JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Thursday was an exciting day at St. Bernards Medical Center.
The second phase of their master plan is complete, and the Heartcare Center is officially open.
Updates were made to all three floors of the Heartcare Center.
Expansions include the addition of new deluxe labs which brings them to a total of six.
They have also expanded and renovated patient and family-focused care areas.
Also, there is a new hybrid surgical lab that allows cardiologists and surgeons to work together, providing an even higher level of care for complicated heart procedures.
The electrophysiology facilities were also expanded.
Dr. Devi G. Nair is the Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. Bernards.
She said to see the room completed is a joy.
"This room has always been a dream for me," Dr. Nair said. "I am truly excited. And not just excited, I'm marveled by the fact that we have all of this here in this one room. And that we were able to accomplish this in a very short span of a year. This room carries a lot of things. This room has a lot of technology. It holds a lot of innovation. That cutting-edge technology in one room is just something you can dream about and we have changed our dream into a reality."
Dr. Jaime Chavez, an interventional cardiologist at St. Bernards, said he is equally thrilled with the quality of care they can now provide their patients.
"This is amazing to be able to have these facilities here at St. Bernards," Dr. Chavez said. "In the hybrid cath lab is a room that's been designed from the ground up to be very versatile, so we can perform the most complex procedures and be able to provide what we need for our patients."
Dr. Nair said the new hybrid room allows them to do more in a safe way for patients.
"I take care of patients who have cardiac rhythm problems," Dr. Nair said. "And taking care of cardiac rhythm problems is not a simple thing. We have to do very complex procedures to fix cardiac rhythm problems. And the thing about fixing cardiac rhythm problems is you have to be able to do it safely. And this hybrid room where I can provide general anesthesia to our patients, offer this very complex mapping system opportunities where I can diagnose these arrhythmias in a very safe and quick manner. And then provide the treatment, which is the abrasion therapy is a very safe, efficient and effective manner. It's very, very important."
"In this room from routine coronary angiograms to placement of cardiac stents," Dr. Chavez said. "To performing more complex procedures. We also work with an electrophysiologist in this room and they can do pacemakers. Those are things we could do in the other cath labs we have, but now in this hybrid cath lab we can increase the complexity of what we do and do it in a safe manner for our patients."
Dr. Chavez said they've already been utilizing the room and are happy with what they've seen so far.
"At this point in time," Dr. Chavez said. "We've already performed transcatheter aortic valve replacements in this room. This is a novel way of treating patients that have a severely tight heart valve, a condition called aortic stenosis. These procedures have already been performed in this room. In addition, they can perform laser lead extractions for pacemakers that need to come out. We can perform these procedures knowing that if we run into trouble of any kind in this same room it can be converted into a fully functional operating room. The room is spacious, and we have all the equipment we need right here. It's wonderful to have this technology at St. Bernards."
The first floor of the Heartcare Center is used for non-invasive cardiac procedures.
The second-floor houses all invasive services, which includes six cath lab and EP labs.
The third floor is a 30-unit patient prep and recovery area.
The Heartcare Center was a $12 million project that includes the completed Cancer Center and updates to the Emergency Department.
The third phase of the project is the continued construction of the surgical/intensive care services tower.
The entire master plan is a $137.5 million investment for St. Bernards.
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