Traffic along Interstate 380 is seeing a change to the Cedar Rapids skyline at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital. The derecho damaged the Cedar Rapids Heart Hospital’s sign and part of the building last August, and the repairs gave St. Luke’s the opportunity to refresh the Nassif Heart Center design. The new sign was installed today.
“The new, modern look to our Heart Center name aligns with St. Luke’s reputation and mission of providing the most advanced heart care, locally, so people can stay close to home for their care,” said Dr. Richard Kettelkamp, interventional and structural cardiologist and medical director of St. Luke’s Heart Care Services. “It also complements the renovations we finished last year by extending them to the exterior of the building and retains the Nassif name in honor of a generous gift from Helen G. Nassif.”
The 2020 renovation project was a $5 million investment that included a new imaging system with the latest in cardiovascular imaging technology, as well as upgrades to patient rooms, nurses’ stations and a new consultation area. These improvements were followed by several unique procedures St. Luke’s brought to the area over the past year.
These latest advances, which are only available at St. Luke’s, include:
- WATCHMAN FLX – an alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners, this catheter-inserted device closes off the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep blood clots from forming.
- Transcaval Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): a unique approach to the minimally invasive (non-open-heart) surgical procedure that repairs the aortic valve by inserting a replacement valve.
- Shockwave: a catheter-based procedure that delivers sonic pressure waves to fracture calcified plaque in blocked arteries in order to reestablish blood flow.
- MitraClip: a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for treating mitral regurgitation (MR), in which a small clip is attached to one of the mitral valve leaflets to help it close more completely.
- Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO): a specialized life-support machine for patients with severe and life-threatening illnesses that prevent their heart or lungs from working properly. St. Luke’s is one of only a few in the state to have an ECMO machine.
St. Luke’s, a pioneer in heart care, has the largest, most established and only comprehensive Heart Center in Cedar Rapids. The program began in 1978 when St. Luke’s performed the area’s first open-heart surgery. In 2000, the Nassif Heart Center opened to include two fully equipped cardiac catherization labs, an electrophysiology lab, extensive vascular capabilities, educational facilities and a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation area with a walking track and specialized exercise equipment. It’s located near the Open-Heart OR suites and Imaging for the area’s only, all-encompassing Heart Center.