SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center held its first Heart Surgery Reunion on Saturday.
The event allowed former heart patients to connect with their surgeon, physicians and a team of medical professionals who were there for them during their hospital stay.
It was also a celebration of Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery, Doctor Ciuffo's one year anniversary with MercyOne.
Surgeons like Dr. Ciuffo say teams with MercyOne Siouxland Heart and Vascular Center have been able to increase the number of patients served by 350%.
"We continue to proudly celebrate that every occasion we have because I think it's very important in this community we are, in a way, sort of isolated because cardiovascular surgeries are available here, or you have to travel 90 miles in any direction to find any other service," said Dr. Ciuffo.
Patients that attended the event say they owe so much to the surgeons in this department. Some even said they view these surgical teams as family.
"It's a team, you know, the doctors are the ones who get the credit for doing the surgery, but it takes everybody from the janitors to the administration, to the person that checks you in or people cleaning the room. It takes a village," said MercyOne Heart Surgery patient Jerry Hoelker.
Doctor Ciuffo says he enjoys celebrations like the one today because he looks forward to talking with his patients and their family members.