The ice cream stand syndrome

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Candace Stuart - Portrait - 179.76 Kb
Candace Stuart, Editor, Cardiovascular Business

This summer William W. O'Neill, MD, will return home and take the reins as medical director of the new Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He will rejoin old colleagues—some at institutions going head-to-head in the competitive cardiac care market.

Henry Ford Hospital announced in May that O'Neill was leaving his position as executive dean for research, research training and innovative medicine and CEO for research at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for the opportunity to lead the new center. O’Neill serves as the University of Miami’s principal investigator in the PARTNER trial and has participated in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgeries there.

Not surprisingly, Henry Ford Hospital also has initiated a TAVR program.

The PARTNER trial is sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences, and its Sapien valve received FDA approval in late 2011.

O’Neill, who completed his residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, a cardiology fellowship at nearby University of Michigan and headed up the cardiology program at William Beaumont Hospital in suburban Detroit, is no stranger to the region. But a few things have changed since he left Motown.  

One is the ground breaking for the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Heart Hospital, a $78 million facility that is expected to be completed in 2014. The five-story center will house noninvasive, invasive and surgical cardiology services, according to DMC.  

DMC also is involved in TAVR trials, in this case the Medtronic CoreValve clinical trial. Theodore L. Schreiber, MD, president of DMC’s Cardiovascular Institute, has a leading role in both the trial and in the development of DMC’s Heart Hospital. Medtronic’s CoreValve system is limited to investigational use in the U.S. but has received CE Mark in Europe.

So we have not only two hospitals but also two technologies competing within miles of each other for market share and prestige. It should be interesting.  

Candace Stuart
Editor, Cardiovascular Business
Cstuart@CardiovascularBusiness.com