SoutheastHEALTH Firsts

From pioneering technological advancements to launching state-of-the-art surgical systems, being first is something SoutheastHEALTH knows a lot about.

Southeast Hospital Earns Prestigious Cardiac Certification

JCC 102319

We are proud to be one of only 15 health care systems in the nation and the smallest community hospital to achieve Comprehensive Cardiac Center (CCC) Certification.  Earned by the Joint Commission’s Accreditation and Certification program and in collaboration with the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check process.  This achievement recognizes our heart program for its comprehensive approach to care and commitment to excellence. 

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SoutheastHEALTH Offers Innovative Treatment for Leaky Mitral Valves

Mitral Clip

Congratulations to our physicians and staff for making an innovative, non-surgical treatment for leaky mitral valves available to heart patients. Even better news – this minimally-invasive procedure can repair the mitral valve in patients who are not eligible for open heart surgery.

The procedure, called transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR), continues to advance treatment options for our region’s critically ill heart patients.

This treatment option, along with a new Cardiac and Vascular Pavilion, a new state-of-the-art operating room and our collaborative effort with the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University demonstrate the world-class care right here, close to home.

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Cardiac Hybrid Operating Suite

OR 19 Surgical SuiteThe next era of innovation for hearts is here. The new Cardiac Hybrid Operating Suite is the first of its kind within a 150 mile radius of Cape Girardeau. Designed for both traditional open heart procedures and advanced minimally invasive endovascular procedures, this new suite helps deliver better care and better patient outcomes.

Since the 1970’s, SoutheastHEALTH has been committed to being first in new technology and procedures. This new operating suite with its advanced imaging technology, is a reflection of this commitment.

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RFID Tags Revolutionizing how Breast Surgery is Approached

Ogles and McCadamsRadiologist Richard Ogles, MD, points to what looks like a large grain of rice visible on a mammogram of a patient with early stage breast cancer.

“This,” he says emphatically, “is completely changing the way we approach targeting and treating this type of cancer.”

The tiny spot is a radiofrequency identification, or RFID, tag. The tags, commonly used to track products for shipping and inventory, are now being used to help surgeons easily identify small lesions in the breast. It is offered in the Cape Girardeau region only at SoutheastHEALTH, which invested in this technology understanding its ability to revolutionize treatment protocols for breast cancer patients. 

“It’s important because in our patients, about 60 to 75 percent of breast cancers detected on a mammogram are not palpable, or can’t be felt, by the patient or the surgeon removing the tumor,” says Dr. Ogles. “This enables surgeons to more easily and accurately find the small lesions.”

To target a small cancer, the gold standard for the past 20 years has been the use of a thin wire, called a hook wire. Radiologists locate the mass on an ultrasound and mammogram and then insert a small needle through the skin. A tiny wire then is threaded through the needle and placed inside the lesion so that a surgeon can later track down the wire and remove the abnormal breast tissue. The top of the wire is left protruding outside of the breast prior to surgery. In some cases, radiologists will have to insert two wires.

RFIDsize“The hook wire is usually placed the day of surgery, so a patient would be undergoing two procedures in a single day, making it stressful for them,” says Joseph McCadams, MD, a surgeon with Cape Girardeau Surgical Clinic. “The other concern is that the radiologist can only place that wire in a certain way due to the limitations of his instrumentation, which then also limits how we approach surgery.”

With the RFID tag, however, there are several benefits. It can be placed up to one month prior to surgery. Because there is no wire to make a path to the tumor, the surgeon also can determine the best way to surgically approach removing it, enhancing both surgical and cosmetic outcomes.

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LINX Reflux Management System

LinxSurgeryIt’s small, but mighty. The LINX Reflux Management System, now available at SoutheastHEALTH, offers patients who suffer with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) long-lasting relief.

This minimally-invasive procedure, performed for the first time in the region by General Surgeon, Ronald M. Richmond, MD at Southeast Hospital, greatly improves the quality of life for those whose lives are disrupted by GERD and don’t want to continue taking a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) due to adverse side effects. Read More.

