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The Mitral Foundation leads a national recognition program to identify, award, and promote the best medical centers for mitral valve repair surgery.

Patients and physicians need a way to differentiate hospitals and surgeons who have mastered complex mitral valve reconstruction and have consistently delivered high quality outcomes.

The Mitral Foundation’s Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award Program was established through a generous grant from The Marcus Foundation to identify, recognize, and promote Mitral Valve Repair Reference Centers in the United States to enable patients to make informed choices about the team they are trusting to perform their procedure.

The American Heart Association® provided support to the Recognition Program during its “Development Phase” which included scientific validation of the clinical criteria for the award. They also supported the program with a co-branding arrangement that promoted the Recognition Program and its Reference Centers.

While clinical guidelines recommend mitral valve repair over replacement,1 2  too many patients who would benefit from repair receive replacement valves, with higher rates of death or complications within five years after surgery.

Numerous large-scale clinical outcomes studies show a strong correlation between the number of cases performed by experienced mitral valve surgeons and the resultant clinical outcomes.3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 This recognition program uses volume, resource, and clinical performance measures to award these experienced hospitals and surgeons.

Find a Recognized Center

The first group of mitral valve repair reference centers have now been awarded recognition.

If you are a patient interested in learning about recognized mitral valve repair reference centers, please visit our Find a Recognized Center page and check back often as new centers are being recognized throughout the United States.

If you are a surgeon, hospital, or center interested in applying for the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award, click here to visit our How to Apply page to learn about the award program and start the application process.

About the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award

Born from a critical need for transparency and clarity, this Award was created to identify and recognize the nation’s best hospitals and surgeons for mitral valve repair surgery based on objective performance measures.

The Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award:

  • Recognizes those centers that have a demonstrated record of superior clinical outcomes, as well as an ongoing commitment to reporting and measuring quality and outcome metrics specific to mitral valve repairs.
  • Promotes the availability of such Mitral Valve Repair Reference Centers, to improve geographic access for patients across the United States.


  • 1Otto C, Nishimura R, Bonow R et al. 2020 ACC/AHA guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2021;143.
  • 2Baumgartner H, Falk V, Bax J et al. 2017 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease. European Heart Journal, Volume 38, Issue 36, 21 September 2017, Pages 2739–2791.
  • 3Badhwar V, Vemulapalli S, Mack M et al. Volume-Outcome Association of Mitral Valve Surgery in the United States. JAMA Cardiology 2020.
  • 4Chikwe J, Toyoda N, Anyanwu A et al. Relation of Mitral Valve Surgery Volume to Repair Rate, Durability, and Survival. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2017;69(19) 2397-2406.
  • 5Vassileva C, McNeely C, Spertus J, Markwell S, Hazelrigg S. Hospital volume, mitral repair rates, and mortality in mitral valve surgery in the elderly- An analysis of US hospitals treating Medicare fee-for-service patients. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2015;149(3) 762-768.e1
  • 6LaPar D, Ailawadi G, Isbell J et al. Mitral valve repair rates correlate with surgeon and institutional experience. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2014;148(3) 995-1004.
  • 7Gonzalez A, Dimick J, Birkmeyer J, Ghaferi A. Understanding the Volume-Outcome Effect in Cardiovascular Surgery. JAMA Surgery 2014;149(2) 119.
  • 8Vassileva C, Mishkel G, McNeely C et al. Long-Term Survival of Patients Undergoing Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement. Circulation 2013;127(18) 1870-1876.
  • 9Kilic A, Shah A, Conte J, Baumgartner W, Yuh D. Operative outcomes in mitral valve surgery Combined effect of surgeon and hospital volume in a population-based analysis. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2013;146(3) 638-646.
  • 10Bolling S, Li S, O'Brien S, Brennan J, Prager R, Gammie J. Predictors of Mitral Valve Repair Clinical and Surgeon Factors. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2010;90(6)1904-1912.
  • 11Anyanwu A, Bridgewater B, Adams D. The lottery of mitral valve repair surgery. Heart 2010;96(24)1964-1967.
  • 12Gammie J, O’Brien S, Griffith B, Ferguson T, Peterson E. Influence of Hospital Procedural Volume on Care Process and Mortality for Patients Undergoing Elective Surgery for Mitral Regurgitation. Circulation 2007;115(7) 881-887.
Page Created: Apr. 08, 2020 Last Updated: May. 06, 2024