Smith Heart & Vascular Center will soon begin taking shape

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rowan Regional Medical began the second phase of its major expansion project Monday to convert its old emergency department building into the new Smith Heart & Vascular Center.

On Monday, construction crews from Robins & Morton/Hostetter & Keach tore down ceiling tiles, knocked down old partitions and began preparing the interior of the old emergency department, located at the corner of Mocksville and Mahaley avenues.

When completed, the new Smith Heart & Vascular Center, created with a $5.4 million cash gift from the Wilson L. Smith family, will include a diagnostic and interventional heart catheterization lab, stress testing area, echocardiography and the existing Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab Center.

It will also include interventional radiology procedures used to diagnose and treat blockages of the peripheral vascular system.

When finished at the end of this year, the new center will be able to admit, treat and discharge patients with cardiovascular problems in-house.

The first phase of the medical center’s expansion plan was completed in August with the opening of Rowan Regional’s new Patient Tower that includes a renovated Women’s & Children’s Center and new emergency department.

Construction on the Smith Heart & Vascular Center will be continue through the year and include an expanded nuclear medicine laboratory and ultrasound, mammography and stereotactic breast biopsy laboratories.

Currently, Rowan Regional’s heart center is located in an older section of the hospital with slightly more than 4,000 square feet of space.

The new center will fill nearly 12,000 square feet. When completed, cardiologists from Rowan Regional, the Sanger Clinic and Carolinas Medical Center will work full time in the new building.

“With our recent agreement with the Sanger Clinic and Carolinas Medical Center, Rowan Regional Medical Center is now able to provide a much greater level of care for cardiovascular patients at a facility that is close to their home, Chuck Elliott, Rowan Regional’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Some of these procedures are already being performed here at Rowan Regional Medical Center, but the new center will combine all those procedures and operations under one roof.

“When opened at the end of this year, the Smith Heart & Vascular Center will give patients an expanded, convenient and comfortable setting in which to recover,” Elliott said.