Virtual Intensive Care Unit (eICU)

SoutheastHEALTH is committed to providing exceptional care for all our patients. Our collaboration with Avera eCARE to deliver leading-edge, life-saving medical treatments to critically ill patients is a testament to this commitment. Our virtual intensive care unit program (eICU) at Southeast Hospital combines predictive analytics, data visualization and advanced reporting capabilities allowing the care team, both locally and remotely, the ability to continually monitor patients’ health information to respond to critical changes in health status in the fastest manner possible.

This combination of care and technology is proven to save lives and shorten recovery times. Our care team is better informed, allowing us to make more efficient and effective care decisions, while improving overall patient safety and avoiding unnecessary transfers to tertiary health centers.

Pathology & Immunology Collaboration

At SoutheastHEALTH, we know getting the right diagnosis the first time is critical because the sooner correct treatment begins the better chances are for a successful outcome. This is why we embarked upon an academic collaboration with the Department of Pathology & Immunology at the world-renowned Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – a first for us and a first for any healthcare provider in this region. Under this agreement, we will together create opportunities for young physicians and improve health care for patients throughout the area. With access to 40 Pathologists, in over 20 subspecialties and real-time case review of lab work via the latest in digital pathology technology, this collaboration ensures patients receive the right diagnosis, the first time and every time. Learn more about this collaboration and our Lab Services at

Coming Together is What Sets Us Apart

Pathology news

Affiliation consists of:

  • 2 onsite pathologists, including Medical Director of Pathology, Dr. George R. Wettach, providing 24/7 access
  • Education, training and emerging technologies
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Quality assurance
  • Faculty of 40 Pathologists in over 20 subspecialties including clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, transfusion medicine and microbiology
  • Real-time case review via digital pathology

Mazor X Robotic Surgical System

Southeast Hospital has continued its commitment to pioneering the best in minimally-invasive robotic surgery with the addition of the Mazor XTM surgical assurance platform to its highly recognized spinal surgery program.

Southeast is the first hospital in Missouri with Mazor X technology. The Mazor X system combines unprecedented pre-operative planning tools and analytics with unparalleled intra-operative guidance, giving patients the most advanced spinal surgery options available.

Mazor X spinal instrumentation can be used for:

  • Cervical, thoracic or lumbar fusion
  • SI joint fusion
  • Treatment of tumors, traumatic fractures or degenerative spinal disorders

Benefits of this minimally-invasive procedure include:

  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Smaller incisions
  • Shorter hospitalizations
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Reduction in radiation exposure during surgery

da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System

The da Vinci Xi technology, only available at SoutheastHEALTH, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing patients the finest technology for improved patient outcomes, right here in Cape Girardeau.
  • First community hospital in Missouri to introduce da Vinci robotic technology to the region
  • Urologist Gregg Hallman, MD, was the first surgeon to utilize the first da Vinci® surgical system and da Vinci Xi®
  • First community hospital in the region to adopt the new da Vinci Xi technology

The new system has far broader capabilities than prior generations of the da Vinci system. It can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for complex, multi-quadrant surgeries.

For our surgeons this means:

  • Enhanced imaging
  • Greater surgery site access for optimizing complete procedures
  • Improved instrument dexterity

For our patients this means:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Fewer complications
  • Less need for narcotic pain medicine
  • Less blood loss
  • Shorter hospitalization
  • Quicker recovery

Heart Care Collaboration

SoutheastHEALTH continues to develop collaboration opportunities with Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to education sessions for our physicians and staff, Washington University has established the area's first Advanced Heart Failure Surgery Clinic at SoutheastHEALTH. This clinic is designed for severe heart failure patients that perhaps are on a heart pump or awaiting a heart transplant. The clinic is staffed by Washington University physicians and affords patients in Southeast Missouri the opportunity to not have to travel to St. Louis yet still be seen by a Washington University physician in Cape Girardeau.

Coming Together is What Sets Us Apart

Affiliation consists of:

  • Education, Training and Emerging Technologies
  • Quality Assurance
  • Physician Recruitment
  • Practice Coverage
  • Faculty consists of 38 surgeons and researchers
  • Washington University School of Medicine Surgical Residency Ranks in Top 5 Nationally
  • Partnering with Cardiothoracic Surgical Division
  • Areas of Special Emphasis
    • Cardiac Surgery
    • General Thoracic Surgery
    • Congenital Surgery
    • Cardiothoracic ICU