Cardiocentro Ticino Foundation
Before becoming fully operational on July 1, 1999, the Cardiocentro Ticino first began in 1995 due to a generous donation by Dr Eduard Zwick, a German physician, who specifically intended it for creating a cardiology and cardiac surgery centre in the Ticino Canton.
Since 1965, a service of invasive cardiology had been operating at Ospedale Cantonale in Lugano, but the need to cross the St. Gotthard Pass to undergo cardiac surgery was perceived as a major gap in the health service of the Ticino canton, as well as being very costly for the public administration and a significant inconvenience for both the patients and their families.
In order to bridge this gap, the Cardiocentro Ticino Foundation was set up on December 22, 1995: in less than three years, the Foundation succeeded in completing the construction of the clinic and endowing it with state-of-the-art equipment.
Despite the private nature of Cardiocentro, its genuinely public vocation is testified by the contact – also physical – with the adjacent district hospital Ospedale Civico of Lugano and, first and foremost, by the privileged relationship that the hospital entertains with the population of the Ticino canton
From 1995 to the present date, many milestones have marked the history of Cardiocentro Ticino. Profoundly committed to research since its inception, the Cardiocentro has posted several ‘firsts’ over the years: the first stem cell transplant in Switzerland on an infarcted patient (2004), the first Swiss Centre to set up a Cell Factory with Swissmedic authorisation for stem cell manipulation (2008), and the first centre in Switzerland to employ the Mitra Clip technique for transcatheter mitral valve repair (2009).
Moreover, in 2012, after an agreement signed with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich, Cardiocentro Ticino officially became an “associate institute” to the University on the Limmat river, thus becoming the first university hospital in the Ticino Canton.
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The structure has been constantly growing in terms of number of patients treated (2811 in 2013), days of treatment, as well as staff which now numbers over 300 people from 13 different countries. In 2013, Cardiocentro Ticino also ranked fourth among the best employers in Switzerland, a ranking drawn up by the periodical Bilanz (Swiss Arbeitgeber Award 2013).