Henry Ford Allegiance Health Reaches Heart Care Milestone with 1000th Open-Heart Patient

Harry Adams on motorcycle

Now in its 8th year, after becoming the first hospital to perform open-heart surgery in the Jackson community, Henry Ford Allegiance Heart and Vascular Center has reached a new milestone—providing open-heart surgery for its 1000th patient, Harry Adams. 

Adams recently had the opportunity to meet another important alumnus, Del Sparks of Jackson. When the Henry Ford Allegiance open-heart surgery program began in February 2008, Sparks was the very first patient.

“Once I saw this beautiful heart center and met the surgeons, I had absolutely no fear of being the first,” Sparks recalled. “I went into that surgery with total confidence.”

Adams, who had never been hospitalized before his surgery, admitted he was “really scared. But having been through this great experience, I’d recommend it to anyone who needs it.”

Henry Ford Allegiance Health offers a complete range of cardiovascular services from risk prevention education to open-heart surgery and cardiac rehabilitation. The program’s success is reflected in lower than state and national averages for complication rates, hospital length of stay and hospital readmissions.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s open-heart surgery program is led by cardiothoracic surgeons Mahender Macha, MD, and Vincent Simonetti, MD, who both came in conjunction with Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s partnership with the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. Dr. Macha earned his medical degree at U of M and completed his surgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Simonetti graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed a general surgery residency at Henry Ford Hospital and a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center. He also completed a clinical/research fellowship in cardiopulmonary transplantation at Henry Ford Hospital. Throughout their combined careers, the two doctors have saved thousands of lives.

"To start a program like this from the ground up was an unparalleled opportunity and it is all the more gratifying to see it flourishing seven years later."

Mahender Macha, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon 

“I’m still excited to be a member of one of the premier cardiac programs in the state,” said Dr. Simonetti. “To start a program like this from the ground up was an unparalleled opportunity and it is all the more gratifying to see it flourishing seven years later.”

About the Henry Ford Allegiance Hearth & Vascular Center

The Henry Ford Allegiance Heart and Vascular Center ranks among the top ten percent in the nation for heart care, based on independent research by CareChex—a division of Caparion Medical Analytics. CareChex also ranks Henry Ford Allegiance in the top ten percent in the nation for overall medical and surgical care.

“When we began in February of 2008, our goals for the Heart and Vascular Center included being involved in research and clinical trials, and to be an extension of the University of Michigan here. We wanted to provide the highest quality, national-level care, and I believe we’ve come a long way toward achieving those goals,” said Dr. Macha.

Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s emergency angioplasty program consistently beats national best-practice time standards for procedures in which minutes saved mean heart muscle saved.

Learn more about Henry Ford Allegiance Heart and Vascular Center and open-heart surgery at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

The best chance of surviving a heart attack is to act quickly. Do not wait for symptoms to go away. Call 9-1-1 immediately, and chew an aspirin while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.