News Stories Recognition

Barnes-Jewish Hospital Receives 2021 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award

A landscape photo of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The Washington University shield is placed in front of a rounded, red background with the article title "Barnes-Jewish Hospital Receives 2021 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award."
Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital has been recognized as one of the nation’s top medical centers for mitral valve repair surgery.

The 2021 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award, presented by the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation, honors hospitals and surgeons with a demonstrated record of superior clinical outcomes in the surgical repair of mitral valves and a commitment to reporting quality and outcomes metrics.

“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of our hospital and our team that works diligently to provide our mitral valve patients with the best care possible,” says Marc Moon, MD, John M. Shoenberg Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Moon, along with Ralph Damiano, Jr., MD, Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, are recognized as Mitral Valve Repair Reference Surgeons.

This Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center designation allows for patients to easily identify the nation’s best surgeons and hospitals for mitral valve repair surgery. In addition to the center’s latest accolade, Barnes-Jewish Hospital was recently ranked 37th in the nation for in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report.

The American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation praises the Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center team for applying the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines for mitral valve repair to improve patient care and outcomes in the community they serve.

The mitral valve is a one-way valve directing blood from the left atrium —the upper chamber of the heart —to the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart. The mitral valve, made up of two “sail-like” structures called leaflets, is supposed to close when the heart beats. When the valves don’t open or close properly, the heart gets weaker, enlarges and congestive heart failure sets in.

“When we have the option of repairing our patients’ existing valves instead of replacing them, our team often recommends repair,” says Moon.

Compared to full mitral valve replacement, valve repair does not require reoperation to replace worn-out implants, does not require patients to take blood-thinning medications (as artificial replacement valves do), improves heart function, increases likelihood of a longer life, and lowers the risk of future strokes or valve infections.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital is now listed on the Mitral Foundation’s directory of Mitral Valve Repair Reference Centers throughout the country. 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 & Vascular Center’s website.