News Stories Recognition

Barnes-Jewish Hospital Receives 2024 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award

Heart and Vascular Center at the Center for Advanced Medicine.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital has been awarded the 2024 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Recognition Award by the Mitral Foundation. Barnes-Jewish Hospital is recognized as one of the nation’s top medical centers for mitral valve repair surgery, serving the St. Louis and Missouri area.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Barnes-Jewish has received this recognition. In 2021, Barnes-Jewish Hospital was added to the Mitral Foundation’s national directory of Mitral Valve Repair Reference Centers, upon receiving the 2021 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Recognition Award. The hospital also received this award in 2022 and 2023. This designation recognizes world-class organizations that provide the highest standards of care in their work in cardiology and mitral valve repair.

Cardiac specialists in the Heart and Vascular Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital are widely recognized as leaders in heart surgery, with several specialists being constant fixtures in Castle Connelly’s annual Top Doctors list. Likewise, U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Barnes-Jewish Hospital among the top-performing medical centers for cardiology. The Mitral Foundation has presented this award to Barnes-Jewish several times and for good reason: surgeons and specialists consistently report quality and outcome metrics, demonstrating superior clinical outcomes in the surgical repair of mitral valves.

Ralph J. Damiano Jr., MD, Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery, chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery leads a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists and highly qualified nursing staff, while also preparing trainees for the future of cardiothoracic surgery. “We are proud to have a talented and dedicated clinical staff who provide the highest quality of care to our patients, leading to our national reputation for excellence in mitral valve repair,” says Damiano.

Damiano gives praise to the support staff at Barnes-Jewish. “We are also very fortunate to practice in an incredibly supportive hospital and university environment that continues to facilitate our mission of providing world-class care to our patients,” he says.

“When we have the option to repair patient’s existing valves instead of replacing them, we strongly recommend repairs,” says Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, the John M. Shoenberg Professor of Surgery and chief of the Section of Cardiac Surgery. He affirms the section’s trust in their specialists’ repair expertise.

An accomplished cardiac valve specialist, Kaneko was recognized by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for his mentorship with the Thoracic Surgeons Residents Association teaching award. He also recently published an article assessing outcomes of redo surgical mitral valve replacements in comparison to transcatheter mitral valve replacements.

Instead of replacing the entire structure, repairing the existing mitral valve can lead to better long-term outcomes and fewer valve-related complications down the line.

“The option to repair the mitral valve, which helps direct blood throughout the atria and ventricles of the heart, results in more favorable outcomes for patients in comparison to full replacement,” says Kaneko. “When the valves of the heart fail to open or close properly, the heart is forced to work harder to supply the body with enough blood and is at risk of weakening and failure.”

The Heart and Vascular Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital is at the forefront of heart and vascular care. To learn more about Barnes-Jewish Hospital and make an appointment with its team of dedicated Washington University cardiac surgeons, please call 888-230-8832 or visit the Heart and Vascular Center’s website.