Leadership Dimension: Collaborative PracticeGround zero: Building a cardiac surgery programPedersen, Anne RN, MSN; Earley, Mary Beth CCRN, NP-C; Fenner, Deborah J. RN; Postlewaite, Cheryl S. RN, WOCN, MSN; Scott, Ann D. RN, CCRN, MSNAuthor Information ABOUT THE AUTHORS At the time this article was written, the authors all worked at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C. Anne Pedersen, RN, MSN, was director of cardiovascular services. She is now director of medical cardiology at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. Mary Beth Earley, CCRN, NP-C, was the program's nurse practitioner and played an integral role in staff development and developing practice guidelines. She is now a nurse practitioner with Florida Heart Associates [[which is where?]]. Deborah J. Fenner, RN, was director of the cardiovascular operating room and is now director of cardiovascular services at Piedmont. Cheryl S. Postlewaite, RN, WOCN, MSN, was the program's clinical nurse specialist and worked in staff development. She is now a clinical nurse specialist in the Piedmont Healthcare System. Ann D. Scott, RN, CCRN, MSN, worked on the program startup and is a staff nurse still active with the Piedmont cardiac surgery program. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to acknowledge our cardiovascular surgeons, T. Arthur Edgerton, MD, and R. Steven F. Chapman, MD. Their humanistic, fun approach set the tone for the entire program. We would also like to acknowledge all of the Collaborative Practice Council members and the heart center staff, whose unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence has ensured the program's success. Further, the heart center would not have been possible without the continued support of the Tenet Corporation, hospital administration, leadership team, and hospital staff. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: July 2001 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 26-33 Buy Abstract More and more community hospitals are opening cardiovascular surgery programs to provide a broader spectrum of services closer to home. This article leads the reader through one hospital's experience in opening a new heart center and highlights the philosophy, triaging of issues, and staff preparation needed to achieve successful patient outcomes. Our case study can serve as a guide for other hospitals as they take on the challenge of opening new programs. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.