WINFIELD – A $2.5 million financial gift presented on Valentine’s Day will support the expansion of the cutting-edge Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute into DeKalb.
The expansion will include a new hub at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield and clinical care services at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb as well as Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
As a result of the donation, six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute will be developed in the western suburbs, with a focus on coronary disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, heart valve disease, preventative cardiology and vascular disease.
The $2.5 million donation is composed of many unrestricted gifts to the Northwestern Memorial Foundation from donors in the community to Central DuPage and Delnor hospitals over the years.
The expansion also is designed to streamline and enhance coordination for west suburban patients who may require heart transplants or other cutting-edge treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“We’re going to build a lot more connections between the downtown campus and Central DuPage, Delnor and Kishwaukee with the funding,” said Dr. Patrick McCarthy, executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, during a reception Tuesday at Central DuPage Hospital.
Dr. Nauman Mushtaq, medical director of cardiology for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute West, said the funding will help bring more advanced technology to the western suburbs.
“The whole idea is that for us as a community hospital, being part of an academic center allows us to do things that we haven’t been able to do before,” Mushtaq said. “We learn really advanced treatment options and bring them to our patients close to their homes. This is going to support that effort.”
As an example, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital is the first hospital in Chicago’s western suburbs to offer a recently approved, less-invasive aortic valve for patients with aortic valve disease, Northwestern Medicine stated.
Joseph Posledni, 75, of West Chicago, said he was amazed that he didn’t feel any pain after his surgery.
“I never took one pain pill for this surgery,” he said. “My incision is only five inches long.”
The new system requires only three sutures, compared to 12 to 15 in traditional valve surgery, followed by balloon deployment.
Dr. Neil J. Thomas, attending cardiovascular surgeon at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, said he was glad the surgery was a success and hopes the $2.5 million donation will spur more innovative care.
“We are very excited about having Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute here,” Thomas said. “Because I think it’s going to facilitate further expansion and growth, not just in volume but in the types of procedures we can offer people. We are looking forward to treating some more complex patients.”
The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was established on Valentine’s Day 2005 under the leadership of McCarthy with a generous gift by Chicago real estate developer and philanthropist Neil Bluhm.