New catheterization lab opens at CCH

Dec. 21, 2012 @ 05:02 AM

Central Carolina Hospital and community leaders celebrated the opening of a new lab Thursday — a wing close to many of their hearts.

The hospital commemorated the addition of its new cardiac catheterization lab during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon, with CCH officials showing the lab's potential to insert pacemakers, defibrillators and loop recorders, as well as the ability to diagnose and treat minimally invasive cardiovascular disease.

"This is a major step for us," said Central Carolina Hospital CEO Doug Doris. "We will continue to add services and find ways to keep providing for the community."

This new lab keeps more people in Lee County and prevents people from having to travel to different cities to larger hospitals, Doris said.

Heart disease is the number-one killer in Lee County, and this lab is an important achievement given the severity of the disease, he said.

Sanford Mayor Cornelia Olive said she was pleased with the changes Central Carolina Hospital has undergone in recent years, and this lab will serve as a necessary for residents.

"We are so blessed to have this cath lab," Olive said. "... I can't wait to see what you do next."

Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks said a hospital was one of his top priorities when he was searching for a place to retire, and that he was proud of CCH.

"It has been a pleasure to watch it grow, improve and expand," Parks said.

Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce President Bob Joyce said the hospital continues to sparkle in the community.

"It enhances our reputation as a community with a great medical facility," Joyce said. "We sometimes take it for granted because we are in the shadow of world-class medical facilities ..."

CCH Director of Cardiology Mahmoud Atieh said this wing is the first step to move from diagnosing to treating invasive cardiovascular disease.

"This is a new era that we will be able to start diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease," he said.  

After the ribbon-cutting, attendees were invited for a tour of the new lab and reception.