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LVAD Program Achieves Center of Excellence Recognition

The CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute has been recognized as a Joint Commission Certified Center of Excellence for its Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Program. An LVAD is a surgically implanted mechanical pump that is attached to the heart and is used to treat advanced heart failure. 

Physicians with the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute performed the institute's first LVAD surgery earlier this year at our Infirmary location in Little Rock.

The Joint Commission conducted a two-day review of the LVAD Program with an on-site visit to CHI St. Vincent Infirmary. The Joint Commission reviewed standards for clinical practice and held performance meetings with physicians and clinicians who lead the LVAD program.

The Center of Excellence achievement recognizes CHI St. Vincent as an organization that meets rigorous standards to support adults with heart failure. The requirements are based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for:

  • patient eligibility
  • care coordination
  • physician and staff licensing, education and training
  • post-surgical and follow-up care

    “As a Center of Excellence, the CHI St. Vincent LVAD program mission is to improve the health of the people and the communities we serve through advanced heart failure therapies and research,” said Dr. Thurston Bauer, cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director of the LVAD program. “We’re honored to be recognized for our dedication to continued excellence. Our team provides patient-centered care with the latest research and the best technologies through a multidisciplinary team approach.”

    To learn more about the LVAD program and the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute, visit