St. Vincent Health System and Heart Clinic Arkansas have joined forces to expand The Jack Stephens Heart Institute, LLC.
Heart Clinic Arkansas is joining three of the state’s premier cardiovascular surgeons, Drs. F. Michael Bauer, Frederick Meadors, and Charles Watkins, who formed the Heart Institute in June 2011.
Heart Clinic Arkansas, now known as St. Vincent Heart Clinic Arkansas, is the state’s largest cardiology group with 29 physicians, according to a press release. They provide service in over 17 communities across the state, with permanent office locations in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Searcy.
“This alignment represents a truly unique opportunity to partner with the best surgeons in the state and a hospital system with a long-standing tradition and commitment to excellence to develop a nationally-recognized center for cardiovascular care,” says Randy Jordan, M.D., former president of Heart Clinic Arkansas.
The initial Board Members of the Jack Stephens Heart Institute include: J. Lynn Davis, M.D., Chairman of the Board; Scott Rypkema, M.D., cardiologist, Mark St. Pierre, M.D., cardiologist; Fred Meadors, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon; Andrew Kumpuris, M.D., cardiologist; Dave Parker, Chairman, SVHS Board of Directors; Peter Banko, SVHS President & CEO; and Jon Timmis, SVHS SVP & Chief Strategy Officer. Marcia Atkinson is the VP/Administrator of the Heart Institute and Randy Jordan, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer.
St. Vincent says it has acquired the entire Heart Clinic practice and now directly employs all personnel formerly employed by Heart Clinic Arkansas.
“We are making a mutual commitment to each other and to the community by literally going all-in,” Peter D. Banko, President & CEO of St. Vincent, said of the acquisition decision. “In December 2009, we developed a bold vision of the future of cardiovascular care in our community and we agreed at that time that all partners need to be completely aligned and make long-term commitments to one another.”
St. Vincent said it will invest $36 million in the Heart Institute to upgrade technologies. The showpiece of the investment is the addition of a hybrid cath lab, the first non-academic hybrid technology in the state.
“This technology will transform how we approach certain cardiovascular treatments and place us among the premier programs in the country,” said Fred Meadors, M.D.
Among the other investments in the development of the Heart Institute include the construction of four new cardiovascular operating suites, replacement of seven cath labs at St. Vincent Infirmary and St. Vincent North, two 64-slice CT scanners to be central to the new chest pain centers in Little Rock and North Little Rock, and renovation of existing patient care units to provide increased cardiovascular and critical care capacity.