• 10.27.23 St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® Receives $5 Million Gift to Supercharge Cardiology Research

St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® has established a new Cardiology Innovation Research Fund, guaranteeing that resources are perpetually available to invest in high-level cardiac training and research, thanks to a $5 million gift from Wilbur F. Breslin & Family, through the Breslin Realty Associates Foundation. This was announced on October 20, at the St. Francis Hospital Foundation gala in Garden City, NY and marks the beginning of an effort to seed this new endowment with $25 million in funding for cardiovascular research.

“With this bold commitment to research and innovation, our team of exceptional clinical leaders will continue to deliver first in class care to our patients,” explains Dr. Charles Lucore, president, St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®. “By paving the way, our clinical teams are also set on making a global impact and helping to educate clinicians around the world in these new standards of excellence. We remain grateful to the Breslin family for their commitment to our shared goal of leading the way in cardiovascular care and research.”

“I am proud to be able to contribute to the hospital and support the Cardiology Innovation Research Fund at St. Francis Hospital. Without similar contributions by many others before me, I’m not sure I would be in this position today giving back to the next generation of world-class care offered by the hospital,” shares Wilbur F. Breslin, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board at Breslin Realty Development Corp. “Together we can ensure that St. Francis Hospital has the resources available to remain one of the preeminent cardiovascular care facilities in the world.”

In recent years, the volume and impact of research has accelerated under the leadership of Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, chair of cardiology at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®, and chair of cardiology at Catholic Health.  Additionally, at the DeMatteis Cardiovascular Institute, research is driving the development of new therapies that afford patients longer and more productive lives. The hospital has one of the highest volume of enrollments in cardiac clinical trials across the country.

“Support for the Cardiology Innovation Research Fund is an opportunity to help shape the next generation of care, not only at St. Francis, but worldwide,” says Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, chair of cardiology at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®, and chair of cardiology at Catholic Health. “Our goal is to seed a Cardiology Innovation Research Fund at St. Francis Hospital, with a focus on consistently building capacity in clinical care, research and recruitment.”

In his role as chair of cardiology, Dr. Richard Shlofmitz has ushered in new gold standards for imaging and techniques related to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) which is the procedure that utilizes a catheter to clear blockages in the coronary arteries of the heart. He is recognized as a leader in optical coherence tomography (OCT) which is a form of intravascular imaging that provides three-dimensional views of the heart’s vessels in real-time.

About St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®

St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® has consistently been recognized as one of the safest hospitals in the country and is the first hospital on Long Island to have both a five-star rating from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and Leapfrog “A” ratings.

Additionally, U.S. News announced that St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® is nationally ranked in eight adult specialties, an increase from five in previous years, including: Heart & Vascular; Diabetes & Endocrinology; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Pulmonology & Lung Surgery; and Urology. St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® was also rated among the top 10 hospitals in the region, ranking #6 (tied) in New York State and #6 (tied) in the New York Metropolitan Area.

St. Francis Heart Center’s award-winning cardiovascular services are available to patients throughout Long Island, accessible at fellow Catholic Health hospitals, including Good Samaritan University Hospital, Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, and St. Catherine of Siena Hospital. In 2023, Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center® was awarded the nationally recognized  HeartCARE Center™ designation by The American College of Cardiology (ACC)—the only ACC HeartCARE™ Center designation in our region, including the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

About Catholic Health

Catholic Health is an integrated system encompassing some of the region’s finest health and human services agencies. The health system has nearly 16,000 employees, six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, a home health service, hospice and a network of physician practices. Under the sponsorship of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Catholic Health serves hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders each year, providing care that extends from the beginning of life to helping people live their final years in comfort, grace and dignity.

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