Providence Heart and Vascular Institute Historic Milestones

1960

Collaborating with engineer Lowell Edwards, Dr. Albert Starr invents and surgically implants the world's first artificial mitral valve. 

1961

A 7-year-old boy undergoes cardiac surgery at Providence Portland Medical Center, which becomes the first hospital in the Pacific Northwest to have an open heart surgery program.

1963

Dr. Starr performs the world's first successful triple valve replacement.

1964

Dr. Starr and Dr. James Wood establish the open heart surgery program at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

1965

Providence St. Vincent becomes Portland's first private hospital to feature a cardiac intensive care unit.

1968

The first coronary artery bypass graft surgery on the West Coast is performed at Providence St. Vincent. 

1981

The first percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty procedures are performed at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent Medical Centers.

1985

The Heart Institute at St. Vincent is formally established.

1986

The cardiac catheterization laboratory at Providence Portland becomes the area's first to use digital imaging to evaluate coronary blood flow.

Providence St. Vincent screens 4,000 people at the region's first large-scale, free cholesterol screening to identify those at risk for heart disease.

1987

Providence Portland Medical Center becomes Oregon's first private hospital to perform valvuloplasty.

Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent jointly launch AIRCARE, the region's only 24-hour air transport service dedicated to critical care patients.

Providence St. Vincent becomes the first West Coast site for laser-assisted angioplasty.

Mobile echocardiography service opens at Providence Portland Medical Center, serving patients throughout Oregon and Washington.

1989

The School of Cardiopulmonary Perfusion at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center opens, becoming only the second such program in the western U.S. to received national accreditation.

1990

Cardiologists at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent perform Oregon's first atherectomy procedures.

1991

World history is made at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center when laser thrombolysis is successfully used to vaporize a blood clot, stopping a heart attack in progress and saving the patient's life.

Providence St. Vincent becomes the second hospital in the United States to perform dynamic cardiomyoplasty (heart muscle-wrap) procedures.

1993

Based on outcomes and financial criteria, Providence St. Vincent becomes one of only seven U.S. hospitals selected by the government to participate in the Medicare Heart Bypass Center Demonstration Project.

A new $40 million, state-of-the-art Critical Care Center opens at Providence St. Vincent, featuring cardiac surgery suites, cardiac catheterization labs, patient care space and family waiting areas.

Cardiologists begin clinical trials of cardiac stents.

1994

The heart programs at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent merge, creating The Providence Heart Institute.

1996

Portland's first minimally invasive coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery performed at Providence Portland Medical Center.

Oregon's first minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve replacement surgery occurs at Providence St. Vincent.

1997

International Patient Services program begins.

1998

Providence Heart Institute surgeons participate in U.S. clinical trials of transmyocardial revascularization, using lasers to improve blood flow within the heart.

1999

Providence Portland Medical Center becomes Oregon's first private hospital to perform a heart transplant.

2000

Robotic surgical system for cardiac surgery arrives at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and the FDA approves clinical trials for mitral valve repair and mammary artery take-down.