The East Carolina Heart Institute was the vision of Dr. Randolph Chitwood, associate vice chancellor for health sciences at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and the director of the East Carolina Heart Institute. When ECHI’s creation was announced in 2004, ECU and Vidant Medical Center promised “a new approach that will offer one center of excellence for innovations in cardiovascular disease research, treatment, prevention, and education.”
As part of the overall vision, the International Robotic Training Center was established in 2002 under the direction of cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. L. Wiley Nifong. Currently, the Robotic Center is a lead institution in a national, multi-center clinical trial using the da Vinci® Surgical System for robot-assisted mitral valve repair. In the past ten years, this center has trained over 700 surgical teams from around the world in robotic techniques for most cardiac procedures and all mitral valve procedures.
Officially opening its doors in 2009, the building standing on ECU’s Health Sciences Campus and six-story hospital tower at Vidant Medical Center are working to provide life-saving cardiovascular care to the patients of eastern North Carolina. By completely reinventing the manner with which cardiovascular disease is perceived and treated, the East Carolina Heart Institute has created a working model for what one day could become a nationwide shift in the way health care, across all disease processes, is delivered.
State of the Heart
The East Carolina Heart
Institute is dedicated
exclusively to cardiovascular