Since he arrived at Bayhealth in 2020, Ben Collins has been on a mission.
A nurse by trade, Collins has more than a dozen years of progressive work experience in heart and vascular care, from bedside nurse to director of cardiac services.
At Bayhealth, Collins started out as senior manager of cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and interventional neurology laboratories. Now, as senior director of operations for Bayhealth’s cardiovascular service line, Collins oversees the services offered at both the Kent and Sussex campuses that deal with the heart or vascular system.
Bayhealth has established itself as a regional leader in heart and vascular care with expert clinicians. Collins said it was that track record and team talent that initially drew him in and prompted him to join Bayhealth. It’s also why he remains driven to lead the team and extend its reach to help more patients in the community with heart conditions.
Drawing on his work experience from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Excela Health, Collins has been guiding Bayhealth’s cardiovascular team in gaining numerous accreditations from the American College of Cardiology – the gold standard for heart and vascular care among health systems nationwide. Bayhealth was the first in Delaware to earn national certification for its trans-catheter aortic valve replacement program, which offers a minimally invasive approach to replace the aortic valve in people with narrowing of the aortic valve opening in the heart.
Bayhealth’s electrophysiology lab became the only ACC-accredited program in Delaware, Virginia or Maryland, recognizing its high-quality care in testing for and treating problems of the heart’s electrical system.
The Bayhealth cardiovascular team is continuing the momentum with plans to offer the community even greater options for personalized, innovative heart and vascular care. Most gratifying to Collins and his colleagues in the work they do is knowing that local residents can rely on Bayhealth for top-notch heart and vascular care without having to travel far.
Having put down roots in Delaware, Collins sees the important role Bayhealth plays in improving heart health statewide. “After working at UPMC and being at a smaller health system like Excela, I realized it was possible to bring high-level care to the community. Our quality outcomes were similar if not better than that of larger academic centers. Patients did better when they were closer to their family,” he said. Collins said the same is true at Bayhealth.
“Our heart and vascular team at Bayhealth can really be proud of the quality of our services and the successful outcomes of the patients we care for. We have some of the lowest complication rates among all TAVR programs in the U.S. Many of our patients who have a cardiac cath or EP procedure can safely go home the same day because of the thorough monitoring and follow-up care we provide,” Collins said. He considers this a testament to the strong teamwork and collaboration across Bayhealth departments and staff which provide a seamless experience for the patient.
Collins is now part of a Bayhealth duo, as his wife Sarah Neely-Collins joined the Bayhealth Urology practice in January. Away from work, they stay busy with community activities with their two young kids and playing golf. True to his Pittsburgh ties, Collins is also a big Steelers and Penguins fan.
“To be able to see a patient come into the cath lab in crisis on Monday and see them the following week at the grocery store living their normal life gives me purpose,” he said.
To learn more about all the heart-related care offered at Bayhealth, go to Bayhealth.org/Heart-and-Vascular.