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Published on April 20, 2016

10,000th heart procedure performed at UHS Wilson 

10000Heart_SurgeryThe cardiothoracic surgical team at UHS Hospitals on March 29 performed its 10,000th surgical heart procedure since the program was instituted in March 1989.  When it was launched 27 years ago, UHS' open heart program was the first one initiated in New York State since 1974.  Matthew J. Salanger, president and chief executive officer of UHS, said:  “Thanks to the work of our team, UHS has set the standard of excellence in heart care in this region of New York and become a source of pride for our entire organization."

Leading the program were M. Bashar Yousuf, MD, who was trained as a cardiac surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, and J. Richard Cunningham, MD, who had completed his residency at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center.  Kenneth Wong, MD, joined the team of surgeons in 1991, having completed his residency at New York University.  For the past 27 years, Drs. Yousuf, Cunningham and Wong have collectively performed 10,000 cardiac surgery cases at UHS Wilson Medical Center.  These include coronary artery bypass surgery, traditional and minimally invasive valve replacements, ventricular septal defect repairs and other cardiac surgical procedures.  Recently, in conjunction with cardiologist Alon Yarkoni, MD, and the UHS Cardiology team, UHS has introduced transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which provides a state-of-the-art alternative to traditional open chest valve replacements.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment after 27 years to have reached the 10,000th cardiac operative procedure,” Dr. Cunningham said. “It’s the result of the effort, talent and dedication expended by a great many people.”  Continuing, he noted:  "It took community volunteers, surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, perfusionists, operating room technicians, hospital administrators and ancillary staff to make this happen. Congratulations to UHS and the community.”

With 34 years of surgical cardiac experience, Dr. Yousuf understands the value of a strong, well-trained surgical team and thanks the “dedicated staff of the cardiac team throughout the years who have contributed to the success of our program.”  Dr. Wong agreed, and added, “Congratulations to UHS for the remarkable achievement. We will continue to provide the best care for our patients and will always look to improve our cardiothoracic surgical services to this area.”
With nearly 90 years of combined cardiac surgical experience, Drs. Yousuf, Cunningham and Wong are having an impact that cannot be measured in numbers alone.  It is seen as well in the improved quality of life of their patients - in the second chances and in families' hopes for the future.  "UHS and, in particular, our cardiac surgeons, would like to thank our patients - past, present and future - for their faith and support in our cardiac program and its supporting heart team," Dr. Yousuf said.  Beyond the wide range of surgical procedures available, UHS also offers patients the latest in diagnostic catheterization, medical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation.  In tandem with the heart program, UHS also is home to the region’s first designated trauma, stroke and chest pain centers.

To learn more about the full range of heart care services available at UHS, visit uhs.net. 

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