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Bringing experience together: LUH and MCR strengthen regional heart program
Poudre Valley Health System

For immediate release: Nov. 15, 2011

Fiona Libsack, PVHS: 970.237.7107 or
Karen Logan, LUH: 303.485.4298 or 

Longmont United Hospital (LUH) and Poudre Valley Health System (PVHS) jointly announced today that cardiovascular surgeons Dr. Mark B. Douthit and Dr. Thomas L. Matthew have joined the Poudre Valley Medical Group.

This commitment to PVHS will be the first step in expanding a regional heart program that supports northern Colorado, western Nebraska and southern Wyoming.

In the past year, Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR) has performed more than 280 open heart surgeries, while LUH has completed roughly 50. Combining the programs bolsters one of the largest heart programs in Colorado. Larger programs with higher volumes and better efficiency are better positioned to adjust more easily to changes in health care. This flexibility allows programs to stay on top of the latest research and cutting-edge technology and offer the best possible patient care.

"LUH is focused on what is best for the patient by uniting our cardiovascular care with MCR," said Mitchell Carson, LUH president and CEO. "Having a centralized, regional open heart program makes sense from both a quality and efficiency standpoint."

"With nearly a century of experience among all four surgeons, the decision to come together was the natural next step both from a patient care and an efficiencies standpoint. Having enough case volume in one location strengthens our program and improves staff proficiency," said Dr. Todd Whitsitt, a cardiologist and president of the Poudre Valley Medical Group board.

While LUH will continue to offer a full complement of heart procedures at their facility, patients requiring open heart surgery may be referred to MCR. Over the next 90 days LUH and MCR will work together on details to create a seamless patient experience.

Drs. Douthit and Matthew have been treating patients at MCR since 2009, working alongside cardiovascular surgeons Dr. Mark D. Guadagnoli and Dr. Michael W. Stanton. Douthit and Matthew plan to maintain their longtime medical office in Niwot.

"When I came to Colorado eight years ago I dreamed of building a cardiac surgery program that would provide state of the art care for my patients and this makes it possible, said Dr. Matthew.

"I feel privileged to partner with MCR, and its already well established heart center that is part of a nationally renowned quality health care delivery system," said Dr. Douthit. "This will truly enable us to provide our patients in northern Colorado a heart center of excellence in cardiovascular surgical care."

"Our primary goal has and always will be to provide world-class care for our patients," said George Hayes, MCR president and CEO. "Combining programs allows us to continue to offer superior care and excellent patient outcomes while supporting LUH. And, patients will be able to return to their home community to recover."

MCR has had a similar arrangement with Regional West Medical Center (RWMC) in Scottsbluff, Neb., since 2007.


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