Gwinnett Medical Center has submitted its application with state health officials to provide open heart surgery and related services. The certificate of need application was submitted to the state’s Department of Community Health, which will now begin a formal review process.
In October, Gwinnett Medical Center launched a campaign highlighting the dire need for access to open heart services in Gwinnett County and began building community support. GMC created a dedicated Web site about the need, launched a special community education campaign, delivered presentations to groups throughout Gwinnett and met with community leaders.
“Our community responded with a groundswell of support for Gwinnett Medical Center’s efforts to bring open heart services to Gwinnett County,” said Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center. “We have hundreds of letters of support sharing compelling stories about how lives could have been positively impacted if an open heart program were located in our county.
“Gwinnett’s leadership has stepped forward with proclamations of support and significant financial donations are earmarked for our open heart program. This community recognizes that Gwinnett needs open heart services and Gwinnett Medical Center is the place to offer them.”
GMC’s application also provides compelling rationale as to why the need exists. Gwinnett is the most populated county in the nation without an open heart program. The county’s current population of more than 750,000 is expected to exceed 1 million within the next eight years. Gwinnett residents must travel over some of the nation’s most congested roads to reach the nearest facility offering open heart services.
“Time is of the essence in treating heart attacks,” stated Manfred Sandler, MD, director of cardiology at Gwinnett Medical Center. “We have an urgent need for open heart in Gwinnett, which will increase as our county grows. If GMC’s application for open heart services is not approved, lives will be lost.”
Gwinnett Medical Center is grateful for the support that the community has provided – but it is critical that this support continues. Although the application is filed, GMC still urges people to write letters of support, which will continue to be submitted as part of the application process.
For more information, visit www.OpenHeartGwinnett.org.