116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Cedar Rapids — UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital has announced a $25 million expansion of its heart and vascular center, a move to help providers meet a growing patient demand for more specialized and minimally invasive services, officials say.
Construction is expected to begin sometime this summer on the Cedar Rapids hospital’s Nassif Heart Center.
The project, which will take place over the next two years, will consolidate cardiac and vascular care into the center and will expand existing services. The move will help alleviate space constraints, and help providers meet the growing demand for services locally, said Dr. Richard Kettelkamp, interventional cardiologist and medical director of cardiovascular services at St. Luke’s Heart Care.
Patient demand for cardiovascular services has been growing at St. Luke’s and other health systems in recent years, and it’s not solely driven by the growing senior population in Iowa. Advancements in medical technology have opened the door to a greater number of patients becoming candidates for surgery, Kettelkamp said.
“This just expands on the focus that St. Luke’s and the Nassif Heart Center have always had and continuing on that commitment to providing the best and latest in heart and vascular care,” Kettelkamp said.
This announcement also comes two years after St. Luke’s funneled $5 million into the center for patient room renovations and to purchase medical equipment upgrades.
The Nassif Heart Center, a 98,000 square feet heart center located within St. Luke’s Hospital, opened in 2000. St. Luke’s has had a long history of innovating heart and vascular care, becoming the first Cedar Rapids hospital to offer open heart surgery in 1978.
The $25 million project consists of three phases, Kettelkamp said, starting with the addition of a second electrophysiology (EP) lap. These procedures deal with issues related to the electric conductive system of the heart, such as atrofibilation.
The second phase will be relocating and expanding the hospital’s vascular and interventional radiology labs, which house procedures used to treat patients with affected blood vessels, such as aneurysms or blocked arteries.
Officials will build a cardiovascular hybrid operating room as part of the third and final phase Kettelkamp said this operating room will house more advanced cardiovascular procedures, including its minimally invasive surgical procedures.
One example of this type of surgery is a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a type of minimally invasive surgery to replace a patient’s aortic valve that was first offered at the hospital in 2016.
“Our expansion announcement signifies our commitment to our patients and community in continuing to offer complex, specialized cardiovascular care,” Michelle Niermann, UnityPoint Health—St. Luke’s Hospital president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’ve offered exceptional, advanced cardiovascular care for over 40 years, and this is our response to the growing number of patients seeking heart care and needing St. Luke’s unique expertise for advanced heart procedures.”
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