Lawrenceville, GA—On Wednesday, Gwinnett Medical Center broke ground for its Heart & Vascular Center, which is slated to open in early 2012. More than 300 members of the community attended a groundbreaking celebration which featured presentations by Charles Bannister, Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and Philip Wolfe, GMC’s president and chief executive officer.
Thanks to an incredible outpouring of community support, GMC secured approval from the State to launch its open heart program in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett is the largest county in the nation without an open heart surgery program, meaning that each year hundreds of Gwinnett residents had to travel outside of the area to receive vital cardiac care.
“When we launched our campaign to bring open heart to Gwinnett several years ago, we recognized we couldn’t do it without strong support,” said Wolfe. “We told the people of our community that ‘open heart is in your hands’, and the outpouring of support was phenomenal. Now, open heart is in our hands as we focus on delivering on the promise to bring world-class cardiac care to Gwinnett.”
A dedicated 40,000 square foot facility is in development. This $33 million investment will ensure that the people of Gwinnett County have access to a complete range of cardiac services.
“This will be a state-of-the-art center, infusing the latest technologies,” said Manfred Sandler, MD, director of cardiology at GMC. “For the professionals who will work here, it will be a dream. Physicians and staff have been involved in the planning and design process, and the result is the creation of facilities that are optimally configured—providing the best possible environment to focus on the task at hand.”
While open heart surgery has been the focal point of the project, the program does encompass other advanced cardiovascular services, including coronary angioplasty and stenting procedures.
These new services add to a well-respected cardiac program that includes an accredited chest pain center in the emergency department, a cardiac wellness program certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and a full range of cardiac diagnostic services.
The GMC Foundation is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $8 million to assist in funding the Heart & Vascular Center. In honor of the groundbreaking, the Foundation created a special video to thank the community and share the excitement the associates, physicians and administrators feel for the open heart program.
“We had a lot of fun putting together something a little out of the ordinary that people will talk about,” said Jason Chandler, president of the GMC Foundation. “It shows that behind the bricks and mortar, there is a great passion within the people who work here.”
For information about making a donation to the Foundation or to view the video, visit www.openheartgwinnett.com.
About Gwinnett Medical Center
Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing award-winning healthcare services to the Gwinnett community and beyond. Campuses in both Duluth and Lawrenceville provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. In 2009, GMC’s 4,300 associates and 800 physicians served more than 400,000 patients. To learn more about how GMC is transforming healthcare, visit facebook.com/gwinnettmedical, or twitter.com/gwinnettmedical.