Scripps to Develop Comprehensive Cardiovascular Institute

Scripps Clinic and Scripps La Jolla cardiac programs will join

Scripps Health, the region’s largest provider of cardiac services, will build a comprehensive Cardiovascular Institute as part of the $360 million first phase replacement of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. The institute will include the cardiac programs of Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps La Jolla.

The Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will be a center for the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options for patients with cardiovascular diseases, as well as serve as a center for medical research, clinical trials and graduate medical education.

“This is a historic day for Scripps and San Diego,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “Scripps already has three of the largest interventional cardiology programs in San Diego. Now, the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute brings together two of the region’s strongest cardiac programs in one location to give our patients greater access to some of nation’s top cardiac experts.”

Scripps, San Diego’s leader in cardiac care, has a legacy of providing leading edge medicine to people around the world. Last year, more than 45,000 patients trusted Scripps for their heart care, making Scripps the largest provider of cardiovascular care in San Diego. The combined programs of Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Green would lead the state in coronary angioplasty – 3,260 – twice as many as the next largest program in California.The two programs combined would be the largest in San Diego County for coronary artery bypass surgery—605 last year.

The Scripps Cardiovascular Institute is the first phase in a three-phase reconstruction and relocation of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla that will update the hospital to meet state seismic standards and community need.While the total cost of the Institute is yet to be determined, the initial cost estimate for the building will be more than $360 million.
Building on an 80-year legacy of providing leading-edge medicine to San Diego, the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will be designed by Scripps’ world-class physicians to create a destination hospital for patients, physicians, researchers and staff.

Plans include 144 in-patient beds, 30 intensive care unit beds, 10 state-of-art operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs with the most advanced medical technology, centralized cardiovascular research labs and a center for graduate medical education.
Scripps is currently involved in 99 active cardiac research studies by 18 principal investigators. Of the 99 studies, 86 are taking place at Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Studies show quality scores and better outcomes result from high volume. In 2005, Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Green cardiovascular programs together performed more than 21,000 cardiovascular procedures.This high volume underscores a growing trend in healthcare toward regionalization of high-severity illnesses.

The Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will be designed by the cardiovascular experts at Scripps – the physicians.Plans will begin immediately to determine the programs, services and technology needs for the Institute.

“I think this is an opportunity to create the largest and most comprehensive cardiac care program in the region,” said cardiologist Maurice Buchbinder, M.D., director of interventional cardiology and co-director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. “With our combined strengths we will be able to offer the community the best in clinical care, state-of-the-art clinical research and superb graduate medical education. I am confident that with collaboration and common vision we will build a center that is the best in the West for our patients and the community at large.”

The combined program will make the best use of Scripps’ non-profit resources. Rather than continuing to fund the needs of two strong cardiovascular programs in two locations less than two miles apart, those resources can be used to build one world-class resource for the San Diego community and beyond.

“We see the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute as a destination hospital for cardiovascular patients nationally and internationally,” said Van Gorder. “The exceptional clinical expertise we have right now in the physicians at both campuses alone is world-class. Once we bring together this expertise, combined with the most advanced medical technology, expanded clinical research for cardiovascular diseases, and the superior quality that comes with the high volume of patients Scripps treats, San Diegans will never have to leave home to receive leading-edge heart care.”

Cardiologist Paul Teirstein, M.D., chief of cardiology and director of interventional cardiology at Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital, said the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will bring a new level of care to the San Diego region.

“Our city needs a destination cardiovascular center that is dominant and world class in all aspects,” Teirstein said. “This means having the latest, most advanced technology. And this means pouring major funding into medical research and facilitating this research. And this also means pouring major funding into physician education, particularly our graduate medical education program so we can pass on these traditions and ensure San Diego trains its next generation of physicians.”

Founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to meet the community health care needs of La Jolla more than 80 years ago, philanthropy has played an important role in Scripps’ growth and expansion ever since.Financing the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will come from operating revenues, borrowing and community support.
“We have always enjoyed the generous support of our grateful patients and I am confident that once the San Diego community sees our vision for health care they will want to help us to make it a reality,” Van Gorder added.