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Detroit — Detroit Medical Center was granted continued accreditation of its interventional cardiology program Monday following controversy in the department last year.

After conducting reviews and survey's in the past week, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education confirmed the continued accreditation of the DMC’s interventional cardiology program. 

DMC officials touted the hospital's new leadership for the accreditation results.

"The ACGME results underscore the positive impact new leadership is having on our interventional cardiology program," according to a statement from DMC. "We are very proud of the high-quality educational environment we’ve fostered for our residents, and we look forward to continuing that legacy."

The continued accreditation follows controversy in October when three of DMC’s cardiologists said they were barred from leadership roles after complaints were filed on the quality of care at DMC. 

DMC said it asked Drs. Mahir Elder, Amir Kaki and Tammam Mohamad to resign their cardiology leadership posts for unspecified violations of the hospital system's standards of conduct. The problems were outlined in complaints by fellow doctors and team members, the hospital system said.

Elder, who was director of the cardiac care program at Heart Hospital, said at the time he and the other doctors sent numerous emails to the health system's leaders complaining about problems, including poor care by one doctor employed by the hospital that resulted in a patient death. The cardiologists said the hospital was attempting to silence them "from continuing to raise legitimate concerns over safety and the quality of care provided to our patients." 

The cardiologists continued to treat patients outside of DMC. The health system hired internationally renowned cardiologist Dr. Ileana Piña as its regional and national director of heart failure, and Dr. Kenton J. Zehr as the new executive director of DMC's Heart Hospital and cardiovascular service line.

"Their collective focus on addressing the diverse and chronic cardiac health needs of Detroit residents will have a profound impact on the overall health of the communities we touch," Tedeschi said.

The shake-up was the latest in a scandal over dirty surgical instruments at the DMC's downtown Detroit hospitals that stoked doctors' concerns over patient safety and was uncovered in a six-month Detroit News investigation published in August 2016.

The health system failed state and federal inspections at several of its hospitals and were threatened with the loss of federal funding before the problems were corrected in May 2017. The health system spent $1.6 million on new and replacement equipment, hired additional sterilization staff and fine-tuned the chemicals used to clean instruments.

DMC maintains academic affiliations with several medical schools including Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Wayne State School of Medicine.

In a letter to employees, DMC CEO Dr. Anthony Tedeschi celebrated the accreditation saying it will allow them to continue training students in the city.

"Throughout the entire DMC system, our graduate medical education programs are providing residents and fellows with a superb education and training experience that will prepare this next generation of physicians to meet the health needs of diverse populations and a rapidly-changing health care landscape," he wrote.

"Meeting and exceeding compliance with industry standards continues to be of the utmost priority, and these accreditation results reflect our organization’s strong commitment to the residents of Detroit and others who choose our providers and facilities for their care."

srahal@detroitnews.com
Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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