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Luce Heart Institute at The Medical Center, Navicent Health Celebrates 10 Years of Service

Luce Heart Anniversary speeches

Atrium Health Navicent today celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Albert Luce, Jr., Heart Institute at The Medical Center, Navicent Health. Physicians, clinicians, caregivers, former patients and philanthropic donors who made the hospital's dream of constructing a dedicated heart center a reality gathered today to celebrate the Institute's impact on healthcare and the many lives it has touched.

Serving patients since 2008, the Institute is named for Albert L. "Buddy" Luce, Jr. Luce, retired Blue Bird Corporation President and CEO, contributed $3 million toward the construction of the Institute. Luce, a Fort Valley native, donated to the project weeks after receiving heart treatment at what was then known as The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

"Buddy was happy to do his part to make this Institute a reality. He was especially glad to have the very best physicians and caregivers in the field right here in Macon, to meet the healthcare needs of central and south Georgians. We are thrilled to see that care continuing and expanded a decade later," said Mrs. Betty Luce.

More Georgians die each year from cardiovascular disease than from all forms of cancer, AIDS, suicides and traffic accidents combined. The Luce Heart Institute provides a full range of cardiovascular services and is a regional leader in comprehensive and advanced techniques for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Over the past 10 years, the Institute has led the industry in new program, procedures and technologies, including the following:

Left Atrial Appendage Closure

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) for advanced heart failure patients

Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker

Structural heart and valve care, including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Vascular and endovascular surgical options

Cardiothoracic surgery

HomeWorks, a continued care program for heart failure patients

HeartWorks, a nationally-certified cardiothoracic rehabilitation program

"For over a decade, the Luce Heart Institute has provided hope and healing to patients from central and south Georgia, and beyond. As someone who's family has been affected by heart disease, I am proud to celebrate this 10 year anniversary milestone with those who have contributed to this wonderful institute, and look forward to impacting the lives of patients and their loved ones - allowing them to live life to its fullest potential - for many years to come," said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, FACHE, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.

Recognized by prestigious national institutions including U.S. News & World Report, Becker's Hospital Review and the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons, the Institute is nationally recognized for its high quality cardiac care.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit