Hays Medical Center has a full service heart program with the guiding hand of the "father of heart surgery" Dr. Michael DeBakey. The program includes 2 full time catheterization labs, interventional cardiology, nuclear cardiology, open heart surgery and cardiac rehabilitation to meet the needs of a region where heart disease is twice the national average. The cardiovascular and thoracic surgery program continues to grow, following an overwhelmingly successful start. Each patient receives one on one nursing care in ICU before being transferred to a dedicated cardiology step-down unit where they remain until discharge. A respiratory therapist is also dedicated to each patient following surgery.