MGH focuses on the heart

MARQUETTE – Marquette General Hospital announced Friday it has joined the Duke Heart Network, a partnership that links community-based cardiovascular programs with the Duke Heart Center.

MGH Chief Medical Officer Tom Noren, M.D., said the affiliation has been in the making since Duke LifePoint Healthcare acquired the hospital in September 2012. The Duke Heart Center’s headquarters are in Durham, North Carolina, home of Duke University.

Because of its relationship with Duke LifePoint, MGH now has the opportunity to have clinical relationships with some of the best physicians in the field, Noren said.

“That’s the case with cardiovascular medicine as well, so this is a chance for our great cardiovascular team, that’s been strong here for years in the Upper Peninsula, to become and remain state of the art and ahead of the crest of the wave in the care of heart patients,” Noren said.

Noren said MGH staff, with the new affiliation, will have access to the cardiovascular studies that demonstrate best practice care.

Duke Heart Network – composed of a team of experts – oversees quality outcomes and works with affiliate sites to achieve national quality standards and benchmarks for cardiovascular programs, according to an MGH news release. It offers scorecard metrics for trending and benchmarking success factors to ensure various goals, which include excellence in evidence-based clinical care and patient safety as well as fiscal accountability.

At MGH, the network will help in several areas of advanced cardiovascular procedure development. The network collaborates with hospitals to expand specialized cardiovascular services locally so patients have options for good care as close to home as possible.

MGH CEO Ed Banos said in a news release, “I cannot overstate what an incredible milestone joining the Duke Heart Network is for our hospital and the U.P. region we serve.”

The announcement was made in conjunction with several senior Duke Heart Center physicians traveling to meet with Marquette General medical staff throughout the week. Harry R. Phillips III, M.D., heart network chief medical officer, said the affiliation’s goal is to build on and enhance MGH’s cardiovascular program.

“I don’t really think we would say there’s a specific need in cardiovascular care, beyond the fact that cardiovascular care is such an important service line in every hospital that we believe that collaborating on cardiovascular care is just a great common ground where we can enhance the service that’s available for the community,” Phillips said.

The network, he said, has a “dashboard” that reflects quality, outcomes and efficiency across all Duke heart sites, which can be used for benchmarking.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is