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Assemblyman Weisenberg Secures $125,000 in State Funding for South Nassau’s Cardiovascular Health Center
South Nassau Communities Hospital has been awarded $125,000 in state funding to support the purchase of equipment for its Center for Cardiovascular Health. The funding was secured by New York State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (20th Assembly District), who visited South Nassau for a tour of the Center with Joseph A. Quagliata, South Nassau’s president and CEO, and Jason Freeman, MD, director of interventional cardiology.
“Teamwork is vital to the formula we use to ensure that the communities and the patients we serve have convenient access to standard-setting, patient-centered healthcare,” said Mr. Quagliata. "On behalf of the South Nassau family, I thank Assemblyman Weisenberg for securing this generous grant and for his ardent support of South Nassau to bring 'Expert Care Without the Commute' to our South Shore Communities."
The $17.1 million Center for Cardiovascular Health is the cornerstone of South Nassau’s cardiac care initiative to meet the pressing need for advanced, interventional cardiology services in Nassau County, where the impact of cardiovascular disease grows by the day as the population ages. Approximately 41% of all deaths in Nassau County are attributable to some form of heart disease.
Located on the east side of the Hospital’s first floor, the 21,000 square-foot Center includes two state-of-the-art digital cardiac catheterization rooms, 18 dedicated preparation/ recovery spaces, decentralized nursing stations, doctor’s offices, examination rooms, family waiting areas and conference rooms. It is equipped with the latest advancements in digital imaging systems to perform a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy.
The next phase of the expansion to the Center is scheduled to begin in 2009 and will increase the Center’s size to approximately 32,000 square feet. Expansion plans call for the construction of an electrophysiology laboratory and a procedure room.
“The Center is focused on providing peerless, patient-centered treatments and technology, so that the residents of the South Shore of Nassau County do not have to travel outside the region to access expert interventional cardiology care when they need it,” said Dr. Freeman.
South Nassau has been in the vanguard of interventional cardiology. It is one of just seven hospitals in New York without an open-heart surgical program that is approved to perform elective angioplasty by the state’s Department of Health. For nearly six years before launching its elective coronary angioplasty program in October, 2006, South Nassau was demonstrating that it could perform coronary angioplasty safely. It had performed hundreds of emergency angioplasty procedures through its participation in C-PORT (Cardiovascular Patient Outcomes Research Team), a Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System study. C-PORT ultimately proved what South Nassau had known for a long time: that a hospital such as South Nassau with the expert physicians, specially trained staff and medical technologies can perform coronary angioplasty in an emergency or as an elective procedure as safely and effectively as any hospital that has an open heart surgery program.
The Center’s comprehensive program of cardiovascular care includes electrophysiology and arrhythmia services as well as cardiac imaging. Under the direction of Lawrence Kanner, MD, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services, the Center’s staff of electrophysiologists has in-depth experience and training and use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms, and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.
The cardiac imaging techniques and technologies used at the Center produce clear, highly defined pictures and views of the heart that are used by the cardiologists to develop and perform patient-centered, precise treatment plans. Frank Pollaro, MD, FACC, director of cardiovascular imaging, and the Center’s cardiac imaging specialists are well-versed in nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest), echocardiogram via the trans-thoracic method (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart), and transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracicly).
The Center’s cardiac imaging services will soon expand to include stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology that uses high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.
The Center is expanding its electrophysiology laboratory to meet the region’s increasing need for electrophysiology and cardiac arrhythmia services. When the expansion is completed, South Shore residents will have convenient access to the specialists and most advanced medical technologies available for the treatment of heart rhythm abnormalities.
For more information about the Center for Cardiovascular Health, call 1-877-South-Nassau.