Cardiovascular Center receives gift of $50 million
The Cardiovascular Center (CVC) opened the doors of its new building to patients two weeks ago, and today (June 25), the U-M Health System (UMHS) announces a gift of $50 million to recognizeand encouragethe center's innovative model of caring for people with cardiovascular disease.
That model, never attempted before by a health care institution, emphasizes and rewards cooperation, excellence and results in all areas of the center's operations: clinical care, research and education, CVC leaders say.
The donor believes that the center model can succeed and provide a pattern, not only for other heart centers, but for all types of health care facilities.
While the gift provides for immediate support for the center's programs, the donor and the CVC have established benchmarks for success related to customer satisfaction; collaboration among UMHS scientists and physicians; clinical outcomes; research contributions; and excellence in education.
The first $25 million will be given over 10 years, beginning this month. The center will receive the remaining $25 million when it meets goals agreed upon by the donor and the center's leaders.
"We're thrilled to receive this landmark gift, which not only recognizes the efforts our Cardiovascular Center team has already made to break down the barriers that can divide health specialties, but gives us strong incentive to continue those efforts," says Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for Medical Affairs and CEO of UMHS.
On behalf of the center's four physician directors and administrative director, CVC director and cardiologist Dr. Kim Eagle calls the gift an investment in the future of health care.
"Too often, medical professionals work in the 'silo' of their own specialty, partly because of tradition and partly due to financial incentives that encourage an 'everyone-for-themselves' mentality. We're working to change that, and to prove that there's a better way," Eagle says.
The CVC brings together all UMHS specialists in preventing, treating and studying heart disease, blood vessel disorders and strokefrom cardiac surgeons and intensive care nurses to laboratory scientists, cardiologists and heart-imaging specialists.
On June 11 the first patients were treated at the center's new home, a 350,000-square-foot inpatient and outpatient facility at the heart of the Medical Campus.
Whether they are seen in the new facility or other locations, patients will be cared for by teams with members representing different medical and surgical specialtiesall working together to determine the best course of diagnostic testing, medication, procedures, operations and preventive strategies for each patient.
This represents a change of culture for medicine, the CVC directors say, because it emphasizes teamwork in a new way. Rather than having individual physicians compete to care for specific patients, it rewards teams financially for their performance as a whole.
This gift does the same thing on a broader scale because it provides specific benchmarks for the center and allows the donor to review its performance before releasing the final $25 million.
Specifically the donor will look at the center's performance on clinical measures, to see that U-M is leading the nation in delivering effective care that helps patients have the best outcomes. Another key measure is the CVC scores on satisfaction surveysincluding surveys of its patients, the physicians who refer patients to the Center, and its own faculty and staff.
Other measures include the number of faculty who have academic appointments in more than one division; the amount of research grants won and the number of research publications and patents; and the quality of both the young physicians being trained in cardiovascular specialties and the educators who teach them.
One other condition set by the donor is that the center must continue to be led by a team of physician leaders. There are four directors: Eagle, cardiologist Dr. David Pinsky, cardiac surgeon Dr. Richard Prager and vascular surgeon Dr. James Stanley, who together will determine the specific way in which the gift dollars will be used. Melvin Lester, special assistant to Kelch and a specialist in cardiovascular medicine, acts as an advisor on major gifts and program planning.
For more on the CVC go to www.umcvc.org.