Q&A: How do you provide world-class care to local residents? Bring in the experts

On Aug. 14, 2019, the Parkview Heart Institute announced a new affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute. This partnership will give northeast Indiana healthcare professionals and patients access to the best practices that have helped Cleveland Clinic achieve U.S. News & World Report’s No. 1 ranking for cardiology and heart surgery for the last 25 years.

Mike GeRue, Chief Operating Officer at the Parkview Heart Institute, sat down to explain the new affiliation and how it benefits northeast Indiana. 


Q: Why did the Parkview Heart Institute decide to pursue an affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute?

MG: The people we serve in this region rely on us to continually improve. This idea came not out of a need, but from a desire to go from good to great, and then great to greater. We wanted to further strengthen cardiovascular care in our region and bring Cleveland Clinic’s world-renowned expertise closer to home.


This program is mutually beneficial. We’ll also contribute data and ideas to help them accelerate advances in heart treatments and protocols. Our teams are stronger together.


Q: How will this affiliation impact patients? 

MG: For patients, it’s going to further optimize their care. Cleveland Clinic physicians won’t see patients here within the Parkview Heart Institute. Our patients will continue to receive the same level of care and expertise from providers at the Parkview Heart Institute. The collaboration will mostly happen behind the scenes with physician-to-physician consultations, research studies, and case reviews.


In regard to case reviews, when we have complex cases, we can tap into the Cleveland Clinic’s resources to get their feedback and guidance. They’ll help us form treatment plans and protocols to improve outcomes and ensure our patients are receiving the best possible care.


We’ll also be able to look at more treatment options, including clinical trials, which otherwise might not be available to patients here.


Q: Are there any other benefits to this affiliation?

MG: Yes, this affiliation gives us access to resources for provider and patient care education, and even community education, so we can help more area residents improve their heart health.


It will also help us improve operationally and help us learn to become more efficient in our quality reporting, clinical practice, and clinical operations. Essentially, it helps us to continue bending the cost curve, so patients receive the highest quality cardiac care at the best price.


Q: How does this impact the greater northeast Indiana region?

MG: The Parkview Heart Institute isn’t just a physical building in Fort Wayne; it’s a program reaching patients from northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and even southwest Michigan. The providers at our 12 other clinic sites will also be a part of this affiliation, giving more patients access to Cleveland Clinic’s expertise. We’ll be able to potentially save people the time and expense of traveling to Cleveland for a second opinion. They’ll be able to get that expert opinion right here at home.

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