Michigan Medicine VAD Program

Medtronic HVAD System Alert

Notice for Patients with the Medtronic HVAD™ (HeartWare) Device

Recently Medtronic stopped the sale and distribution of the Heartware Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD) System because of an increased risk of neurological events and a potential for the internal pump to stop.

For more information, see the Michigan Health blog post HVAD risks: What you need to know.

The Michigan Medicine VAD Program is an internationally recognized, multidisciplinary group of physicians and allied health professionals that treats adult and pediatric patients with cardiac disorders resulting in end-stage heart failure or cardiogenic shock (when the heart is unable to pump as much blood as the body needs). The Michigan Medicine VAD Program is a regional and national referral center for these patients and offers state-of-the-art options for mechanical circulatory support and skilled post-implantation care.

The Gold Seal of Approval® 

National Quality Approval Gold Seal - The Joint Commission

The Michigan Medicine VAD Program has been awarded the Disease Specific Care Advanced Ventricular Assist Device Certification from The Joint Commission.

The Michigan Medicine VAD Program earned the Gold Seal of Approval® for health care quality on April 10, 2008, and was one of the first centers to be awarded Disease-Specific Care Certification for Ventricular Assist Devices by The Joint Commission. Recertification by The Joint Commission has been received in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

To earn this distinction, a disease management program undergoes an extensive on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program's processes, the program's ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

FDA-Approved and Investigational Devices

The Michigan Medicine VAD Program is one of only a few institutions worldwide that has access to many investigational and FDA-approved mechanical circulatory support systems including the HeartMate II, Heartmate 3, HeartWare HVAD, Syncardia Total Artificial Heart. (Visit our LVADs and VADs page for more information about VADs and how they work and our Types of VADs page for photos, videos and descriptions of a variety of VADs.) This allows for the selection of the most appropriate device based on each patient's individual needs.

Our physicians are also actively participating in several clinical trials evaluating new mechanical circulatory support devices in addition to developing new types of devices. To date the program has implanted over 900 long-term devices and currently has over 180 patients on long term VAD support. The program is currently recognized for having the longest patient on support, over 12 years.

More About the VAD Program

U-M VAD Team group shot

VAD Program Team

Our multidisciplinary team consists of cardiac surgeons, heart failure cardiologists, advanced practice professionals, biomedical engineers, research coordinators, a clinical information analyst, medical assistant and administrative specialists, VAD Program coordinators and a VAD Program manager. Our entire team strives to fulfill the Michigan Medicine VAD Program vision: to be the best and most comprehensive program for advanced technology of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) therapy in the world.

Our Vision

The Michigan Medicine VAD Program strives to be the best and most comprehensive program for advanced technology of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) therapy in the world.

Our Mission

  • The Michigan Medicine VAD Program is a superior program committed to service excellence and clinical innovations for the enhancement of patient health and well-being.
  • The Program provides patients with access to highly skilled clinicians experienced in a broad variety of mechanical circulatory support devices.
  • The Program provides patient-centered care with the latest research and the best technologies through a multidisciplinary team approach.
  • The Program sets the standard for advancing our knowledge and education of the community, other physicians and healthcare providers from around the world.

Our Goals

  • Be a leading program world-wide for the treatment of cardiogenic shock and advanced heart failure with MCS therapy.
  • Provide best practice care that is integrated across disciplines offering optimal support of patients and their families.
  • Be a world leader in research for MCS technologies. As new devices become available, both in clinical trials and after FDA approval, U of M patients will be the first to benefit from their use.
  • Refine our techniques and procedures as a leader in setting the standard for MCS technologies.
  • Be recognized as the center that "trains the trainers," while training physicians and healthcare providers from around the world.

Our Objectives

  • Establish clinical outcomes and survival that exceed all other centers.
  • Establish the Michigan Medicine VAD Program as the best and most comprehensive center of excellence for treatment in advanced heart failure and cardiogenic shock for patients, families and referring physicians.
  • Be identified as the leading center in the world participating in the clinical research of MCS technologies.

Make an Appointment

Visit our Make an Appointment page for more information.