Hearts were on everyone’s mind this Valentine’s Day, especially at Maimonides Medical Center.
The Maimonides Heart & Vascular Institute hosted a flag raising event in honor of American Heart Month. Clad in red, hospital staff gathered in the lobby of Maimonides to celebrate, and listen to remarks from Maimonides President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs, as well as top members of the Heart & Vascular Center.
“The excellence is really here, it’s built across the board, and we as a community need to know it, need to be proud of it, and we need to carry that word forward. And I think that’s part of what we’re doing here today, to empathize that for ourselves and our community,” said Gibbs of the institute.
Gibbs’ remarks emphasized how the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, and that the statistical incidence of heart disease risk is higher in Brooklyn. The Heart & Vascular Institute, said Gibbs, is the centerpiece of Maimonides and its commitment to providing high quality care to Brooklynites. “We have the excellence, and there is no reason for anybody from Brooklyn to leave Brooklyn to get the best care. The best care is right here,” said Gibbs.
Other speakers included Jacob Shani, the chair of cardiology, Greg Ribakove, the chief of cardiothoracic surgery and the vice-chair of surgery, and Robert Rhee, the chief of vascular surgery.
Free heart health screenings were offered for the first 100 guests in the main lobby of Maimonides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Heart & Vascular Institute started in 1930 as the Cardiac Clinic at then named United Israel-Zion Hospital. In 1966, doctors at Maimonides implanted the first mechanical heart into a patient, and in 1967, doctors there conducted the first human heart transplant in the United States. Today, Maimonides treats a host of heart-related issues, including heart diseases and vascular conditions.