On behalf of my colleagues in the Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, it is my distinct privilege to welcome you to our department! We are proud to be a part of the Cleveland Clinic and recognized as the national leader in the clinical care of patients with cardiovascular disease. Our department is in unique equipoise: we belong to the Anesthesiology Institute (AI) under the leadership of Dr. David Brown, but we work solely in the Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI) under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Lytle. We collaborate with some of the most innovative cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons and specialists in the world in one of the most dynamic hospital systems in the country as noted by Newsweek (December 7, 2009).
This department has a proud history and celebrates the leadership of its two previous chairmen and giants in the field of cardiac anesthesia, Drs. Fawzy Estafanous and Norman Starr. Now, under the leadership of its Vice-Chairs, Drs. Michael Licina and Colleen Koch, the department continues its remarkable clinical achievements, including our surgical outcomes in over 5800 heart, lung and vascular procedures, 4100 heart surgeries, 157 lung transplants, 140 robotic heart surgeries, and 120 heart transplants and ventricular assist devices over the past year. We accomplished all this work in tandem with the finest Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists team in the country as led by Mrs. Carol Ratcliff.
We are very fortunate to work in 16 technologically advanced ORs. Dr. Erik Kraenzler serves as the Director of the Cardiothoracic ORs in the HVI, and keeps our surgical and anesthesia environment up to date with the best equipment, ensuring that every patient receives the world-class care as advertised. Dr. Pierre DeVilliers manages the OR staffing and matches anesthetic expertise and educational needs of the fellows with a dynamic surgical schedule. The continuum of excellence in patient care travels from the OR to our 76 bed ICU for cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery patients. Dr. Eric Kaiser, as the CVICU Director, leads a team of anesthesia intensivists and acute nurse practitioners that emphasizes the value of the patient experience in addition to successful surgical outcomes.
We take great pride in our fellowship program, the largest program in the country accepting 16 fellows yearly under the direction of Program Director, Dr. Michelle Capdeville, assisted by Dr. Lee Wallace. Our staff performed over 1600 intraoperative TEEs this past year alone as noted by Dr. Robert Savage, the Anesthesiology Institute’s Director of Perioperative Imaging and the HVI’s Director of the Cardiovascular Medical Emergency Team. This medical staff expertise is the reason why our echocardiography teaching program is the department jewel, and we are grateful to Dr. Andrej Alfirevic who administers this program to great acclaim from residents, fellows, and physicians visiting from other institutions.
Sustained excellence in patient care, in education, and in clinical research has its own rewards and is one of many reasons why the majority of our staff physicians and nurses start and end their professional careers in our department. We are in debt to Dr. Sergio Bustamante, Dr. Anand Mehta and Mrs. Stacey Swantek for chronicling our cultures of clinical excellence, of collaboration and collegiality, and innovation and learning on this web site. They have captured our love for professional growth and the spirit of generosity that weaves these cultures into a single fabric known as the Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology. Thank you and welcome!