About the Heart Center

The Heart Center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is internationally known for its pioneering work in diagnostic technologies, innovations in treatment and improved outcomes in many key cardiac procedures. Our surgeons are renowned as leading specialists in their field and have been pivotal in the advancement of many aspects of heart care, such as cardiac catheterization, heart transplants and cardiothoracic surgical techniques. We provide essential care for common and complex health problems, including congenital heart defects and other structural heart problems in pediatric and adult patients.

A Leading Center for Clinical Breakthroughs

The cardiologist and surgeons at the Heart Center have played key roles in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. We played an early role in the introduction of open-heart surgery in North Carolina, helped clinicians better understand the advantages of drug-eluting stents and, today, are becoming regional experts in the use of radial catheterization and other leading-edge procedures and treatments for heart conditions and diseases.

Individualized Care in an Innovative Environment

We work closely with patients, their families and referring physicians during our patients’ entire period of care to ensure optimal care and exceptional patient outcomes. We use minimally invasive procedures whenever possible and we ensure our patients get the advantage of both the latest in technology, devices and medications and the personalized and individualized care that is at the core of the Wake Forest Baptist approach.

Recognized as Leaders in the Field

The cardiologists and surgeons are among the best in the United States. We have received a number of awards, accreditations and achievements and are the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region. Our teams of health care professionals work closely together to ensure we give our patients every resource possible. Learn more about the Heart Center’s interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular imageryand other Heart Center specialties.

Accolades and Accreditations    

The Heart Center’s specialists are among the best in the country. Our Heart Center exceeds the national standard for treating emergency chest pain with balloon angioplasty. The American College of Cardiology recommended time is 90 minutes; the Wake Forest Baptist Heart Center time is about 66 minutes.

The Heart Center has again demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care in several areas. An accredited Chest Pain Center since 2004, the Heart Center recently received reaccreditation for the next 3 years from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. The American College of Cardiology recognized the Heart Center for heart attack care as a Gold-level provider, the highest level available. Additionally, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons gave our Heart Center its highest rating: 3 stars.

Additional accolades include the following:

  • Received recertification of Joint Commission CHF and AMI Disease Management Specialty Certifications
  • The Heart Center received recognition for excellence from several third party payers including:
    • Aetna’s Institutes of Quality® for Cardiac Care for 2009-2010
    • Blue Cross/Blue Shield – Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care 2007-2010
    • UnitedHealth Premium Cardiac Specialty Centers - Three Stars and Higher Efficiency
      • Interventional Cardiology 2007-2008
      • Cardiac Surgery 2007-2010
      • Rhythm Management 2007-2010
  • Cardiac Ultrasound received accreditation for mobile echocardiography from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL)
  • Beacon award received for Critical Care Nursing Excellence in the CTICU
  • Excellence in Life Support Award received from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization

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Patient Aleta Whitten

“Now that I have a new heart, I just love living!”

Aleta Whitten was born with a bad heart and always had to be careful. All of that changed at age 34 with her heart transplant and now a new life – seeing the beach for the first time – and just plain enjoying living.

Last Updated: 10-31-2013
USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.