University of Michigan Health-West has reached a new milestone in cardiovascular care with the unveiling of the Steve and Amy Van Andel Heart & Vascular Center at a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 30.
The state-of-the-art medical center, located within the UM Health-West Professional Building on Health Dr. SW, was made possible by landmark gifts totaling $3.1 million—among the largest ever received by the nonprofit health system. Funding for the heart and vascular center was provided by a group of community leaders, including UM Health-West Foundation emeritus board member Stephen Klotz and family, and a transformational gift from the Steve and Amy Van Andel Foundation.
“This generous donation has allowed us to develop an advanced cardiovascular program, expanding care for the region and offering patients choice and convenience,” explained Dr. Ronald Grifka, president of UM Health-West. “With an expanded cardiac surgery team and the new operating room with hybrid imaging technologies, we are also able to perform vascular surgery in addition to providing advanced heart care in our local clinics.”
The open-heart surgery program launched in Oct. 2022 through the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan, a joint operating agreement with Trinity Health in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, drawing on over 125 years of cardiovascular leadership at UM’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor.
“Due to the great donor support, our cardiovascular team completed more than 120 open-heart surgery cases in the first year with excellent patient outcomes, outperforming our goal of 50 cases,” Grifka explained. “As we enter our second year of the program, we are projecting more than 150 cardiac surgeries with continued outstanding outcomes.”
Steve Van Andel, chairman of the UM Health-West Board of Directors, expressed his pride in supporting the health system. “Amy and I are proud to support UM Health-West’s mission to provide innovative treatment options and excellent care right here in our hometown. West Michigan patients now have even greater local access to leading heart experts, researchers, and surgeons – and that’s just the beginning.”
Before the launch of the new program at UM Health-West, Grand Rapids was the state’s largest market limited to a single option for open-heart surgery. With the generous support of donors and the UM Health-West Foundation, patients now have a choice, making high-quality cardiovascular care more accessible and cost-effective.
UM Health-West Foundation Director Jaime Counterman expressed gratitude for the donors’ leadership and generosity in advancing health to serve West Michigan. “Their far-reaching gifts will save and change lives for a generation. We are grateful for their leadership in providing the world-class care West Michigan deserves.”