Morristown, NJ – Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, announced today the opening of the Chanin T. Mast Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, offering a new approach to the diagnosis and treatment of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). A congenital disease that causes abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood or relax and fill with blood, HCM afflicts roughly 1 in 500 Americans and is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest in children, teens and young adults. HCM is a genetic disease and may affect more than one family member.
The only one of its kind in New Jersey, the Mast Center will offer a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary center of excellence, providing world-class care to patients throughout the state and region. Located on the first floor of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, Mast Center patients and families will receive comprehensive care from medical experts spanning numerous disciplines. Martin Maron, MD, director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center Director and Co-director, Cardiac CT and MRI Program, Tufts Medical Center and Associate Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, will serve as medical director. In 2011, Dr. Maron was voted Clinician of the Year by members of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association and is a world-renowned HCM specialist.
The founding principle of the Mast Center is to provide nurturing, personalized care to patients with known or suspected HCM as well as their families. Patients will have convenient access to specialists, the latest in imaging and diagnostics, interventions including implantable defibrillators, surgery and catheter-based treatments as well as support through the center’s social workers. Mast Center specialists will also provide HCM screenings for individuals and families who may have a genetic predisposition as well as preventative community outreach to help protect young athletes from sudden cardiac death.
Robert and Terry Mast of Morristown have named the Center in honor of their daughter Chanin, who was diagnosed with HCM in 1987 and passed away due to ventricular fibrillation in 1999. The Masts believe Chanin could have benefitted if she had a central team specializing in HCM with knowledge of all treatment options and their side effects as well as the severe emotional impact on the patient and the patient’s loved ones.
Linda Gillam, MD, MPH, FACC, Dorothy and Lloyd Huck Chair, Cardiovascular Medicine, Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, said “I am very grateful to the Masts who have responded to the tragedy of Chanin’s death by helping us create the type of supportive multi-disciplinary program to which they wished Chanin might have had access.” She added, “With the support of Dr. Maron and Dr. Jim Udelson, the chief of cardiology at Tufts, we are committed to making the Chanin T. Mast Center a regionally and national recognized center of excellence for patient care, education and research.”
“We are extremely appreciative of the Masts’ generosity,” said Dr. David Shulkin, president of Morristown Medical Center. “This center is a lasting tribute to their daughter Chanin’s legacy. Patients throughout the state and region will benefit from the personalized, coordinated care and expert evaluation and management we now offer because of the Masts’ vision.”
“This is a great day for New Jersey HCM patients and their families,” said Lisa Salberg, founder, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. She added, “The HCMA is proud to have worked closely with Morristown Medical Center and Tufts to bring this new and unique model of care to New Jersey. As a patient, parent, family member and patient advocate, I feel that we now have truly world class care right here in Morris County. 18 years ago this was a dream; today it is reality, thanks to the Mast family for their contributions and turning this dream into reality.”
Dr. Maron will see patients at the new center twice a month. He will also be available for weekly virtual consultations and case reviews. Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, a state-of-the-art, five-story, 230,000 square-foot building situated on the Morristown Medical Center campus, is dedicated to meeting the challenges of heart and vascular diseases. Morristown Medical Center’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine encompasses the largest cardiovascular surgical program in New Jersey and has nationally-recognized expertise in each of cardiology’s major disciplines. It includes eight operating rooms (two hybrid), five catheterization labs, three electrophysiology labs and advanced non-invasive imaging capability. Gagnon offers integrated programs for treating heart failure, heart disease in women, rhythm disorders and vascular disease, and is one of only 20 programs nationally to offer all currently-available catheter-based treatments for valvular heart disease.
About Morristown Medical Center
Morristown Medical Center, located in Morristown, NJ, is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. Accredited by The Joint Commission, the hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top hospital nationwide for cardiology, heart surgery, gynecology and geriatrics. Morristown Medical Center also ranked as a “Best Regional Hospital” for cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics as well as gastroenterology & GI Surgery, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital in New Jersey, over 1,400 in 2013, placing its cardiac program in the top two percent in the country. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons awarded Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute three stars, its highest rating, only awarded to 12 percent of participating institutions. Morristown Medical Center was re-designated a Magnet Hospital for Excellence in Nursing Service, the highest level of recognition by American Nurses Credentialing Center for facilities that provide acute care services, a distinction awarded to less than five percent of U.S. hospitals.