Centers of Excellence

Heart & Vascular Center

Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center

The Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is designed to deliver the best in heart and vascular care. The Shapiro Center integrates all of our cardiovascular services and state-of-the-art technology into one building to create the most advanced facility of its kind in the region. We deliver comprehensive, seamless care in an environment that enhances patient and family comfort and convenience.

Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center Topics

About the Shapiro Center

Reaching 10 stories high, the environmentally friendly Shapiro Center received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Featuring open spaces and extensive natural light, the 350,000 square foot building includes: 16 state-of-the-art operating suites; 2,500 square feet dedicated to patient and family education; the Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic for outpatient services; and 136 inpatient rooms, including 40 ICU rooms in the Samuel A. Levine Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

View the Shapiro Center, floor-by-floor.

Advanced Technology

The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center is equipped with the latest, most advanced technology available for use in heart and vascular care, including state-of-the-art noninvasive cardiovascular imaging and a hybrid operating room (OR). The Center is one of the first in the region to bring some of these advanced technologies to our patients, including:

  • A computed tomography (CT) system – the first in New England and one of the first two nationwide – that can take an image of the heart within one heartbeat, providing a more detailed image of the heart than ever before.
  • Our hybrid 64-detector PET/CT scanner – one of the first in the nation – which combines imaging with data to enable physicians to better assess the degree of atherosclerosis in a patient.
  • A dual-source 64-slice CT that uses two X-ray tubes and two detectors rotating around the patient three times a second to reduce radiation exposure by half and enable physicians to make faster, more precise decisions.
  • Our 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, the world’s premier cardiovascular MRI unit, which allows physicians to see finer details and a better view of arteries, abnormalities, and scarring.
  • A new SPECT/CT imaging system that is eight times faster than the traditional single proton emission computed tomography (SPECT) and enables patients to remain in an upright and more comfortable position.
  • The hybrid OR, which enables us to perform advanced hybrid therapies – combinations of catheter-based, conventional, and less invasive surgical procedures – and streamline care for patients who need multiple procedures as part of their treatment.
  • Fifteen additional state-of-the-art operating rooms, all able to accommodate next-generation minimally invasive technology, including robotic surgery, image guidance, and other advanced technology.
Patient- and Family-centered Care

Our commitment to patient- and family-focused care was instrumental in the design of the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center. With input from our patients and their family members, the Center includes many features that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment.

All 136 patient rooms, including the 40 designated ICU rooms, are private, with private baths, offering maximum privacy and dignity for patients. In addition:

  • All rooms can be converted into ICU rooms, so a patient does not need to be moved when intensive care is required.
  • Nearly every cardiovascular service is located in one building, enabling patients and their families to experience a more convenient and seamless continuum of care.
  • Each room has a “family zone,” which includes a television and a mobile bed for visitors and can be curtained off for the patient’s privacy.
  • Patient rooms are designed to take advantage of natural light.
  • The Center offers heart and vascular patients a menu of high-quality, low-fat, and flavorful dishes that were developed with the help of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
  • The Shapiro Family Center, located on the second floor, offers patients, families, and friends a comfortable and convenient setting that includes educational resources, Internet access, relaxing spaces, and a waiting area for when loved ones are having a cardiovascular procedure or surgery. Visitors also may sit and relax in many other lounge areas throughout the building, including our spacious, light-filled atrium.
  • Wireless access is available throughout the building.
Patient Regionalization

The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center inpatient floors are organized into dedicated care zones, where patients with similar conditions and care needs are grouped together. For each of these care zones, there is a dedicated interdisciplinary medical team that specializes in caring for that particular group of patients. This “regionalization” is aimed at improving communication and efficiency, thereby reducing a patient’s length of stay and delivering quality outcomes.

Samuel A. Levine Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

The Levine Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (LCU) at BWH opened in 1965 to provide care of patients with acute cardiovascular illness, continuing our five decades long tradition of excellence in critical care cardiology. The LCU was the first to use electrical current to restore normal heart rhythm and to administer anti-arrhythmic medications to correct abnormal rhythms after a heart attack.

At the same time, the unit been the training ground for generations of international leaders in Cardiovascular Medicine. As a national leading program in the field of Critical Care Cardiology, the LCU is staffed by dedicated cardiac intensivists, including cardiovascular specialists with advanced training in Critical Care Medicine.

Our expertise is in comprehensive multidisciplinary care for patients with cardiac arrest and patients with cardiogenic shock. We also provide advanced subspecialty care for patients with a broad spectrum of unstable cardiovascular conditions, including acute coronary syndromes, acute aortic disease, pulmonary embolism, decompensated valvular disease, refractory arrhythmias, severe heart failure, patients undergoing evaluation for cardiac transplantation, patients previously having undergone a transplant, and complications following cardiac surgery or other cardiovascular procedures.

We offer advanced therapies, including targeted temperature management (therapeutic hypothermia), catheter-directed fibrinolysis for venous thromboembolic disease, tailored inotropic therapy, and the full spectrum of options for temporary mechanical circulatory support, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Impella, and TandemHeart ventricular assist devices. Through our multidisciplinary subspecialty teams, we provide percutaneous options for structural heart disease, management of advanced congenital heart disease, therapy for severe pulmonary hypertension, ablation of refractory arrhythmias, cardiac device management, and complex coronary interventions.

Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic

The Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center is a unique outpatient care facility, designed to provide collaborative, comprehensive, and convenient cardiovascular care.

With over 300 skilled clinicians located in one state-of-the-art cardiovascular care facility, the Clinic provides patients with high-quality multidisciplinary cardiovascular evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Services in the Clinic are grouped to facilitate effective and accommodating clinical care, with efficient access to cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, and radiologists.

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