Bad news first: most of us will confront heart trouble at some point in our lives. Whether it’s high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an irregular heartbeat, or chest pains, cardiac problems are pervasive and cut across sex, race, and ethnicity—even age. Heart disease reigns as the nation’s leading killer, accounting for one in five deaths in the United States.
Now for the good news: a steady march of medical advances is helping a growing number of people live longer, healthier lives. NYU Langone Heart, a collaboration between the institution’s top-ranked cardiology and cardiac surgery departments, was formed to systematically deliver the latest resources, best practices, and interventions to each of the 1 million cardiac patients seen at NYU Langone each year. Its founding is part of an ambitious plan to unify a broad range of cardiac specialists practicing across one of the most diverse health systems in the country—one that includes more than 300 physicians focusing on heart disease.
“It’s about leveraging NYU Langone’s tremendous upward trajectory to aim even higher for the benefit of all our patients,” explains Mathew R. Williams, MD, chief of the Division of Adult Cardiac Surgery, who co-leads the initiative. To achieve this, multiple committees composed of physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators review an exhaustive list of vital metrics to spot areas in need of upgrades or more support.
“With NYU Langone Heart, all of our patients will know that whether they’re in Delray Beach or Brooklyn or Long Island, their care extends far beyond one individual physician,” says Larry A. Chinitz, MD, clinical director in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who co-leads the program with Dr. Williams. “Every patient is supported by a team of experts that coordinates care based on what is best for their unique circumstances.”