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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014

News

Advanced Cardiovascular Care Resumes at West Penn Hospital

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Patients in need of comprehensive cardiovascular disease care will once again have access to those services at West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield, starting on May 13. 
Officials from West Penn Hospital, Highmark and the Allegheny Health Network, today announced the planned opening of the West Penn Cardiovascular Institute, signaling the latest milestone in efforts to strengthen and expand the hospital’s clinical capabilities.
The West Penn Hospital Cardiovascular Institute will offer patients a full range of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic cardiovascular services, including diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization, heart bypass and valve replacement surgery, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, complex peripheral vascular procedures, and post-interventional cardiovascular care. The Institute will house two state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratories and an electrophysiology laboratory, in addition to monitored patient rooms. 
Cardiac catheterization services at the hospital also will be available around-the-clock for patients with emergent cardiovascular needs.
“Today is yet another great moment for the people of Bloomfield and its surrounding communities as we celebrate the return of West Penn Hospital as a leading destination and referral center for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease. This beautiful new Cardiovascular Institute is a wonderful achievement in the renaissance of this great hospital and a clear affirmation of our commitment to ensuring that it plays a pivotal role in the region’s healthcare delivery system for many years to come,” said William Winkenwerder Jr., MD, Highmark’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Restoration of cardiovascular services at West Penn is part of a major hospital revitalization project funded by Highmark that began in February 2012 with the re-opening and complete renovation of the hospital’s emergency department. Other investments in the hospital over the past year include the renovation of its medical and surgical inpatient units, the construction of a new, 18-bed intensive care unit, and the expansion and renovation of its labor and delivery unit.        
Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) recently completed an affiliation that establishes the five-hospital health system as the centerpiece of a new integrated healthcare delivery system for the region, called the Allegheny Health Network. 
To date, approximately $32 million has been invested by Highmark in West Penn Hospital’s overall revitalization project, with roughly $9 million supporting CVI related construction and technological upgrades.  
According to John Paul, President and CEO of both the Allegheny Health Network and WPAHS, the rebuilding of West Penn Hospital – which was significantly downsized in 2011 due to the financial difficulties of WPAHS - is a crucial step towards solidifying the future of the health system and further assuring that the residents of western Pennsylvania have quality choices for healthcare services, particularly at the tertiary and quaternary levels. 
“In many ways, returning West Penn Hospital to its roots as a vibrant and vital full-service community hospital is emblematic of the much broader commitment we are making to the region. West Penn and its affiliated hospitals of the West Penn Allegheny Health System share a distinguished tradition of providing innovative, high-quality healthcare services at affordable costs. And that is the very foundation of what we are bringing to the people of western Pennsylvania on a much larger scale through the development of our integrated healthcare delivery network,” Mr. Paul said.  
Srinivas Murali, MD, Director of WPAHS’ Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Medical Director of the System’s Cardiovascular Institute, said the need for cardiovascular services in the region is significant. 
“Cardiovascular disease is by far the most prevalent health concern that impacts our community and we are thrilled to add West Penn to our network of facilities dedicated to meeting this critical need. The new program will offer highly sophisticated and well-coordinated multi-disciplinary patient care provided by some of the country’s most skilled and experienced cardiovascular disease specialists,” he said.
WPAHS also offers comprehensive cardiovascular services at Allegheny General Hospital and Forbes Hospital, as well as disease-specific care at many affiliated clinics and physician offices throughout the community.   
Venkatraman Srinivasan, MD, a founding physician of Tri-County Cardiology Associates and longtime member of the West Penn Hospital medical staff, will serve as Medical Director of the hospital’s Cardiovascular Institute, and Director of the cardiac cath lab. Cardiac surgery at the hospital will be directed by George Magovern, MD, Chair, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for WPAHS. 
“This new Cardiovascular Institute will further build on West Penn Hospital’s tradition of excellence in patient care while also helping address the increasing need for cardiovascular services among western Pennsylvania’s aging, at risk population,” Dr. Magovern said.
Dr. Srinivasan said he expects patients and referring doctors to enthusiastically welcome the return of cardiovascular services to the hospital. He said West Penn’s longstanding reputation endures as a facility where outstanding medicine is practiced by a caring and compassionate team of dedicated healthcare professionals.
“West Penn has always held a unique reverence in the hearts of patients and their families who receive care at the hospital. I was extremely proud to be part of that culture in the cardiovascular medicine division for so many years, and I’m now equally excited to help lead the program once again in this terrific new facility and as part of an organization that is second to none in its commitment to quality patient care and service excellence,” said Dr. Srinivasan.
Bruce MacLeod, MD, Medical Director of West Penn Hospital’s Emergency Department, said the opening of the Cardiovascular Institute will significantly increase patient admissions to the hospital via the emergency department.
“The number of people who require emergency care related to cardiovascular issues such as suspected heart attack or stroke is extremely high in our community,” Dr. MacLeod said. “We look forward to working with our paramedic and EMS colleagues to provide the highest level of emergency cardiovascular care for these patients.”
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