On Wednesday, April 5, the Hemet Valley Medical Center dedicated its new cardiac catheterization lab. The cath lab is a room to examine how well your heart is functioning. With the new equipment, the hospital’s doctors will be able to perform angioplasty, balloon septostomy electrophysiology studies and several other heart procedures.
“By the end of 2017, we will have a cardiac vascular operating room operating,” said Dan McLaughlin, the hospital chief executive officer.
Procedures such as implanting a pacemaker or stenotic heart valves can now be done at the HVMC. Once the operation room is available, open heart surgeries can be done at the hospital, according to McLaughlin.
The cath lab cost $8.6 million and has been open for several weeks. Once the cardiac-vascular operation room is available, McLaughlin anticipates that HVMC will become a STEMI clinic capable of receiving serious heart attack victims.
“Residents will no longer travel out of town for any type of heart attack,” McLaughlin told the crowd at the dedication ceremony.
Dr. Anil K. Rastogi, medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, reinforced McLaughlin’s promise. “I’m happy to announce the brand new cath lab. We will perform all heart procedures here in Hemet.”
One of the final speakers was Dr. Kali Chaudhuri, chairman and chief executive officer of the Physicians for Healthy Hospitals, which acquired both HVMC and the Menifee Hospital in 2010.
Describing his goal during the effort to acquire the hospitals, Chaudhuri said, “What I decided to do was not complain about what’s wrong in the community. I said, ‘Let’s do something.’”
While the cardiac center is the newest addition to the hospital, HVMC has been growing for several years. Chaudhuri is proud of the investment and the changes underway at HVMC. The new Day Surgery facility, radiation oncology, reopening of a Skilled Nursing Facility, and improvement to the laparoscopic and CT scanning equipment are all relatively new additions to the hospital’s services
A medical residency and post-graduate resident program was initiated two years ago. McLaughlin said he expects the establishment of a medical school associated with the hospital is a few years in the future.
Other new planned capabilities include a Level 3 trauma center, certified stroke center, wound care center, behavioral health unit and a senior housing community. The emergency department revamping also is in progress, along with the sub-acute unit expansion.