Hackensack Meridian Ocean University Medical Center Increases Access to a Lifesaving Procedure to Prevent Heart Attack

Hackensack Meridian Ocean University Medical Center was recently licensed by The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to provide elective angioplasty and stenting, a scheduled procedure used by cardiologists to open clogged coronary arteries, in patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease. The academic medical center has successfully completed its first few elective cases with the patients now home and recuperating well. This minimally invasive treatment restores blood supply to the heart muscle and helps prevent heart attack, heart failure and other forms of heart disease.

This builds upon the exceptional cardiac procedures offered at Ocean University Medical Center, and offers residents greater access and choice in where they get heart care. The hospital also provides emergency, primary angioplasty and stenting for patients experiencing a heart attack and cardiac catheterization procedures to diagnose heart disease. This additional licensure enables cardiologists to schedule and perform diagnostic testing and if needed, necessary treatments during the same visit.

“Residents of Brick and the surrounding Ocean County communities have reason to celebrate, as they can now schedule life-changing elective angioplasty procedures close to home,” said Frank Citara, MBA, president and chief hospital executive, Ocean University Medical Center. “And, with additional hospitals in our network now also licensed for this enhanced level of care, we can expedite scheduling that previously may have experienced some delays.”

During angioplasty, also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a long, thin tube (catheter) is put into a blood vessel and guided to the blocked coronary artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated at the narrowed area of the heart artery. This presses the blockage plaque or blood clot against the sides of the artery, making more room for blood flow. Following this, a tiny expandable metal mesh coil called a stent is placed in the newly opened artery to help keep it from narrowing or closing again.Fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, helps the cardiologist find the blockages in the heart arteries as a contrast dye moves through them.

“Ocean University Medical Center provides patients with advanced cardiac technology and treatment protocols, and has been nationally recognized for providing exceptional cardiovascular care,” said Ali Moosvi, M.D., director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Ocean University Medical Center. The medical center holds several quality distinctions from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). It received the ACC’s HeartCARE Center National Distinction of Excellence in 2022 and is an ACC-accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI and Cardiac Catheterization Lab, for its demonstrated commitment to a comprehensive, high-quality culture for cardiovascular care. Ocean also received the ACC’s 2022 NCDR Chest Pain- MI Registry Platinum Quality Award and the American Heart Association’s 2022 Get with the Guidelines- Heart Failure Gold Plus Award recognizing exemplary heart attack care and care for heart failure, respectively.

“In order to meet the growing needs of our community we launched construction of a new $19.5 million, Heart & Vascular Center in 2019,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The center will provide patients and our cardiovascular experts with a convenient and state-of-the-art environment for optimal care and experience during an emergency or scheduled intervention.” The Heart & Vascular Center will be housed above the emergency department and provides three multi-purpose catheterization/vascular labs and a hybrid OR in one location fostering collaborative treatment planning and options for favorable patient outcomes. The three labs will be fully equipped hybrid rooms with ten dedicated prep and recovery rooms. The center is tentatively scheduled to open spring 2023.

Hospitals providing angioplasty have arrangements in place with local facilities that provide open-heart surgery in case of emergency. Ocean University Medical Center’s backup facility is Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Monmouth and Ocean counties’ only minimally invasive and open-heart surgery program.

“Although elective angioplasty is new to Ocean University Medical Center, the community can rest assured the medical center’s cardiologists and nurses are experienced in providing angioplasty to enhance and save the lives of patients,” said Richard M. Neibart, M.D., FACS, clinical medical director, Cardiovascular CTS, Hackensack Meridian Health and chief, Cardiac Surgery, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “As part of Hackensack Meridian, Ocean University Medical Center’s patients are connected to a comprehensive range of leading-edge technologies treating heart disease and world-renowned cardiac experts, right here in New Jersey.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of disability and death for women and men. With this in mind, Hackensack Meridian has developed an interdisciplinary team of award winning heart specialists. Collaboratively, they provide a comprehensive state-wide program for identifying, treating and managing heart and vascular conditions for patients of all ages. This includes providing life-saving cardiovascular care for the most complex patient cases at one of New Jersey’s few minimally invasive and open-heart surgery programs at The Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, and at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

In May 2021, the NJDOH enabled the state’s hospitals to begin an application process, including extensive data collection and a site survey, to receive licensure to become a full-service catheterization lab for diagnostic testing or add an elective angioplasty service to a preexisting emergency angioplasty service. Eight Hackensack Meridian Health medical centers in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Hudson and Essex counties now provide expanded services.

For more information, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/services/cardiovascular/. To schedule a CT Calcium Scoring scan, which provides early detection of heart attack risk, or for a free physician referral, call 844-HMH-WELL.

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