CHRISTUS Health Acquires CardiaStream, Forming Largest Cardiology Group in East Texas

4/3/2023 1:30 PM

CHRISTUS Health announced today the acquisition of Tyler-based CardiaStream, also known as Cardiovascular Associates of East Texas, which operates 13 locations in the region, forming the largest cardiology group in East Texas.

Cardiastream will join CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic Cardiology to become part of the CHRISTUS Heart and Vascular Institute, combining more than 250 years of practice-based cardiac care with the world-class care from the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, making exceptional, innovative-health care accessible to more East Texans.

“We have had a long, great partnership for a number of years and we saw this as an opportunity to combine these two premier organizations together,” said Chris Glenney, chief executive officer, CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas. “We began discussing how we come together as a family to focus on the patient and drive cardiovascular services in the region, combining our talents, and so it made a lot of sense.”

The addition of CardiaStream expands the footprint of CHRISTUS with 12 locations across East Texas: Athens, Canton, Center, Crockett, Fairfield, Gun Barrel City, Henderson, Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches, Palestine, and Quitman, along with the main location in Tyler, and adds 14 physicians and specialists to the CHRISTUS care team.

“The mission statement of CHRISTUS is ‘to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,’ and it is the ‘extend’ part that really excites us,” said Dr. Steven Keuer, president, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. “We are now able to reach more people across the entire region, giving them access to the high-quality cardiac care they deserve.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

One person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

Combining strengths of CHRISTUS and CardiaStream means patients will benefit.

“As a larger specialty group, we will have broader expertise and we will have more collaboration and experience to draw on,” said Dr. Scott Lieberman, cardiovascular disease specialist. “CHRISTUS Heart and Vascular Institute means a higher standardization of care and expansion of our team available to look after more complex patients and unique situations.”

The new group also will have a greater ability to attract larger research trials to the area, and bring in the latest cutting-edge technologies, Lieberman said.

The relationship between the groups date back to 1982, when Dr. Noah Israel founded Cardiovascular Associates of East Texas.

Shortly after, Dr. C. Fagg Sanford and Dr. Israel began the first heart care program in partnership with Mother Frances Hospital, which included the first catheterization lab, cardiovascular operating room, and dedicated three-bed cardiovascular ICU.

“I have had the opportunity to see the birth and growth of cardiovascular care in our region,” Dr. Israel said. “CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances has developed one of the top cardiovascular programs in the country and this merger gives us the flexibility and manpower to offer services to a larger patient base throughout East Texas.”

“The thought of us working together under the CHRISTUS banner is a highlight of my medical career,” Dr. Sanford said. “Together we can provide regional care close to home and simultaneously meet the needs of the outpatient CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic environment as well as the critical care in our CHRISTUS Mother Frances emergency departments and hospitals.”

Current patients of CardiaStream have been notified of the acquisition and integrated into CHRISTUS’ patient medical records system, including the transfer of insurance information.

“It is all about patients having access to life-saving care and better access to the best cardiovascular care,” Glenney said. “This is a great step forward for patient care.”