GOSHEN — IU Health Goshen Hospital has the potential to become an even more prominent leader in heart and vascular treatment with the addition of a new center dedicated to the specialty, according to Dr. Mark Smucker.
The hospital opened its Heart and Vascular Center in late November, but the public will have a chance today, Jan. 30, to get a behind-the-scenes look at how cardiologists, radiologists and vascular surgeons are working together under one roof.
“The last time I mentioned this to somebody who wasn’t from the medical field, they said, ‘What, you mean doctors don’t work together?’ No, in fact, doctors are often in competition with one another, especially if they do similar procedures,” said Smucker, the new center’s medical director.
Smucker noted that there tends to be a certain level of professional rivalry among doctors. For example, a cardiologist may favor a different approach to treating a patient than a radiologist or a surgeon, he said. Working together, that contention would be eliminated, he said.
“When you work as a team, you can literally accomplish miracles,” Smucker said.
By placing doctors from the three specialties in one center, patients will no longer have to see three different doctors in three different locations.
“Everyone would be available at the same time,” Smucker said.
IU Health Goshen Hospital will have an open house from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at the Heart and Vascular Center, 1855 S. Main St. in Suite A in Goshen. U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski will be there along with Smucker and Randy Christophel, the hospital’s president and CEO.
Last spring, the hospital landed among the top two percent of health care facilities in the nation for heart attack care, Smucker said. He hopes the new center will set a high precedent for other hospitals in the area and around the country.
“We would like to show the rest of the nation that not only is it possible but it’s actually kind of fun, and you do it by collaborating,” he said.
Elkhart General Hospital opened its Heart and Critical Care Center about 17 years ago and has been recognized as one of the leading centers in the state, Dr. Walter Halloran said.
“What makes it successful is our attention to detail and the support of the hospital system,” said Halloran, director of cardiothoracic surgery at EGH. “We’ve grown this program to be the largest center of cardiovascular surgery in northern Indiana. We have been rated the top provider of cardiothoracic surgery in all of Indiana for the last two years, and we’ve been in the top 10 for basically all of the last 10 years.”
Like Smucker, Halloran said cooperation among hospital staff and other medical professionals is essential to the center’s operation.
“One of the great things that have made this program successful and sustaining is the cooperative attitude between the surgeons and the cardiologists,” he said. “That’s probably number one, but then number two, it requires the confidence of the entire medical staff of the system. That’s not just Elkhart General system, but we also do heart surgery on patients from the Goshen hospital community, and the support that I receive from cardiologists and internists at Goshen hospital is important as well.”