The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is a tertiary care center for cardiac services, providing award-winning, patient-centered care right here in Utica. Our Cardiac Services team is dedicated to bringing high-quality care to the hearts and people of our community. MVHS provides technologically advanced cardiac care from diagnosis to rehabilitation, right here in Utica, where patients can remain close to their homes and families. MVHS Cardiac Services provide a range of cardiac and thoracic procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), cardiac bypass surgery, aortic and mitral valve surgery, surgery to repair aortic aneurysms and correct irregular heartbeats, minimally invasive surgery, hybrid coronary revascularization, intra-operative echocardiography, esophageal surgery and surgery to treat lung cancer.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC), one of the hospitals affiliated under MVHS, is recognized as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program through Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. In 2015, the national program added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.
The MVHS Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Group employs three surgeons specializing in cardiac and thoracic procedures. Laszlo Fuzesi, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, relocated from Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where he also held the department chief role. Anne Cahill, MD, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, served at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, New York, before joining MVHS and specializes in women’s cardiac health. They joined Frederic Joyce, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, at SEMC, where he has practiced since 1997.
The Cardiac Services team at MVHS performed the first TAVR procedure in the Mohawk Valley. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for people who have been diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and who may be too ill or too high-risk for open heart surgery. This groundbreaking procedure opens up treatment options to patients who would not previously been candidates for open heart surgery. In many cases the TAVR procedure allows significantly reduced recovery times and a shorter hospital stay than traditional open heart procedures. The organization has invested nearly $3 million in the program including a specialized hybrid operating room, specialized equipment and the training of staff. The procedure involves a team of specialized physicians including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists.