Skip to Main Content

Taking on leadership of cardiac surgery program is a homecoming of sorts for experienced cardiothoracic surgeon

University of Michigan Health-West, home of the state’s newest center for open-heart surgery, is adding the leadership and experience of a surgeon who has performed more than 5,000 cardiothoracic procedures in his career.

Dr. Alphonse DeLucia III will lead the UM Health-West cardiac surgery team in its role as a member of the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan.

The Network leverages the expertise of Trinity Health Muskegon, Trinity Health Grand Rapids and UM Health-West – along with more than 125 years of cardiovascular leadership from University of Michigan Health in Ann Arbor. In 2022, the Network launched the first new open-heart surgery program in the state in decades, based in a new operating room at UM Health-West Hospital in Wyoming.

“The Network adds colleagues across the region and support at the university – more minds, more resources to optimize a patient’s care,” DeLucia said. “Patients get care close to home, in a system with national recognition. And we’re going to know you. We’re not going to be a stranger.”

DeLucia himself is no stranger to West Michigan. Since 2000, he has been a private practitioner operating at Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. He has been affiliated with Bronson Medical Group, where he has acted as the Director of Clinical of Practice for Cardiovascular services since 2012.

Although he grew up in upstate New York and earned his medical degree at SUNY Health Center at Syracuse, his association with the University of Michigan dates back decades. His surgical career began at University of Michigan Hospitals, where he completed a residency in general surgery.

He went on to a cardiothoracic residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he made another University of Michigan connection, training at the same time as Dr. Theodore Boeve, now a cardiothoracic surgeon primarily based at Trinity Health Muskegon.

“We have all these roots, and I’ve stayed in touch with faculty at University of Michigan throughout my professional career,” DeLucia said. “And so that’s a nice thing; it’s coming home.”

DeLucia has supported quality improvement initiatives in cardiac surgery through the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Professional Organization, including co-authoring peer-reviewed publications with members of the University of Michigan Department of Cardiac Surgery and collaborating authors across the state.

“The value in healthcare is being able to not only reduce the risk, but making the process very streamlined and reproducible,” he said. “I tell patients, ‘I don’t just take your heart and fix it. I take your whole body to the operating room. So, I have to think of you as a whole person.’”

Alphonse DeLucia, MD, FACC, FACS
Alphonse DeLucia, MD, FACC, FACS