MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Health Care Authority has approved a certificate of need (CON) application filed by West Virginia University Hospitals-East’s City Hospital to expand its cardiac catheterization lab services in the Eastern Panhandle.
Hospital officials received word late Friday afternoon on the ruling that will allow for the expansion of the hospital’s current diagnostic cardiac cath lab to offer treatment options including elective primary coronary intervention (PCI) and emergent therapeutic cardiac catheterization (STEMI) services.
“This is wonderful news, meaning that we will now be able to move forward with phase two of our regional health system’s strategic initiative to establish a comprehensive cardiovascular program in the Eastern Panhandle,” stated Anthony P. Zelenka, chief administrative officer at City Hospital.
Phase one involved the opening of a temporary diagnostic cath lab at City Hospital in June 2009. Last month, the hospital celebrated the opening of a new 12,000 square foot cath lab that will be home to the new, expanded cardiovascular service. “Our cardiologists now have a new facility with state-of-the-art digital equipment to perform procedures that can both identify and treat heart disease,” Zelenka said.
To date, over 260 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations have been successfully performed at City Hospital. By January 2011, officials expect to offer the elective and emergent services as well, which will give patients the choice of staying in the Eastern Panhandle for the majority of their cardiology needs.
Neal S. Gaither, MD, FACC, FSCAI, a cardiologist with University Cardiovascular Associates and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at West Virginia University, is the medical director of WVUH-East’s cardiovascular services at City Hospital.
University Cardiovascular Associates opened an office on the City Hospital campus earlier this year and includes eight board certified cardiologists who will provide physician support for the new service. They also have a practice in Winchester, the Cardiovascular Group at Selma.
“WVUH-East is very fortunate to have a dedicated and skilled cardiac cath lab staff and cardiologists,” stated Zelenka, adding, “By expanding our lab to offer these added services, we will now provide a critical health care need for the first time to the communities we serve in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties.”
WVUH-East is a regional, not-for-profit, healthcare system established in January 2005 to serve West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. The system includes City Hospital, Jefferson Memorial Hospital and all of their affiliates. WVUH-East’s parent company, West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown, is a member of the Fairmont-based West Virginia United Health System, the state’s largest healthcare network.