The Piedmont Heart Institute has received a $20 million grant from the Marcus Foundation to establish the nation’s first heart valve reference center at Piedmont Hospital. As a regional reference center, the Marcus Heart Valve Center will be a one-stop shop for patients with heart valve problems as well as for physicians wanting to learn the latest advancements in treatment for these complex patients and increase access to care.
“We take this charge very seriously,” said Charles Brown, M.D., interventional cardiologist and chief medical officer, Piedmont Heart Institute. “We will build a valve center worthy of the Marcus name.”
The Marcus Foundation, dedicated to Jewish causes, children, medical research, free enterprise and the community, has funded many enhancements to healthcare in Atlanta including neurosciences at Grady Health System and The Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The Marcus Heart Valve Center will be the nation’s first comprehensive valve center for care, training and research regardless of the valve in which the damage occurs – aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valve — or the reason for it — congenital or acquired. It is expected to draw more renowned surgeons and other specialists.
According to the American Heart Association, mitral valve regurgitation is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency in the United States. Because prevalence increases with age, the growing population of people over the age of 65 will create an increased demand in an area that is already undertreated according to well-respected cardiology journals.
“The skill and experience of the surgeon are probably the most important determinants of whether repair or replacement surgery is performed,” Dr. Brown said. “Repair is the treatment of choice when surgical skill and expertise are available. Appropriate treatment results in better outcomes and quality of life for patients.”