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Los Angeles Heart Institute

Since performing the first successful open-heart surgery on the West Coast in the 1950’s, St. Vincent Medical Center has become a renowned, tertiarylevel, cardiac referral center. A long-standing reputation for cardiovascular excellence, along with premiere diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, enable us to treat even the most high-risk patients.

St. Vincent Medical Center has a tradition of being one of the most active and experienced cardiac centers in California. The number of surgeries, angioplasties and cardiac catheterizations performed each year far exceed minimum federal standards for competency. Outstanding care has earned St. Vincent Medical Center the designation of cardiac and transplant center of excellence by many health plans as well as continued accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

The Los Angeles Heart Institute, established in 1974, is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the cardiac services at St. Vincent Medical Center through a comprehensive program of research, education, charitable care, and technological assessment.

5-star Quality Ratings for Cardiac Services

HealthGrades, Inc., the national healthcare ratings firm, announced in its 2001 Hospital Report Card Analysis that clinical quality outcomes for SVMC rank among the top 10 percent in the nation for cardiac care and among the top 5 percent nationally for treatment of stroke.

HealthGrades is an award-winning resource for healthcare provider ratings and information. The company objectively analyzes more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States by medical specialty (cardiac services, orthopedic surgery, neurosciences, pulmonary/respiratory care, vascular surgery and obstetrics) and publishes rating on its Internet site,

The 2001 Hospital Report Card Analysis is based on data collected from 1997 through 1999 by the United States Health Care Financing Administration and is risk-adjusted by HealthGrades. “The analysis produces a report card rating for all hospitals, based on a five-star rating system,” explained Sara Loughran, senior vice president of HealthGrades, Inc. “A five-star rating reflects top-notch care.” HealthGrades updates the hospital rating annually.

Cardiac Care Facilities

  • Six cardiovascular and thoracic surgical suites
  • 15-Bed Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit (CSU I)
  • 16-Bed Thoracic Surgical and Coronary Care Unit (CSU II)
  • 2 isolation rooms dedicated to cardiac transplantation
  • 64-bed Adult Cardiac Telemetry Unit
  • 7 cardiac catheterization laboratories
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory
  • Pacemaker Clinic

Diagnostic Services

  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Cardiac electrophysiology studies
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Echocardiography and stress echocardiography
  • Treadmill stress testing
  • Holter monitoring
  • Transtelephonic pacemaker and event monitor follow-up
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Coronary Calcium Screening
  • Pharmalogical Stress Testing
  • Pediatric Diagnostic Cardiology

Surgical and Interventional Cardiology

  • Angioplasty (PTCA) Atherectomy
  • Automatic Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD)
  • Bracytherapy
  • Cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery
  • Coronary artery stenting
  • Heart transplantation
  • Mechanical heart assist devices (BiVAD, implantable LVAD)
  • Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) surgery
  • Off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery
  • Percutaneous laser led extraction
  • Permanent pacemeker pacemaker implantation
  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation
  • Simultaneous heart and kidney transplantation
  • Transmyocardial revascularization by laser (TMR)
  • Valvuloplasty

Education and Research

  • Clinical research
  • Cardiac patient education programs
  • Professional education
  • Community education and outreach

Affiliations and Designations

  • 5-Star Rated in Cardiac Care by HealthGrades
  • Cardiac and Transplant Center of Excellence
  • St. Vincent Medical Center is affiliated with virtually all the major health plans available in Southern California, including Medicare and Medi-Cal managed care plans.


Otology–House Ear Institute and House Ear Clinic

The cochlear implant, which brings the sensation of sound to the profoundly deaf, was developed by the House Ear Institute and first surgically implanted at St. Vincent Medical Center. Today, multi-channel implants are available to adults and children. Acoustic neuroma tumor surgery techniques developed here have reduced mortality rates from 40 percent to less than one-half of one percent. Many other breakthroughs for ear and balance disorders were pioneered at St. Vincent through the work of the House Ear Institute.

The House Ear Institute is a highly specialized center offering diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear, facial nerve, skull base balance, otolaryngic allery and related illness. Since the 1940s, Clinic physicians have successfully pioneered innovative treatments for many otologic disorders by refining and developing medical and surgical techniques.

The House Ear Clinic physicians are active in numerous clinical research studies and have published many articles and book chapters on topics relating to hearing, balance and facial nerve disorders.

The mission of the House Ear Institute, a private, non-profit research and professional education facility, is to define the causes of hearing loss and vestibular disorders, create and improve medical and surgical treatments, and develop prosthetic devices to counteract auditory and vestibular dysfunction.

The House Ear Institute scientists explore the auditory system from the ear canal through the inner ear to the brain itself, as well as investigating the structure and function of the ear on the cell and moleculars level.

Center for Health & Healing

Ancient Medicine. Alternative Therapies. Comprehensive Treatment.

Introducing the Center for Health & Healing, where modern medicine embraces ancient teachings to treat body, mind and spirit.

Funded by the Daughters of Charity, the Center treats stress-related disorders, musculoskeletal problems, smoking addiction, negative side-effects of cancer treatment, infertility, and chronic pain and illness. Our team of licensed and certified practitioners uses a combination of individualized treatments to help enhance and enrich your life through healthier living. Alternative medicines and techniques are administered with skill, knowledge and an understanding of your unique situation, all to help you on your way to optimal health.

Our Therapies Include:

  • Acupuncture and Acupressure
  • Herbal Therapy
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • Massage Therapy
  • Yoga, Pilates & Fitness
  • Movement and Relaxation Therapies
  • Body/Mind Therapies
  • Educational Classes and Seminars

Descriptions of alternative therapies provided at the Center:

  • Acupuncture: helps normalize the way your body functions while promoting vitality and helping to relieve stress and pain. Acupuncture uses fine needles, placed at specific body points, to balance energy.
  • Herbal Therapy: promotes better overall health using natural-based supplements. Herbal Therapy blends specific combinations of herbs and other natural supplements, individualized just for you.
  • Massage Therapy: promotes your body’s overall well-being by harmonizing the muskculoskeletal system. Massage Therapy employs a hands-on technique that stretches your muscles, thus helping to reduce stress.
  • Yoga and Pilates: influences strength and flexibility by centering your body’s energy. These two therapies encourage you to stretch your way to balance within the body, mind and spirit.
  • Fitness Training: helps your body heal through strength and endurance. Fitness Training incorporates elastic bands and exercise to show how the use of specific movements can physically change your body.
  • Nutritional Consultation: enriches your life by balancing your diet and teaching you to eat better. Nutritional counseling uses vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements, individualized for you.
  • Body-Mind Therapies: reduces the stress in your life by incorporating relaxation and visualization techniques. Body-Mind Therapies will help you to discover change by understanding what goes on inside your body, mind and spirit.
  • Relaxation & Breathing Therapy: teaches deep relaxation of the body and mind.
  • Tai Chi Chuen and Qi Gong: increases energy, flexibility and relaxation by using an ancient Chinese system of movement and meditation.
  • Visualization Therapy focuses on mental and visual techniques to help you “see” your way to better health.
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu uses a gentle system of touch to release energetic blocks and promote balance and harmony.

Serving the needs of the sick and poor of our city has long been the mission of the Daughters of Charity, the order of Sisters who founded St. Vincent Medical Center more than 145 years age. Today, their mission remains as strong as their commitment to the disenfranchised. By funding the Center for Health & Healing, they continue to provide hope, healing and renewed health.

At the Center for Health & Healing, we use ancient philosophies to guide the hands of modern medicine in treating you with alternative therapies. Come here to discover that ‘health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, and faithfulness the best relationship.’