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BWH has long been renowned for its exceptional cardiovascular care, teaching, research and community outreach. Last week, hospital leadership announced the exciting next chapter in cardiovascular services with the launch of BWH Integrated Cardiovascular Services (ICS), a new model that will foster collaboration and teamwork, remove silos and enhance these existing areas of strength and excellence.
“BWH ICS is the future of cardiovascular services at the Brigham,” said BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, during a celebration on Nov. 13. “Through ICS, we will be able to achieve our full potential and harness the entrepreneurial spirit of our faculty, nurses, staff and others to ensure an even better patient care experience and extraordinary scientific accomplishment.”
The event promised the answer to a question that has been posted on television screens and the intranet for several weeks: What is BWH ICS? Many employees and staff chatted about possible answers to the question as they enjoyed red velvet cupcakes and appetizers in the festively decorated Miller Atrium.
In her remarks, Nabel let attendees in on the answer and outlined the structure and goals of BWH ICS.
The ICS structure consists of an oversight committee and a leadership team. The oversight committee is a group of executive leaders who will provide guidance to the ICS leadership team on global cardiovascular strategy, major investments in the ICS and senior-level appointments.
The leadership team is responsible for strategic planning and execution, all cardiovascular operations and finances, and achieving superb outcomes. It will be co-led by John Byrne, MD, the newly appointed chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Mandeep Mehra, MD, executive director of the Advanced Heart Disease Center, with representation from leadership in Nursing, Anesthesiology, Imaging, Medicine and Surgery.
The leadership team will focus on the creation of newly envisioned collaborative cardiovascular units, or CCUs, among other areas. “These units will be hubs of innovation, discovery and clinical care built around common and uncommon problems that confront us,” Nabel said. “These may range from arrhythmias to shortness of breath to developing total artificial heart transplants and trans-aortic valve replacements.”
The CCUs will require true collaboration among care providers. “This is the kind of care envisioned when the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center was built,” said Nabel. “Instead of people working ‘alongside’ each other, we will ask you to work in unison as one team.”
Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services, agreed. “When we break down barriers among disciplines and within disciplines, and create synergies and bring people together, there is something magical that occurs,” she said.
Enhanced Teaching and Research
ICS will also strengthen education and research.
“What makes the Brigham very special is its academic strength, and that will not be compromised,” said Eugene Braunwald, MD, chairman of the TIMI Study Group. “What ICS will establish is a much smoother, integrated and better organization for clinical care. From that will flow better training and better clinical research.”
ICS will create new opportunities in education and approaches for the next generation of transformative care providers, rather than traditional modes of education.
“They will work together as one team to develop best practices in research, translate that knowledge to the patient bedside and create enduring value for the community,” Nabel said.
Honoring our Leaders
The BWH ICS kick-off event also served as a time to honor the vision of leaders who are no longer with us, including beloved cardiologist and leader Kenneth Baughman, MD, and cherished friend and philanthropist Ruth Shapiro.
“It is on occasions such as this that we pause to reflect on those who enable what is possible today,” Nabel said.
Nabel, along with Somerville, concluded the event with a fitting tribute to Mary Lou Moore, MSN, RN, former associate chief nurse for Cardiovascular, Thoracic and Pavilion Services, who passed away last month. They unveiled a photograph of Moore, from which a portrait will be commissioned in honor of her compassionate leadership. It will hang in the Shapiro 9th floor conference room, where she held many meetings with her nursing staff.
Video online: Hear what BWH leaders and cardiovascular staff and patients have to say about BWH ICS in a new PikeNotes video.
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