HealthPark Medical Center

Shipley Cardiothoracic Center for Innovation, Education & Research

Fort Myers, FL


Part of Lee Memorial Health System, which includes four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals


Lex and Eileen Roulston moved to Florida more than 20 years ago. Their first encounter with Lee Memorial Health System’s HealthPark Medical Center was not long after they moved, when their grandson had an asthma attack as a baby while visiting. Years later, Lex had bypass surgery at HealthPark. For families like the Roulston’s, HealthPark Medical Center has been a stable community resource in Fort Myers that provides high-quality, personal, life-saving care time and time again. After his recovery, Lex joined the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation board and they became involved in raising funds to support this vital community resource.

Tackling Heart Disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. For Lee Memorial Health System, a large part of fulfilling its mission to improve the health status of the people of Southwest Florida is about exploring new approaches to improve quality and outcomes of care. That’s why the health system invested in the Shipley Cardiothoracic Center for Innovation, Education & Research, a program at the forefront of defining and developing cardiovascular techniques to make a difference in patients’ lives for years to come.

Minimally Invasive Surgery. The Shipley Cardiothoracic Center is known throughout the country for its innovative approach to minimally invasive surgery, which has resulted in superior patient outcomes, improved cardiac function post-operation, and reduced readmissions. Physicians come from around the United States and the world for training to learn best practices and protocols studied and implemented at the Center.

Investing in Leading Edge Care. A large part of the Center’s success is due to Lee Memorial Health System’s support for trying new approaches. The health system committed to building a multi-milliondollar hybrid suite in the hospital to utilize transcatheter heart valves. Our physicians traveled to Europe for training and Lee Memorial built the operating suite so that the new technology could be used as soon as it was commercially available in the United States. Since its implementation at the Center, the less invasive surgery has resulted in most patients going home with no pain after 3-4 days, in comparison to the older approach which resulted in 7-10 days of hospitalization.

Improving Care Coordination. The Shipley Cardiothoracic Center for Innovation, Education & Research has redefined its “surgical home” to bring all parts of the care continuum together, including advanced technology during surgery and a combined care team approach. By implementing this collaborative approach, the organization utilizes care pathways to better meet patient needs, reduce medication, and improve the overall patient experience. A newly added component is the implementation of a telemed post-operative approach that allows patients to video conference with a critical care physician following best practice protocols. The process allows physicians to follow-up with patients, conduct wound checks and more without patients leaving their home. It has strengthened patient relationships, improved follow-up care, and ultimately improved outcomes.

Our location and share of the market allows us to function as a model for the entire country and innovate on a daily basis. We work with our patients long before their surgeries, making sure preoperative variables are optimal for successful outcomes. This is my life’s calling.” – Dr. Paul DiGiorgi, Cardiothoracic Surgery Section Chief, Lee Physician Group

Lee Memorial has done a great job of recognizing the needs of patients and the community we serve, and have always put outcomes ahead of profit.” – Dr. Brian Hummel, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Lee Physician Group

If it weren’t for Lee Memorial, my husband wouldn’t be here.” – Eileen Roulston, donor to the Shipley Cardiothoracic Center for Innovation, Education & Research

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