Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Salinas Valley Memorial Join Together to Transform Local Heart Care

The Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program
At Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital

SALINAS, CA, October 23, 2008 - In a move that advances central coast heart care to an unprecedented level, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) and Stanford Hospital & Clinics (SHC) today announced the creation of the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. The combination of Salinas Valley Memorial’s 22-year history of excellence in cardiovascular services, and Stanford’s leadership in academic center medicine, is expected to significantly advance cardiovascular healthcare in this region.

 “We pioneered heart care in this region more than 20 years ago with the opening of the Harden Memorial Heart Center,” said Sam Downing, MBA, MPH, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial.  “After tens of thousands of cardiac procedures and diagnostics, we continue to meet and exceed standards of excellence in cardiovascular care.  This partnership is the most outstanding way to further accelerate the distinguished program here at Salinas Valley Memorial, and bring the nationally recognized expertise of Stanford University to the residents of our region.  We are very proud to be associated with such an outstanding internationally acclaimed university-level medical center.  This will allow residents of Monterey County to stay here for local healthcare coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

“Our partnership and collaboration with Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System allows us to provide the most advanced and highest quality treatment for cardiovascular disease to Salinas Valley, Monterey Peninsula and surrounding communities,” said Robert Robbins, MD, Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director, Stanford Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Key to the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is the addition of Vincent DeFilippi, MD, as Medical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. DeFilippi has had an outstanding cardiovascular surgery career, performing over 3,000 open heart procedures and receiving numerous awards and recognition during his career, including being selected as a Top Doc in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine and being listed among America’s Top Surgeons.   In recent years, Dr. DeFilippi has consistently attained high cardiac surgical survival rates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery despite a highly acute population, performing many of these without the use of a heart lung machine.  These results demonstrate Dr. DeFilippi’s commitment to excellence in cardiac surgery and his determination to attain the highest standards of care and outcomes for some of our most acutely ill patients. 

As a pioneer in several minimally invasive cardiac surgery procedures, Dr. DeFilippi was the first surgeon in his state to perform the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure for patients with atrial fibrillation with over 90% success rates.   His commitment to and specialized training in mitral valve repair and minimally invasive valve surgeries have helped him remain one of the most regionally recognized surgeons for these procedures.

Dr. DeFilippi is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford.  He and his family are full time residents of Monterey County.

“We are fortunate to have such a strong cardiac surgery support system in place,” said Irene Neumeister, Senior Vice President/Patient Care and Cardiovascular Services.  “From Intensive Care to Diagnostic Imaging to Pathology—all are providing outstanding patient care, which is just the right environment for this new partnership with Stanford.”
“It is a perfect match,” said Robert Morris, MD, President of the Board of Directors for Salinas Valley Memorial.  “Our Heart Program has achieved excellence in performing today’s leading cardiac procedures, and we continue to actively participate in research that keeps us at the forefront of cardiovascular medicine.  We are honored to partner with an institution the caliber of Stanford Hospital and Clinics.”

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About Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is a Public District Hospital that is part of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. The Healthcare System is an integrated network of health care programs, services and facilities. At the core of the system is a 269-bed acute care hospital with several distinct specializations and programs, including the Regional Heart Program, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Joint Replacement Center, and the Regional Spine Center. Salinas Valley Memorial employs more than 2,200 people and the Medical Staff includes 265 board-certified physicians across a range of specialties.

About Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Stanford Hospital & Clinics is known worldwide for advanced treatment of complex disorders in areas such as cardiac care, cancer treatment, neurosciences, surgery, and organ transplants. Ranked #16 on the U.S. News & World Report annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals,” Stanford Hospital & Clinics is internationally recognized for translating medical breakthroughs into the care of patients. The Hospital is part of the Stanford University Medical Center, along with the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, visit:

Dr. Vincent DeFilippi
Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept. of CT Surgery at Stanford and Medical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Salinas Valley Memorial