Jo Ann Medical Center was opened on September 16th 1996 and surgeons began performing the first-ever pediatric cardiac surgeries within the Caucasus region. The Center still keeps the name of Jo Ann McGowan in honor of her. Over the years, Jo Ann McGowan has acted in Hollywood. Jo Ann was inspired by one little girl Masha, she was born in the Soviet Union in 1981, her parents found out that she had a congenital heart defect, which at the time did not have the skills to correct. Masha’s mother Elena met Jo Ann McGowan in 1988 an international film festival, where Masha’s mother Elena was one of the interpreter, working at the festival, Jo Ann McGowan was there as one of the festival’s organizer, knowing that the girl only be helped abroad. Elena sought out Jo Ann and pleaded for her help. Jo Ann pledged she would do everything possible to save Masha’s life.
Jo Ann took the girl in the United States, where she had her heart successfully operated on and after the operation, the girl was completely cured. This inspired Jo Ann McGowan to found Cardio surgery Clinic in Sankt Petersburg.
Soon Jo Ann met an ambitious and talented (later, one of the founders of the Jo Ann Medical Center) cardiac surgeon named Irakli Metreveli. Irakli dreamed of bringing pediatric cardiac surgery in Georgia, so Jo Ann founded non-profit organization Global Healing in USA to bring pediatric cardiac surgery to the Republic of Georgia. Following Jo Ann’s death in 1996, cardiac center in Tbilisi was renamed the Jo Ann Medical Center in her honor.
In 1993, a team consisting of Georgian doctors departed for Sankt Petersburg to study at cardiovascular clinic.
The idea of creating a modern cardiac surgery service for children in Georgia was supported many times by a leading specialists of this field in Europe and America. This encouraged Georgian doctors to increase their qualification and introduce the latest treatment methods.
Jo Ann died of stroke in her founded hospital in Sankt Petersburg, two weeks after the opening of children’s cardiology and heart clinic in Tbilisi, Georgia.
According to the last will of The Global Healings President, her organs were used for transplantation, while the ashes were scattered in three location -California, Sankt Petersburg and Georgia.
Aims and objectives
The Center is equipped with the highly standards of technology and the medical equipment in patient care that helps doctors to diagnose diseases and treat effectively and efficiently. Our medical team members consecutively undergoes in a various training and retraining courses in the leading foreign medical institutions, while the Center regularly visited by a world’s leading well-known professionals, such as the Harvard Medical School professor from United States, Head Cardio surgeon of a Cardiac Surgery department at Boston Children’s Hospital - Christopher Baird, as well as Dr. Mete Duren – Head of the European Endocrinologist Surgery Association – Member of the board of directors of the International Endocrinologist Surgery Association.
One of the innovative projects of the Center can be considered diagnostic of the first fetal heart disease in Georgia, which is still considered as the most demanded medical service both in Georgian citizens and in foreign patients.
Echocardiography allows the doctor to diagnose congenital heart disease (include arrhythmia) of a fetal heart still in a pregnancy. This procedure significantly reduces the statistical indicator of newborn mortality. Echocardiography is one of the most common tools for following heart problems and developing treatment plans over time.
Department of Thoracic Surgery is providing service of surgical correction for congenital and acquired pathologies of airways and lungs, using high technological advances like Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, pulmonary arteriography, newborn and low weight patient’s fibroscopy with bronchoscopy and possible stenting. With the use of Cardiopulmonary Bypass Surgeons have performed plasty of trachea and bronchi in babies of even one month old, intervention on arteriovenous malformation and pulmonary sequestrations (which are the rare congenital pathologies).After their early diagnoses and treatment patients are moving into a healthier category.
In Center is also functioning psycho social service, which is fully oriented on the needs of children. Psycho social services team helps every child to understand what they are going through, minimaze stress and fears about medical procedures and treatment.
Jo Ann Medical Center is a multi-profile institution, which is constantly tries to offer customer –oriented services, although, till now it’s main direction remains complete range of cardiology and Cardiovascular surgery in all age patients.
The adult Cardiology department of the Center has European laboratory accreditation. The quality control of a cardio vascular operations of the congenital heart defects in children and adolescents regularly implemented by the United States Boston Children’s Hospital, within the framework of International Cooperation for Quality Improvement.
During the year 2017, 18528 patients have been visited to Jo Ann medical Center, from among them 5812 patient admitted for the first time to Jo Ann Medical Center. There are 79 beds in a facility for impatient Care. Also, during the year 3007 patient provided with inpatient treatment. In total, 631Cardio vascular surgeon has been performed in a both age for adults and children, as well as by JAMC doctors performed 1170 Angiographic and 271 arrhythmia researches. During the year, patients who have been hospitalized at JAMC have been spend 16 124 bed-days.
Since 2018, Jo Ann Medical Center’s ambulatory service has been added the following directional services : Pediatric, Otorhinolaryngology, Endocrinology, Gynecology .
It should be noted that, Center’s part of the patients are not a citizen of Georgia and Our medical Center often addressed by citizens from a neighboring and developing Countries. For instance: Representatives of foreign diplomats to Georgia (Embassies of a USA, Germany, Japan) also are having an active cooperation to JAMC.
Twenty –two years later, the Jo Ann Medical Center is providing world-class cardiac care to both children and adults. The name of the country’s number one cardiology and cardio surgery service associated to the Jo Ann Medical Center. Since establishment of the clinic JAMC has become a synonym of a highly professionalism and a leader brand.
Arrhythmology department provides full spectrum of service both for adult and pediatric patients. We perform implantation and ablation (both radiofrequency and cryoablation) procedures of all difficulty levels. First time in Georgia permanent epicardial pacemaker implantation as well as implantation via hybrid procedures and transatrial placement of pacing leads were performed in our center. Also permanent his bundle pacemaker was implanted first time in Georgia in the Jo Ann Medical Center and is still only performed in our center.
In Jo Ann Medical Center is functioning the Blood Bank, which is one of the most robust blood bank in the whole country. The JAMC blood bank in Georgia equipped with the modern technology laboratory, helping make safe blood accessible and increasing the number of blood products. JAMC now has the capability to perform more cardiac surgeries and provide additional lifesaving treatments for children and adolescences in need.
Since 2012 the quality control on the basis of the contract has been regularly carrying out by the British Organization “Random laboratories LTD” Additionally, in 2017 the blood bank has participated in a Quality external control over a number of programs (Blood Proficiency Testing Scheme) of Europe’s Medical department (EDQM).