Scripps Cardiovascular Surgeons Form New Medical Group

Programs from Scripps Clinic, Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Mercy now one

San Diego — Scripps Health, the largest provider of cardiothoracic surgery in the San Diego region, announced today that the cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons from Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Clinic and Scripps Mercy Hospital are joining to create a new integrated medical group.

Scripps Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Group brings together six surgeons: Drs. Scot Brewster, Donald Buehler, Alexander Giritsky and Richard Stahl from Scripps La Jolla and Drs. James Hemp and Jeff Tyner from Scripps Clinic.

The combined group performs more cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries than any other in San Diego. The number of cases performed is significant because studies show that facilities and physicians with higher volumes demonstrate better patient outcomes and higher quality indicator scores.

“This is an important development for the future of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery in San Diego,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “We know that quality outcomes are driven by the expertise that results from treating more patients. Through this new medical group, we provide San Diego with a group of surgeons who together perform more heart surgeries than any other in the region.”

As plans for Scripps Cardiovascular Institute continue, each Scripps hospital will maintain its own cardiovascular program and the six surgeons will continue to practice surgery where they traditionally have.

“This move is another step toward the realization of the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute,” said Dr. Scot Brewster. “The power of this group through our combined experience allows us to create a destination cardiovascular program for patients seeking the very best heart care.”

Dr. Tyner said, “This collaboration is a terrific opportunity to bring technological and clinical advances to our work and improve care for our patients.”

The group is offering some of the most innovative treatment options and research available in cardiovascular surgery, including cardiothoracic robotic surgery at Scripps Mercy. This new group’s expertise in this area will allow Scripps to advance technology and offer these services to patients across its system.

Additionally, these surgeons are working with Scripps Clinic cardiologist Dr. Paul Teirstein on the PARTNER aortic heart valve study that could change the way heart care is delivered and further demonstrates the collaboration occurring across the Scripps system.

Scripps performs more cardiothoracic surgeries than any other provider in the region, with 35.6 percent of the region’s cardiovascular surgical volume and 27.6 percent market share of thoracic surgeries, according to 2007 OSHPD discharge data. Scripps La Jolla provides cardiovascular surgery services for Kaiser Permanente patients in San Diego.

The group will be part of the Scripps Medical Foundation, which includes the 480-physician multi-specialty Scripps Clinic and 100-physician primary care Scripps Coastal Medical Center.

About Scripps Health

Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,700 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, 19 outpatient centers and home health care services.

Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, translational science and graduate medical education.

Contact: Don Stanziano
Phone: 858-678-7486