Mercy Cedar Rapids announces plans for center of excellence for community heart & vascular care - MedQ
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Mercy Cedar Rapids announces plans for center of excellence for community heart & vascular care

The MedQuarter | April 22nd, 2021

New facility to provide area’s most advanced, patient-centered heart care.

Mercy Medical Center announced plans to develop Linn County’s largest and most comprehensive facility dedicated to heart and vascular care. The Heart Center at Mercy, scheduled to open in mid-2023, will be an integrated and patient-centered, state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot facility.

This unique facility will bring heart specialists and coordinated heart services all under one roof and within a single center as Mercy continues to develop the area’s leading heart program.

The new facility will be conveniently located at the corner of 9th St. and 8th Ave. SE – just across the street from the main hospital in downtown Cedar Rapids. It will offer patients access to advanced technologies and treatments, as well as feature patient conveniences along the continuum of care – from prevention and screening to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

Funding for the facility is made possible through an extraordinarily generous estate gift.  Mercy will be sharing more information about the gift and donor when those details are finalized.

“We are very focused on continuing to positively change the landscape of heart care within the communities we serve,” said Tim Charles, Mercy president and CEO. “Mercy has made so much progress in caring for hearts locally and this facility will continue the momentum. Over the course of many years, we’ve focused on establishing the area’s leading heart program; emphasizing quality outcomes, increasing access, enhancing the patient experience and advancing technology and procedures. With the growth we’ve experienced, now is the time for this next step as we combine our efforts into a new heart center and bring our resources under one roof.”

Driven by exceptional quality and services, Mercy has experienced tremendous growth in its heart program, which now treats more patients in Linn County for heart care than any other hospital. Additionally, Mercy is the only hospital in Cedar Rapids that is currently ranked as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by Fortune and IBM Watson Health. It’s also the only hospital in the city to have earned the prestigious three-star rating – the highest rating – for open heart surgery by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

“The development of The Heart Center at Mercy Cedar Rapids is a natural progression for us as we continue to build our award-winning heart program and enhance care coordination and the overall patient experience,” said Mercy Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, C.C. Lee, MD, FACS, co-medical director of The Heart Center at Mercy. “This new facility will allow us the space to accommodate our growth and continue adding to the program.”

Additional plans for Mercy’s heart program that can be accommodated with the new facility include the addition of a new cardiothoracic thoracic surgeon, as well as enhancing and increasing the number of heart-focused specialty clinics designed to provide education, ongoing assessments and individual care plans, including clinics for heart failure, A-Fib, heart valve disorders and more.

With Mercy’s heart services situated under one roof, the center will provide easier navigation for patients, access to leading-edge technologies and an enhanced environment for providers. As a result, patients can expect unmatched coordination of care between cardiology specialists, including interventional cardiology; electrophysiology; cardiac and vascular surgery; cardio-oncology; pediatric cardiology; and diagnostic teams. Together, Mercy’s specialized cardiac staff will guide patients through the continuum of care.

A central vision of The Heart Center at Mercy is to greatly enhance access to screenings and early detection of heart conditions. This will include state-of-the-art cardiac and vascular screening stations within an interactive lobby space to provide education and early detection opportunities. Engaging the community in these activities will support the identification of heart conditions sooner, thereby providing the opportunity for greater intervention earlier and decreasing the number of patients with unaddressed severe cardiac and vascular illness.

“The interactive and educational programming space in our lobby will be a true differentiator,” said Cardiologist Ryan Hollenbeck, MD, FACC, FSCAI, co-medical director of The Heart Center at Mercy. “With the use of advanced technology, we will be able to offer a truly engaging and interactive teaching environment for our patients, families, schools and students. We’re really excited about the potential for these types of patient engagement.”

Dr. Hollenbeck said The Heart Center at Mercy would also include community education space for CPR and AED training and other similar programming, adding that the new facility would be the community’s central hub for heart-related information and education.

Another feature of the first level will be a large walking track. This is part of a new cardiac rehabilitation space to help patients transition back from medical and surgical intervention to full daily living.

Designed for vertical expansion, the facility can be further developed with the addition of electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites, which are currently available within the main hospital location.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021. Mercy will announce additional project details as the plan moves forward.

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