Michael & Marlys Haverty Cardiometabolic Center of Excellence

“Dr. O’Keefe has changed our lives and we want others to benefit from the care the Center provides.” — Marlys Haverty

Within Irish culture, a person’s level of education and wealth does not earn one status or respect. It is a person’s honest, hard work that fosters admiration by those around them.

As a fourth-generation railroad worker, Michael “Mick” Haverty began his railroad career as a brakeman at the age of 19. He worked his way up to become Chief Executive Officer of Kansas City Southern. Behind this man of Irish modesty, ingenuity, and wit, was a father bartering with a serious health challenge.

At the age of 33, Mick was facing hereditary heart failure. His father died at age 54 and his grandfather at age 48. Determined to beat the odds, Mick developed a strong relationship with Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute when he moved to the Kansas City area in 1995 to become CEO of Kansas City Southern Railway.

Mick’s care has been coordinated by a multidisciplinary team in what is now known as Saint Luke’s Michael & Marlys Haverty Cardiometabolic Center of Excellence. Led by Mikhail Kosiborod, MD, and James O’Keefe, MD, the Center has built an entirely novel care model with a proven ability to improve outcomes in high-risk patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes and heart disease. These innovative therapies allow patients to feel better and more importantly, live longer.

Driven with a heartfelt sense of gratitude toward Dr. O’Keefe, Mick and his wife, Marlys, have given two transformative gifts to the Center.

"Dr. O’Keefe has changed our lives and we want others to benefit from the care the Center provides,” Marlys said.

"We have a moral obligation to help others,” Mick added.

Through their generosity, the Center has been able to create a national model of care called the Cardiometabolic Center Alliance. With 11 participating health care organizations across the nation, the Alliance is on track to add more organizations by the end of the year. The goal is to improve best practices, enhance capabilities, and expand research to improve patient outcomes across the country.