By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Heart patients can arrive with multiple cardiovascular conditions and leave with a single comprehensive treatment plan at the newly opened IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular Center.
The innovative approach brings cardiologists, radiologists and vascular surgeons together in one location, said Dr. Mark Smucker, medical director of cardiology of IU Health Goshen.
“We’re usually in competition against each other,” Smucker said. “So we promoted the idea of putting our specialties together to help patients. It wasn’t easy, especially when people aren’t expected to be nice to each other. However, we genuinely like each other and we have learned from each other. The radiologists have taught me a lot.”
Smucker said the patients get better results and, “where else can you find cardiologists, radiologists and surgeons all standing scrubbed together shoulder to shoulder?”
There are 20 examining (collaboration) rooms where the patients go for consideration of treatment options. The hybrid room has the latest in medical technology for surgery and is a huge asset to paitent care, Smucker said.
Dr. LeRoy Weaver, radiologist, and Dr. Ben Moreno, intervention radiologist, refer to the Reading Room — where images are read after tests — as the “black hole.”
“We can sit in the dark and be accessible to clinicians and help make treatment decisions in one location rather than in isolated clinics, “ Moreno said. “This is where we can plan to do the most comprehensive treatment for patients. This room in this clinic is unique.”
The heart center allows the physicians to have access to the powerful tools, including the coronary CT angiography, a non-invasive means of imaging coronary arteries.
“It is the least expensive and this country has to do a better job of healthcare and do it cheaper,” Smucker said, who has become board certified in coronary CT angiography.
The center has implemented a limb-salvage program and is committed to helping patients slated for limb amputation to avoid amputation, said Randy Christophel, president and CEO, IU Health Goshen.
“We reopen blocked arteries to save dying limbs from amputation,” Christophel said.
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski attended the celebration of the grand opening Wednesday.
“The completion of this center is an accomplishment for our Hoosier communities on many levels,” Walorski said. “This innovative center provides direct access to outstanding cardiovascular medical services for our community, while creating good-paying jobs in Northern Indiana.”
Walorksi commended the teamwork of outstanding groups, from the Goshen Chamber of Commerce to the talented cardiologists at IU Health Goshen, who shared the common vision to improve health care for Hoosier families.