The Foundation | Published July 24, 2018

New cardiovascular pavilion planned for Mount Nittany Health

Mount Nittany Health is pleased to announce the construction of a new 26,000 square-foot cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center. The new structure is being built directly above the Medical Center’s emergency department, and is another mark of the health system’s continued investment to ensure access to healthcare to meet the growing demand for its services.

“This construction is a visible reflection of the exceptional quality of the cardiovascular and electrophysiology program that we have built at Mount Nittany Medical Center under the leadership of our physicians,” said Kathleen Rhine, president and CEO, Mount Nittany Health. “It’s critical that we significantly expand our physical space to meet the needs of the growing number of people that trust us with their heart.”

The completed cardiovascular pavilion will enhance current capabilities and include two flex-designed labs that can be used for both cardiovascular and electrophysiology procedures. The cardiovascular pavilion will also include electrocardiogram (EKG) exam room, four echocardiography/stress test exam rooms, and eight prep/recovery bays, including three private bays. The space will also feature updated technology for the most sophisticated cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology imaging. The new construction will create an enhanced workflow of the space, allowing for a more efficient, private and comfortable patient experience.

Led by interventional cardiologist Albert Zoda, MD, FACC, the cardiovascular program at Mount Nittany Medical Center is one of only 50 hospitals in the country with ACE™ accreditation, achieving the gold standard for life-saving and life-improving medicine. ACE is an independent, physician-led organization that evaluates and monitors facilities providing cardiovascular care.

Every second in which an artery is blocked is critical to the heart. For patients experiencing a heart attack, opening the artery as quickly as possible is most important. When the artery is blocked, this threatens the heart muscle, which could cause significant, even fatal damage to the heart. The national benchmark for opening a blockage is 90 minutes. At Mount Nittany Medical Center, the average time from arrival at the emergency department to opening the artery is 54 minutes, saving precious tissue and lives.

In addition, people who experience a disruption or abnormality in the rhythm of their heart, arrhythmias, are also evaluated, diagnosed and treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center through our electrophysiology program to restore regular rhythms. People with several conditions may be diagnosed and treated in the electrophysiology lab, including ventricular tachycardia, sudden cardiac arrest, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, heart failure requiring an implanted device-based therapy, bradycardia, syncope (fainting) and supraventricular tachycardia. Caring for more than 600 patients annually, physicians perform diagnostic electrophysiology studies, as well as treatment procedures, including cardiac ablation, cardioversions, and implantation of pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), to treat the heart and improve the quality of the person’s life.

Cardiovascular services at Mount Nittany Health, including the IAC-accredited echocardiography lab, are provided by a team of staff, nurses, technicians, physicians, and dedicated cardiologists from Mount Nittany Physician Group, Geisinger and Penn State Health.

Mount Nittany Health’s commitment to providing the region with advanced cardiovascular services started in 2000 when it opened Centre County’s first and only cardiac catheterization lab. The system added interventional services and stents in 2007. The cardiovascular team has responded to more than 900 heart alerts, and currently performs more than 6600 tests and procedures every year to treat conditions ranging from heart rhythm disturbances to heart attacks and heart failure.

To date, the community has committed more than $3.5 million to support the investment in the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The pavilion is set to open in fall 2019. To learn more about Mount Nittany Health and our investments in the community to make you healthier, visit mountnittany.org.