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St. Joseph’s Health formally opens cardiovascular center

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — St. Joseph’s Health on Thursday formally opened its new 45,000-square-foot cardiovascular-care center inside the hospital at 301 Prospect Ave. in Syracuse.

The $32 million center, which is located inside the hospital, is part of the St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute.

“This center is the home to an expanded space featuring eight special-procedure rooms as well as a new hybrid operating suite. The space beyond these doors enables our physicians as well as teams of care givers to continue to expand and innovate our cardiovascular care,” Leslie Luke, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health, said in his remarks at the Thursday morning event.

Dr. A. John Merola (left, holding scissors) prepares for the ribbon cutting to formally open the $32 million St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute, which is located inside the hospital. At Merola’s left is Leslie Luke, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. Standing next to Luke are New York State Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D–Cicero) and New York State Senator Dave Valesky (D–Oneida). The center is named in honor of Merola, who has been “closely aligned” with the organization for more than 50 years. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

He cited statistics from the Atlanta, Georgia–based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that heart disease is responsible for “roughly” one-in-four deaths in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of early death in New York.

The Hayner Hoyt Corporation of Syracuse handled the renovation work, and Dwyer Architectural of Syracuse provided the design work on the project.

In addition to the new, expanded electrophysiology lab that opened last year, the new cardiovascular center renovated existing space to consolidate four previously-separate work areas for catheterization, electrophysiology, interventional radiology, and access into one central location, St. Joseph’s Health said.

The project also added 15 additional patient bays for a total 40 patient bays; seven special-procedure rooms; a new hybrid operating room; and a new patient-tracking system so visitors know the status of their family member’s treatment.

The center is named for Dr. A. John Merola, who has been “closely aligned” with St. Joseph’s Health for more than 50 years. He helped create the family-medicine residency program in the 1970s, St. Joseph’s Health said.

Merola serves as the honorary chairman for the 150th anniversary campaign and “generously” donated a $3 million contribution toward the project.

“It is my hope that many [people] will breathe easier because of this new cardiovascular center. It’s obvious that many patients will breathe easier but so will the physicians, nurses, technicians, and the entire staff,” Merola told the gathering during the event.

In his remarks, David Panasci, chairman of the St. Joseph’s Foundation board of directors, said the cardiovascular center is among the projects targeted in the organization’s 150th anniversary campaign.

“At this time, we have raised over $16 million toward our $20 million goal,” Panasci added, thanking those who have contributed to the campaign.

The fund-raising effort won’t cover the entire cost of the projects that the campaign is targeting, Luke told reporters when the St. Joseph’s announced the effort in June 2017. The rest of the funding will come from St. Joseph’s own equity with no borrowing involved, Luke added.


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