40 years ago the first open heart surgery in a private hospital in Victoria was performed by Mr George Westlake at Epworth Richmond.
The story of dedicated cardiac care at Epworth goes back to 1981, when pioneer Dr Graeme Sloman AO became Epworth’s first medical director and established our first Cardiology Unit.
Over the years, we’ve had a number of firsts as we built up our suite of cardiology services, which today manages patients from initial presentation and diagnosis, through to treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. These include opening the first Intensive Care Unit offering cardiac surgery management in a private hospital in Australia, the first coronary artery stent in Melbourne (April 1991) and our leadership in interventional cardiology.
Epworth is approaching 30,000 cardiac surgery procedures, with about 11% or one in nine Victorians having some involvement with Epworth cardiology. Many lives have been saved and many more lengthened by the Epworth’s decision to establish the first private cardiac surgical program in Victoria.
It would have been impossible to achieve these high quality outcomes without the dedication of all staff in intensive care, cardiac diagnostics, cardiac theatres, hybrid and catheterisation labs and ancillary supports.