February 22, 2005- Norfolk, VA - Sentara Healthcare held a Topping Out Ceremony for the six story, approximately 324,000 square foot Sentara Heart Hospital today on the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital campus. Refreshments will follow in the River Pavilion lobby.
The topping out ceremony is a traditional event held by construction crews once the steel frame of a new building is up. The final uppermost beam is being signed by Sentara employees and will be raised into place by a work crew from McCarthy Construction during the event. An American flag, along with the traditional topping out evergreen tree which signifies the life and growth of the building will also be attached to the 14-foot-long beam.
Upon completion in early 2006, Sentara Heart Hospital will be the only dedicated heart hospital in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, giving Sentara physicians, clinicians and staff a $94.5 million, state-of-the-art facility in which to combat the nations number one killer, heart disease.
The facility will consolidate services enabling patients to receive everything from stress tests, diagnostic exams and cardiac catheterization procedures to bypass surgery, open heart surgery and even heart transplant under one roof. Sentaras cardiac program is already ranked among the top 5% in the country for overall cardiac services and serves as the quality leader in heart care for the entire Mid-Atlantic region.
"We are proud to provide our community with a nationally ranked heart program," said Bruce Holstien, Administrator, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. "We already have some of the best results and outcomes for cardiac care in the country. Sentara Heart Hospital will give us a state-of-the-art building specifically designed to support that."
Sentara Heart Hospital has been designed to accommodate future technology, attempting to anticipate whats on the horizon for high tech cardiac care. Surgical suites will be larger to allow for additional robotics and equipped with "smart" technology that listens and responds to doctors orders. A fiber optic infrastructure will support digital technology to speed patient test results to the staff members who need them.
"Sentara Heart Hospital will be a world-class destination," said Rodney F. Hochman, M.D., executive vice president, Sentara Healthcare. "Patients will see a difference a new facility, new technology, increased efficiencies, but the same personalized care whose ultimate goal is to save lives."
According to the Center for Disease Controls National Center for Health Statistics, heart disease is the number one killer in the nation. Recent figures indicate that Hampton Roads has a higher than average rate of the disease.
"Studies continue to show this region as an area with a high incidence rate of heart disease related to lifestyle and genetics," said Dr. Hochman. "That makes it even more important to have a dedicated heart hospital in our community. One of our overall goals will be to better understand and lower the risk factors of heart disease."
Sentara Heart Hospital will feature all private rooms with 112 licensed inpatient beds which includes; 45 pre- and post- procedural rooms, a 20-bed Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, an 8-bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, a 36-bed Cardiac Surgery Stepdown Unit, a 48-bed Cardiac Medicine Step-down Unit and a 4-story, 454 space parking garage.
About Heart Care at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital:
Since Sentara performed its first open-heart surgery in 1967, our cardiac programs have strengthened. Today, Sentara's heart program is among the nation's best. In U.S. News & World Report's most recent survey of America's Best Hospitals, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital ranked 40th among the top 50 U.S. hospitals recognized for cardiac care excellence. This marks the 5th year our program has been so honored. HealthGrades, has awarded its prestigious five-star ranking to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's cardiac program, calling it the #1 program in Virginia for overall cardiac services, cardiology services, and cardiac interventional procedures.
The hospital also ranked number one in the region for heart surgery. The hospital is recognized among the nation's top five percent for all of these categories, including overall cardiac services. HealthGrades is an independent healthcare quality ratings and advisory company.