Construction Begins on Sentara Heart Hospital
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Construction Begins on Sentara Heart Hospital 

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Construction begins on the region’s only dedicated heart hospital, Sentara Heart Hospital, after receiving state approval for the project. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. January 28 in the River Pavilion outpatient parking area at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Sentara Heart Hospital, adjoining River Pavilion on the first, second and third floors, will be the only heart hospital in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Expected to open in 2006, the nearly 300,000 square foot facility will enable patients seeking heart care to receive comprehensive cardiac services—everything from diagnostics and interventional cardiology to open-heart surgery and transplantation—all under one roof.

"Today, we are celebrating Sentara Heart Hospital, evidence of our commitment to provide exceptional heart care throughout the region," says David L. Bernd, chief executive officer of Sentara Healthcare.

Wide-sweeping modernization of hospital facilities will be made possible at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with the consolidation of heart services. Medical and surgical inpatient rooms now located in nearly 50 year-old buildings of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital will be relocated to newer wings of the hospital. Vacated spaces within Sentara Norfolk General Hospital will allow much needed expansions of oncology, endoscopy, and vascular areas. Two general ICUs will be consolidated into one common area and pathology, laboratory services, and the main and ambulatory (outpatient) ORs will be expanded.

"Joining only a handful of communities in the country, we are fortunate to have a nationally ranked heart program within reach of residents from Richmond to North Carolina," says Howard P. Kern, president and chief operating officer of Sentara Healthcare.

Designed around future technology in cardiac care, Sentara Heart Hospital integrates advanced technology with patient and family convenience. An all-wireless environment allows doctors and nurses to be closer to patients’ bedsides by enabling access to patient information on hand-held devices from anywhere in the hospital. In each private room, patients and families will have Internet access and personalized health information via the TV.

"Provisions for future technologies—including robotics—combined with the most innovative of family approaches will yield a truly unique facility. Simply put, Sentara Heart Hospital has been designed for superior patient care by integrating family involvement with advanced technology," says Rodney F. Hochman, MD, chief medical officer of Sentara Healthcare.

About Heart Care at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

Since the cardiac program’s inception at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in 1967, clinicians and doctors have performed nearly 32,900 open-heart surgeries, 100,000 heart catheterization procedures, and more than 200 heart transplants. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital became the region’s first hospital to implant a drug-eluting stent in 2003. The program received national recognition in U.S. News & World Report by ranking 21st out of the top 50 U.S. hospitals named for cardiac care excellence in the country. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital’s heart program also ranks number one in Virginia for overall cardiac services according to HealthGrades®. In 2003, it became Virginia’s only hospital ranked among the 100 top cardiovascular hospitals in the U.S. for five consecutive years by Solucient, a healthcare intelligence firm.

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