St. Vincent Medical Center Offers a Total Approach to Heart Care Through the Cardiac Care Institute

Los Angeles, CA (October 1, 2012) – Delivering integrated, quality care has been the benchmark at St. Vincent Medical Center (SVMC) for more than 155 years. On October 1, 2012, the historic hospital takes a giant step into the future and opens its door to the Cardiac Care Institute, where a collection of highly-specialized professionals will provide a full spectrum of adult cardiology care all from the same location.

“Our new Cardiac Care Institute will allow the hospital to provide integrated inpatient and outpatient care for our patients who suffer from congestive heart failure, heart rhythm abnormalities or other chronic cardiac problems,” offers Cathy Fickes, SVMC president & CEO.  “The clinic will provide the full spectrum of cardiac assessment tools and a full roster of physicians whose specialty is heart disease.”  Their newly-compiled roster includes cardiologists, vascular specialists, electrophysiologists, heart surgeons and a highly-trained team of nurses. 

Electrophysiologist Marc J. Girsky, MD, medical director of Cardiology Section at SVMC, said: “St. Vincent Medical Center, with its legacy of innovative cardiac care, will continue to provide a wide range of services to our community as well as cutting-edge therapies.”

With access to state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, SVMC specialists will offer patients the convenience of comprehensive, integrated cardiovascular care ranging from diagnostic testing and minimally invasive interventions to health education and lifestyle modification, as well as managing medications. If intervention is necessary, all procedures can be performed onsite.

Along with common diagnostic tests such as echocardiography, treadmill testing and electrocardiography (EKG), the Cardiac Care Institute offers patients an online station where patients can learn more about cardiovascular health. The Cardiac Catheterization Lab is the next stop if additional testing or procedures need to be performed such as pacemaker implant, angiography with or without vascular stenting, electrophysiology study or radio frequency ablation.

“The Cardiac Care Institute focuses on prevention and wellness, providing a medical home for cardiac patients through the full continuum of care,” said Fickes.

According to the American Heart Association (AMA), one in three adult Americans has some form of cardiovascular disease, often undetected.  SVMC Cardiac Care Institute physician Harry Balian, MD, FACC, FSCAI, a specialist in Interventional Cardiology, recommends prevention as the best medicine against heart disease. “I believe primary prevention is crucial in ensuring that patients take care of their health before they develop their first heart attack or significant vascular catastrophe,” he cites. “Healthy eating, exercising and risk factor modification should be incorporated in everyone’s lifestyle.” 

The AMA agrees. Their Life’s Simple 7 provides a roadmap to a healthier heart and cardio-vascular system.

The Cardiac Care Institute is located at 201 S. Alvarado Street, Suite 321in Los Angeles. To learn more, go to or call (213) 484-7800.

About St. Vincent Medical Center: With three consecutive years of awards for quality healthcare services from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), St. Vincent Medical Center has been ranked fifth among Best Hospitals in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area for 2011-2012, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Providing compassionate healthcare and serving the sick poor has been the mission of St. Vincent Medical Center for more than 155 years. Established in downtown Los Angeles in 1856 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Vincent is a world-renowned, 366-bed facility, offering comprehensive medical services, including ear surgery and neurosurgery, general orthopaedics, spine care, joint replacement, cancer treatment, cardiovascular services, thoracic surgery, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and multi-organ transplantation.

St. Vincent Medical Center is part of the Daughters of Charity Health System, a nonprofit Catholic health system spanning the California coast.