On MSC’s return amid the pandemic: “The whole industry shut down. Think about all the crew that represents, all the people who work in the terminals, all the check-in agents, all the office people—and everything it takes for this industry to operate. We went down...

Though an African-American physician in Chicago, Daniel Hale Williams, is credited with performing an open-heart procedure in 1893 by closing a stab wound to the organ, it would be more than a half-century before a series of breakthroughs slowly shed light on all that was possible involving cardiac surgery. Developments during the mid-20th century, including valve replacement, bypass techniques and the introduction of arteriography (so surgeons can see where blockages are located), allowed medical specialists to treat the heart like never before. Still, it wasn’t that long ago that patients were wheeled out of the operating room following open-heart surgery with a zipper-like swath of stitches that spanned the length of their abdomen. “Open-heart surgeons were swimming in some uncharted waters back in those early days,” says Romualdo Segurola, chief of cardiac surgery for Jackson Health System. “Looking back, I guess you can say they really didn’t know how much they didn’t know. “However, everything is totally different today, especially here at Jackson—from the sophistication of the procedures to the shorter length of stay to the much-shorter recovery time. “And even to the size of the incision, which today can be as little as 2.5 inches.” Indeed, Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital and Jackson Heart Institute, centerpieces of the Jackson Health System, are in the vanguard of dramatic new developments in research, surgery, and minimally invasive treatments that have helped bring cardiac surgery into a whole new realm. Leading the way is Segurola, who’s recognized among his peers for his innovative surgical techniques and for making cardiac surgery available to more people who need it. In addition, he spearheads one of the most pioneering and comprehensive cardiac research programs in the world. Best of all, he’s recognized by his patients as the doctor who gives them a new lease on life when they’ve been told elsewhere that nothing can be done for their heart condition.