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New Program Expands Hospital’s Cardiac Services to Better Serve the Community

November 2, 2020

Hospital leadership along with cardiac cath lab physicians and team members celebrate the launch of its new PCI program at Newton Medical Center.

Newton Medical Center launched its percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) program in its newly enhanced cardiac catheterization lab located in the Charles L. Tice Heart Center. This new service will allow patients to be treated on-site, thus leading to better patient outcomes. The Heart Center is also seamlessly connected to Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center which is nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report for cardiology and heart surgery.

An “ST” elevated myocardial infarction, also known as a STEMI heart attack, occurs when a major artery to the heart is completely blocked. When a PCI is performed within 90 minutes of arrival to the hospital, STEMI patients see a significant reduction in heart damage. Time translates into muscle loss, so patients suffering a STEMI are taken to the closest hospital that can treat this type of heart attack.

“As a community hospital, we continue to invest in services and technology that improve lifesaving patient care close to home,” says Bob Adams, president, Newton Medical Center. “Launching the PCI program at Newton Medical Center further enhances our dedication to delivering exceptional cardiac services to the communities of Sussex County.”

EMS also plays an important role in the care delivered to STEMI patients. Pre-activation of the Cath Lab by EMS in the field will dramatically reduce door-to-balloon times – the time it takes the physician to open the artery – by enabling the Cath Lab to prepare for the patient while they are still en route to the hospital.

“The ability to provide primary PCI, which involves the placement of a small stent to open a blocked coronary artery in patients suffering from an acute heart attack, is a big step in the evolution of our cardiovascular services,” says Gerald Cioce, MD, cardiac cath lab director, Newton Medical Center. “This capability allows us to provide lifesaving treatments for our local community without delay or need for transport to another facility.

Within the past 10 years, the Heart Center has grown from a small diagnostic lab into a full-service cardiac catheterization and peripheral vascular program. The Newton Medical Center Foundation embarked on a 1.4 million-dollar project earlier this year to fund a new Cardiac Cath Lab imaging system. This new imaging system offers a comprehensive suite of functionality customized for a wide range of procedures. 

Learn more about heart care at Atlantic Health System >