to treat lung cancer. Our providers specialize in minimally invasive cardiac and lung surgery, as well as specialized care for women’s cardiac health.
MVHS Cardiac Services announces HEARTaware, a simple, self-administered risk assessment tool that helps identify specific factors you may have for developing heart disease, including a heart attack.
Privacy Breach Notification
Patients who had Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implants during 2006.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center is one of 1,400 hospitals that have had patient information possibly breached by a third party software developer hired by the American College of Cardiology Foundation. St. Elizabeth Medical Center provides patient data to the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) as part of its Cardiac Services Program. The risk of an actual breach is in the low to moderate range as determined by ACCF. To date there is no indication that the data has been accessed inappropriately by anyone.
Medicare and other insurers require that hospitals providing certain cardiac services submit the patient data to the (ACCF) in order to track patient quality and to identify implantable devices placed in patients in the case there is the need to recall an implantable device.
The list of patients whose data was breached is limited to patients in 2006 who had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) insertion. There were a total of 151 patients whose data may have been breached. The data breached by the software developer was limited to the patient’s full name, date of birth, and social security number.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center, an affiliate of Mohawk Valley Health System, values the privacy of its patients and will do whatever it can to assist anyone involved in the breach. We sincerely apologize that this breach has occurred and we will strive to work with the ACCF reduce the risk of future breaches.
If you feel that your patient information may have been part of the data breach, you are encouraged to contact the Privacy Office at 315-624-5117 to find out if your information was part of the data breach.