About Mercy

Iowa Heart Center


Iowa Heart Center and Mercy combine the region’s leading cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and vascular surgeons with the state’s leading cardiovascular hospital to provide patients with highly-specialized care close to home.

Our comprehensive team of providers specialize in cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, cardiac imaging, advanced heart failure, structural heart disease and minimally invasive cardiac and vascular surgery.

As the largest cardiac provider in Iowa, Iowa Heart Center and Mercy continue to be leaders in clinical heart research. Patients are able to take advantage of the latest, leading-edge therapies—including new drugs, medical devices and surgical procedures. Mercy is also home to Iowa's first accredited Chest Pain Center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC)

Heart Disease Prevention  | Heart Disease Risk Factors | Level 1 Heart Attack Protocol


Awards & Honors

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked Mercy Medical Center as a top 50 hospital in America for Heart and Heart Surgery in its national “Best Hospitals” survey. Mercy ranked 31st out of more than 5,000 hospitals. (2006)
  • Ranked ninth among the nation’s best hospitals for heart care in published research performed by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. (2006)
  • Recognized nationally by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
  • Recognized by UnitedHealth as a Center of Excellence. (2006)
  • Recipient of the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Silver Performance Achievement Award (2008)
  • First in Iowa to receive Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. (2005). Granted Full Cycle II Chest Pain Center accreditation with percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) (2008)
  • Recognized as a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospitals®: Cardiovascular award winner. (1999, 2004, 2007 and 2009)
  • Recipient of the American Heart Association “From the Heart” award for the Level 1 Heart Attack Protocol (2008)

Iowa Heart History

Beginning with a life-saving open heart massage in the early 1900s, Mercy Medical Center has led the region in providing advances in cardiac care to Central Iowans. The Mercy Heart Hospital was created in 1999 as a “Hospital within a Hospital.” This vision engages health care leaders in providing tomorrow’s health care today with high quality, compassion and stewardship.

  • Iowa’s first percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) performed (1979).
  • Iowa’s first directional coronary arthrectomy performed (1992)
  • Iowa’s first stent procedure performed (1993).
  • Iowa’s first drug-coated stent procedure beginning with clinical trials (2001).
  • Iowa’s first to offer Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) as a Central Iowa Program for communities (2002).
  • Iowa’s first to achieve JCAHO Disease Management Program certification in CHF, diabetes and pneumonia (2004).
  • Iowa’s first nationally accredited chest pain center offers a team of specially-trained professionals dedicated to providing rapid evaluation and treatment. (2005).
  • Level 1 Heart Attack Protocol provides a network of emergency medical systems and community hospitals to ensure faster treatment. Mercy was the first hospital in Iowa to develop the Level 1 Protocol which was launched in 2004.
  • Central Iowa’s only pediatric cardiology surgery program
  • Iowa’s leader in more than 50 clinical research studies for cardiac devices and therapies.

Clinical Studies & Research

Mercy Heart Hospital is associated with more than 50 to 60 clinical studies and research, conducted under the leadership of the Iowa Heart Center physicians. Approximately 42 cardiologists, seven cardio-vascular surgeons and four peripheral vascular surgeons are on staff. Research and clinical trials include Phase I through IV drug and devices studies. The staff includes 12 nurses for patient enrollment, one research assistant and one administrative assistant.

Clinical studies and research are coordinated to ensure that competing studies are minimal. Individuals are educated about the study—including risks and benefits—so they can make an informed choice. Participation in studies is voluntary. As with other research studies, confidentiality and anonymity of study participants are rigorously maintained.

Mercy Heart Hospital is well respected for its leadership in national clinical studies and research to advance the treatment of heart disease and risk prevention. Mercy Heart Hospital is grateful to the many study participants who, over time, have so generously volunteered in various studies. Many study findings have clearly improved cardiac health for individuals and society.

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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