El Camino finally ready to open Heart and Vascular Institute | October 12, 2007 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

- October 12, 2007

El Camino finally ready to open Heart and Vascular Institute

Three directors appointed to lead the way

by Susan Hong

After four years of talk, El Camino Hospital cemented the opening of a new Heart and Vascular Institute last week when it appointed three cardiologists to guide, define and implement the effort.

Dr. Dominick Curatola, a former hospital board member, will fill the role of medical director of the institute. And Dr. James Joye, currently the director of the cardiac catheterization labs, was appointed director of research and education. Curatola will receive $92,160 in annual compensation, and Joye $88,320. Both are contracted to work 32 hours a month on behalf of the institute.

Dr. Frank Galli, a former professor of cardiology at UC San Francisco, will chair the quality and outcomes committee. He will work 16 hours for the institute, receive $28,800 in annual compensation and be responsible for communicating research findings to physicians in the community, hospital officials said.

The three doctors will establish an advisory board in the coming weeks to collaborate in their work, officials said.

"I think it's a huge deal," Joye said. "Right now, like it or not, there's not a single health-care destination for cardiovascular disease. There's not one place you'd point to on the West Coast ... to get this work done."

That work involves getting together medical care professionals from different backgrounds — such as heart surgeons, vascular care surgeons, engineers and nurses — to figure out better ways to more efficiently and effectively deliver patient care.

Through the institute, the hospital plans to become the "preeminent provider on the West Coast for innovative, highest quality clinical care and outstanding service to cardiothoracic, vascular and stroke patients," according to hospital officials. Massachusetts General Hospital has an institute comparable to what El Camino's hopes to achieve, they said.

Joye said the institute is even being worked into the architectural design of the new earthquake-safe facility being built by El Camino.

The hospital plans to invest $6.3 million in the institute over the next five years, according to Diana Russell, vice president of patient care services. It is projected the hospital would break even financially after almost three years, with a 23 percent return over five years, she said.

"Anything after 2.7 years is a profit," she said.

A new chest pain center, a wound center, a primary preventative care center and a catheterization laboratory — a lab that helps doctors insert devices into arteries — will become part of the institute, Curatola said.

The institute will include people who can facilitate a more coordinated effort to share information and streamline services between departments, Curatola said.

"There will be a more uniform way of accessing, acquiring and sharing medical information regardless of which of the areas the patient is in," he said. "Everything now is geared toward clinical guidelines and a shared consensus approach to a given problem, so you don't have 14 people doing it 20 different ways."

Curatola said he wants the institute to implement more uniformity in heart attack treatments. Currently, when a patient comes into the emergency room complaining of chest pain, he may have to see a general doctor, a cardiologist and then the surgeon. But with the institute, he said, communication will be better facilitated, so that the patient may see a cardiologist right away.

E-mail Susan Hong at shong@mv-voice.com


Posted by Robert, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2007 at 5:55 am

The opening of the new Heart and Vascular Institute is just a way to "give" money to current El Camino Hospital District Board Member Ed Bough's business partner, James Joye, MD, and money to former District Board Member Dominick Curatola, MD and his partner Frank Galli, MD. This whole scenario is just one huge conflict of interest. This also has the effect of preventing better cardiologists from coming to El Camino, as the Board has anointed the status quo cardiologists as the ones in control of the Institute. This whole setup is a step backward in giving patients at El Camino Hospital a choice of physicians. Once again, the Board gets it wrong.

Posted by Maggie, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 21, 2007 at 3:44 pm

[Portion removed by Mountain View Voice staff.] "Give" money to Dr Joye, Dr Curatola and Dr. Galli, oh PLEASE... you obviously do not know any of them very well. All three of these men will be taking time away from their practices to promote the H&VI. They are all highly succesfull in their own practices. The money they will be "given" will not even begin to compensate them for the time away from their practices. I can assure you no one works harder than Dr. Curatola. [Portion removed by Mountain View Voice staff.]

Posted by Millie, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 21, 2007 at 3:51 pm

I agree 100% Maggie, Robert's judgement is seriously flawed. [Portion removed by Mountain View Voice staff.] Based on Dr Curatola's reputation in the community and among his patients it is easy to see how most second rate MD's would feel the way Robert does.

Posted by Mark, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2007 at 9:43 pm

As Chairman David Reeder has said repeatedly in the past to the "red-faced" Dominick Curatola, MD and Ed Bough, MD, they have huge conflicts of interest while serving on the Board and also doing business with the hospital. Curatola's status as Director of this new Institute gives him a huge advantage in preventing new cardiologists from coming to El Camino Hospital. Millie and Maggie, [portion removed by Mountain View Voice staff] you are totally blind to the consequences of these jobs. By the way, Chairman Reeder called Bough out on his own heart scanner last year as being a huge conflict of interest. Reeder said he was not comfortable with Bough competing against the hospital for his own financial interests.

