Spectrum Health Celebrates Heart Month

Special Community Event Scheduled for February 19

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 5, 2020 – February is Heart Month and Spectrum Health – the leading provider of cardiac care in West Michigan – is taking this opportunity to both educate the public and celebrate its successes.

“We are very proud of the level of cardiovascular care we provide throughout West Michigan. Our experienced experts work in multidisciplinary teams – that is what we do really, really well at Spectrum Health – and it makes a lifesaving difference,” said Penny Wilton, MD, vice president, cardiovascular health.

Spectrum Health Cardiovascular Services has been growing and changing to meet the needs of patients, added Wilton.

For example, a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team, or PERT, was launched at Butterworth Hospital in November. The multidisciplinary Spectrum Health PERT is available to respond to emergency situations with appropriately identified pulmonary embolism patients. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that has travelled to the lungs, resulting in blockage of blood flow to the pulmonary arteries. It is the third most common cardiovascular cause of death in the U.S., after heart attack and stroke. Spectrum Health is the first health system in West Michigan to establish a PERT and is now part of the National PERT Consortium.

The Spectrum Health cardiovascular program has consistently received national recognition, including:

  • Healthgrades 2020 Clinical achievements for Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals include:
    • America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac SurgeryTM for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
    • Cardiac Surgery Excellence AwardTM for 10 Years in a Row (2011-2020)
  • CMS Five-Star Recipient for Coronary Interventional Procedures for 6 Years in a Row (2014-2019)
  • CMS Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack for 5 Years in a Row (2015-2019)
  • One of only 11 centers in the U.S. to achieve a Three Star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for congenital heart surgery.
  • Recognized as a Three-Star program for Adult Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

A special Heart Month event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19 at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. Cancer treatment, including chemotherapy drugs and radiation, can have lasting side effects on the heart. “Put a Little Love in Your Heart: Your Heart After Cancer Treatment” will feature a panel discussion by Wissam Abdallah, MD, cardio-oncologist, Laura Franey, MD, cardiologist, and oncologists Amy VanderWoude, MD, and Stephanie Williams, MD.

Registration is free and open to the public at

Wilton said Spectrum Health starts its team-based thinking at the beginning of medical training.

“Collaboration between cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology and vascular fellows from leading medical institutions is a real differentiator for the program,” she added. Spectrum Health currently has 12 fellows in the three programs.

“The future is very bright as we continue to attract and support cardiovascular care expertise in West Michigan.”



People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Sarina Gleason
Media Relations
Phone: 517.256.5618