Nash Heart Center Opens
Nash Health Care Announces Opening of Nash Heart Center
Partnership with University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and Boice-Willis Clinic
Nash Health Care announced today the opening of the Nash Heart Center in partnership with University Health Systems and Boice-Willis Clinic. Patients have been able to receive diagnostic cardiac catheterizations at Nash Health Care since 1989, but if the test results demonstrated the need for an interventional procedure—such as a stent placement---patients would have to travel to another facility outside of Nash County, oftentimes having the procedure completed by the same cardiologists who are on staff at Nash Health Care.
Now, the newly established Nash Heart Center enables patients to have these procedures performed locally.
Last year, officials at Nash Health Care and the Boice-Willis Clinic in Rocky Mount partnered with University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina in Greenville in the delivery of specialized heart care services for people in Nash and surrounding counties. This partnership paved the way for the Nash Heart Center to become reality.
“With the start up of the Nash Heart Center, we can perform these same procedures at Nash. Providing these services locally not only saves time, which translates into less damage to valuable heart muscle, but provides the added benefit of lower cost and more convenience to patients and family,” said Dr. Dave Varma, cardiologist and medical director of the Nash Heart Center.
A heart catheterization is a diagnostic procedure where a long, thin, flexible catheter is used to determine if there are any blockages in the arteries. If a blockage is found, the cardiologist may decide to perform a PCI. PCI stands for percutaneous coronary intervention, commonly referred to as a coronary (heart) stent placement. A stent is used to widen a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel. Now, the newly established Nash Heart Center enables patients to have these PCI procedures performed locally.
Larry Chewning, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nash Health Care, explained that the developing partnership dramatically improves cardiovascular services in the region and will likely save untold numbers of lives in the process.
“The ability to provide stent placement at Nash Health Care is a significant step forward in the provision of health care services to our service area,” Chewning said. “The expertise of Boice-Willis cardiologists with support from University Health Systems coupled with our skilled staff and state-of-the-art equipment, Nash Heart Center is already proving to be a life-saving combination for our patients. The focus here is to offer high-quality heart services in our four-county service area.. Along with our gifted physician partners, our goal is to provide a seamless pattern of cardiology care, maximizing delivery close to home.”
Steve Lawler, president of PCMH, said the partnership would improve the access to and delivery of high-quality heart services because people in the four-county Nash Health Care patient service area will be able to get the needed specialty care more quickly closer to home. PCMH is the tertiary hospital within the UHS network of hospitals, and it delivers cardiovascular services as the East Carolina Heart Institute.
“The expert physicians and teams at the East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital stand ready to help Nash Health Care develop a more comprehensive program of heart services,” Lawler said. “The result will be shared expertise that will create efficient, high-quality care for the people in this part of our region”
Since the beginning of 2011, the Nash Heart Center has performed hundreds of catheterizations, which haveresulted in dozens of successful stent placements.
Dave McRae, UHS CEO, explained, “This partnership demonstrates a joint commitment to increasing the delivery of cardiovascular care in eastern North Carolina. The combined forces of UHS, Nash Health Care and the Boice-Willis Clinic will mean greater access to new cardiovascular services in this area to rival the best care across the nation.”
You don’t have to tell James Lucas or Jackie Pully about the benefits of having these services available locally: Lucas, of Spring Hope, and Pully, of Nashville, were the first two patients to receive a stent at the Nash Heart Center. Both agree that having the service available locally was a beneficial.
“ Why would I travel by an ambulance to another hospital to have the same procedure done by the same physician?” Pully said.
This is a project that has been on the radar since I came to Rocky Mount and to see it come to fruition is very gratifying,” Dr. Varma said. “It is a huge step forward for the health of our community.”