Posted by LD, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2007 at 9:59 pm

If Curatola lies as much in this job as he did when he was on the Board, then the Institute is in trouble from the start.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Don, I am a bit surprised that you have not done anything about the personal attacks in the posts above.

Posted by Elena, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2007 at 11:21 pm

You must not know Dr. Dominick Curatola very well. There are many adjectives to describe this man but a liar is not one of them! The people in charge know he is the right man for this job. Dr. Curatola would never let his personal feelings for an individual get in the way of making the right decision. He will choose the best people for the job regardless of the fall out. With Curatola at the helm the Institute will some day be on the map and you LD will remain insignificant.

Posted by Maggie, a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2007 at 12:01 am

As for you Mark, I am neither blind nor demented. You think you know Dominick Curatola well enough to state he will use this position to prevent new cardiologists from coming to El Camino Hospital. Where have you been for the last 10 years? Dr. Curatola continues to bring in new cardiologists to El Camino Hospital all the time. Lets see now, he brought in Dr. Ceasar Molina in 1986 and mentored him for years. Dr Molina then went off to start his own independent succesful practice. Then came Dr. Peter Baciewicz and then he brought in Dr. Frank Galli and most recently brought in Dr Ramtin Agah. Mark where do you think these new doctors get their patients from? The tooth fairy...Santa Claus no actually they are Dr. Curatolas existing patients. Do you know any doctors who are willing to bring in new physicians and hand over their patients to help them build up their practice? I don't and I have lived her for more than 19 years. So Mark, you are [word removed by Voice staff] and spoke impusively and incorrectly. I can only assume you must have personal issues with Doctor Curatola and this is not the arena for those comments. Furthermore, Dr. Curatola may have as you put it a "huge advantage" but its because he is brilliant,extremely well trained,compassionate,kind, and a great doctor with a huge heart. As for Chairman Reeder, he has alot to learn. As hard as he tried to prove their was a conflict of interest with Bough and Curatola the attorneys found nothing! In fact no one found any. Chairman Reeder is uncomfortable in his own skin so it is not surprising he would be uncomfortable with Dr Bough. Chairman Reeder is nothing more than a political puppet.

Posted by MF, a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 22, 2007 at 9:45 am

Maggie, Millie, and Robert:

You all give valid reasons as to why physicians should never be on the El Camino Hospital District Board because of actual and potential conflicts of interest. The Board removed Curatola and Bough from serving on the CEO Compensation Committee over their objections because of real and potential conflicts of interest.

Posted by registered user, Don Frances, a resident of Mountain View Voice Editor
on Oct 22, 2007 at 10:30 am

Eric -- you're right, I've redacted a few of the comments. (I don't read them till Monday!)

Posted by Donna, a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 22, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Robert, Look at it this way: The new Heart and Vascular Institute is just a $5 million marketing campaign for the private cardiology practices of El Camino Hospital Board Member Ed Bough, MD and former Board Member Dominick Curatola, MD.

Posted by Wesley, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2007 at 9:54 am

Robert, Don't be so naive! This is how politics works! Curatola and Bough get elected to the Hospital Board. The CEO they hire (Lee Domanico) spends 4 years of planning and $6 million of District funds for the Heart and Vascular Institute. Curatola is on the Compensation Committee and makes sure Domanico gets a huge bonus on top of his unprecedented salary and benefits. When jobs for the Institute get awarded, Curatola and Bough's partner are the only ones to apply and they get the jobs! What a great country!

Posted by Hattie, a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 6:05 am

Given CEO Ken Graham's recent memo about how to avoid obeying the law concerning employee salaries, is it any wonder that the Board and Administration would be paying off Dominick Curatola, MD and Ed Bough, MD, two physicians on the El Camino Hospital District Board?

Posted by Not a fan of firestarters, a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2007 at 6:40 am

Oh for cryin' out loud! Change the radio station or the strings on your violins already! Your whining is getting old. If there was really something wrong going on, it would have been reported & dealt with already. Instead you folks dig back a couple of years every few weeks, then reprint articles from the bowels of the archives, then complain about what has already happened in the past about people who aren't even in the picture anymore. Sure, the easiest thing would be to shut the whole place down and start over with YOU in charge, but that ain't gonna happen so get over yourselves.

Join MySpace or vote if you don't like or something.

Posted by notsurprised, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Curatola is a two faced liar and cheat. I know. I would never recommend him as a doctor,partner or Board Member. Dom only cares about the money and notariaty he receives.