New Cardiac Cath Lab to Bring Lifesaving Care to North and South Forks

Stony Brook Medicine has opened a fully-operational cardiac catheterization laboratory at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, making it the only facility on the East End of Long Island capable of providing clinically complex care to critically ill heart patients. Services offered include cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, stenting, intravascular ultrasound, and Impella®, a treatment to improve blood flow in heart failure patients requiring care in the lab.

Cather team

From left: Dhaval Patel, MD, Cardiologist, Stony Brook Medicine; Gary Gerard, Lead Interventional/Cardiac Catheterization Technologist; Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; Travis Bench, MD, Director, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital; and Helen VanDenessen, Nurse Manager, Imaging, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Dr. Reuven Pasternak, Vice President for Health Systems for Stony Brook Medicine, noted that “This cath lab brings extended care to a population who previously could not access potentially life saving care within the recognized critical window of time and diagnostic services important for ongoing care. The lab also represents a major step in New York to recognize the need for alternative delivery systems for less populated areas whose residents need to have advanced levels of medical care that cannot be covered by telemedicine.”

Located in the hospital’s Audrey and Martin Gruss Heart & Stroke Center, diagnostic, emergency and elective treatments are delivered by Stony Brook Heart University Institute specialists including the lab Director, interventional cardiologist Dr. Travis Bench. Dr. Bench and his partner, Dr. Dhaval Patel, also see patients at Stony Brook Cardiology practices in Center Moriches and Southampton and plans to open other offices in the region.

“The new Cardiac Program is the most dramatic example of exactly the sort of collaboration we hoped would happen when Southampton Hospital joined Stony Brook Medicine, as we bring the region’s top medical services closer to where people live,” said Robert Chaloner, Chief Administrative Officer for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. “This truly signals the beginning of a new era of healthcare for our East End communities.”

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s catheterization lab provides 24-hour support, seven days a week (24/7). Prior to the opening of the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital cath lab, the nearest treatment facility was Stony Brook University Hospital – up to 70 miles away and between a 60- to 90-minute drive for most North and South Fork residents.

“Faster access to the highest standard of cardiac care means more immediate, life-saving diagnosis and treatment for residents of the East End of Long Island,” said Dr. Bench.

A Leader in “Door-to-Perfusion” Time
A delay in restoring blood flow through an artery increases the likelihood for significant damage to the heart muscle. Being able to diagnose and treat a blocked artery in Southampton, without having to first transport the patient to Stony Brook, minimizes the potential for damage.

“For patients who need emergency catheterization, Stony Brook’s ‘Code H’ protocol has produced an average ‘door-to-perfusion’ time of 56 minutes, almost 45 minutes below the New York State regulated treatment guidelines,” said Dr. Javed Butler, Chief of Cardiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Stony Brook University Heart Institute. “That is the level of care we strive for at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. The systems and processes are in place and we look forward to taking care of our patients out east with that same dedication to quality and excellence.”

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