BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — After an eight-month construction project that began in early April, St. Luke’s Hospital celebrated the grand opening of its new Heart and Vascular Center.
On December 2, a ribbon-cutting event took place to commemorate the $12.5 million state-of-the art facility, which offers advanced care to patients with vascular and heart problems. The 8,500-square-foot space includes a hybrid operating room and electrophysiology lab to provide the highest level of critical vascular and cardiac care.
“This has been a massive project,” said Dan Wakeman, hospital president and CEO.
For patients in this area, the new center provides life-changing services closer to home, especially for those with head or heart trauma, he said.
The services provided at the center include cardiac and vascular surgery, non- invasive interventional medical cardiology, integrated cardiology and interventional radiology.
It will be used to expand current procedures in treating atrial fibrillation, which is a leading indicator of stroke risk. In addition, it offers enhanced technology for pacemaker implantation and high-tech imaging from advanced radiology equipment, with minimal radiation exposure. The new center also allows minimally invasive endovascular and other specialized vascular procedures.
According to Wakeman, the number of patients with heart blockage issues has decreased due to healthier life choices and decreased smoking. However, with an aging population, there is an increased number of patients with electrical or structural heart issues, he said.
“You have to be able to fix those two systems, and the electrophysiology lab and hybrid O.R. give us that technology, along with a well-seasoned, educated staff to treat both of those areas at this hospital. I couldn’t be any more proud,” he said.
If the hospital would chose to expand in the future, it could, as the new two-story center was constructed with the ability to add up to 23,000 feet of new space with the addition of a third floor.