Inova Alexandria’s award-winning Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) expands thanks to gift from The Twig

Healing the Heart

Award-winning cardiovascular critical care unit in Alexandria, VA expands to heighten care delivery, thanks to major gift from junior auxiliary

Recovery from a major cardiac event such as a heart attack or a complex surgery can be difficult. Guided by experience, skill and compassion, the medical team at Inova Alexandria Hospital’s Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) understands and responds to the challenges patients and their families face. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the CVICU helps the highest-acuity patients resume their lives, providing patient-focused care in a compassionate setting.

To ensure that each patient in the CVICU receives superior care and attention, the CVICU is undergoing an expansion and will now be called The Twig Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, honoring a $1 million pledge by The Twig, the hospital’s junior auxiliary.

“The expansion is going to impact the unit tremendously, allowing us to increase the number of beds from 10 to 16, and to provide every patient with a private unit equipped with a bathroom and a shower,” says Robbin Young, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Senior Director of Critical Care Services. Eight of the rooms will be designated for intermediate care after a patient has been stabilized.

To allow family members to stay with a loved one, each patient room will be equipped with a sofa bed. The family waiting room has also been remodeled with comfortable furniture, ample space to plug in electronics and a private conference area.

Expert care for heart surgery, stroke, heart failure, A-Fib and more in Northern Virginia

The highly trained staff at the CVICU treats patients who have had complex heart surgery, a heart attack, cardiac arrest, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances and neurovascular diseases such as stroke. Using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, the team helps restore the health of critically ill patients with cardiac monitoring, ventilator support, medication, and fluid and nutrition management, plus physical, occupational and speech therapy when needed.

The CVICU also provides advanced lifesaving techniques, including an intra-aortic balloon pump to support circulation, a non-invasive cooling system to maintain optimal neurological function following a cardiac arrest and continuous renal replacement therapy for patients who develop acute kidney injury.

Strong outcomes awarded by the American College of Cardiology

Recognized for its excellence and dedication to maintaining a high standard of care for medically complex patients with coronary artery disease, the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Inova Alexandria Hospital has been awarded the 2016 Platinum Performance Achievement Award bestowed by the American College of Cardiology. “We have great outcomes with getting our patients off the ventilator post-surgery within six hours,” says Robbin Young, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Senior Director of Critical Care Services. “Our benchmark is six hours, but our unit goal is under four hours.”

Patients typically stay in the CVICU just four days. Readmission rates are low due to the vast amount of education patients and their families receive while in the CVICU by multiple disciplines from cardiovascular nurse practitioners, dietary, physical therapy, Mended Hearts and the bedside nursing staff.

About The Twig’s support

“When The Twig made this pledge, we embraced Inova Alexandria Hospital’s commitment to ongoing facility enhancements with a focus on infrastructure upgrades, state-of-the-art clinical space and an improved patient experience,” The Twig President Elizabeth Sullivan remarked during the dedication. “The emphasis on enhanced patient care as well as physician and staff satisfaction was the tipping point in our vote to support the CVICU renovation.”

Since its founding in 1933, The Twig has developed a long and proud history of supporting Inova Alexandria, choosing to support projects that ensure the high-quality care and treatment that residents of this community have come to expect when they are treated at the hospital. Over the years, The Twig has donated more than $3.5 million for a wide range of hospital equipment and initiatives.

Want to get involved with a pledge?

Make your mark on cardiac care at Inova Alexandria Hospital through The Twig. Many opportunities exist to name a space in the CVICU. If you would like more information, contact Jennie McGihon, Executive Director, Inova Alexandria Hospital Foundation and East Region Development, at or 703-504-7770.

Contact the CVICU

For questions about the Inova Alexandria Hospital CVICU, contact the Senior Director of Critical Care at 703.504.7751.


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