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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Expanding Cardiac Care Access and Services in the Hudson Valley

Posted By: Advancing Care

WMCHealth broadens cardiac care across the region with new technology, facilities and expanded services.

By Lisa Cesarano

At Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), advanced cardiovascular care is available from birth and through every stage of life
The care and services the Network provides is broad and growing, with increased local access across the region.

“We offer residents across the Hudson Valley convenience, seamless continuity of care and an excellent overall patient experience,” says Julio Panza, MD, Director of Cardiology across the Network and Director of the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute.

Expanded Services in the Mid-Hudson Valley

At HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway, in Kingston, a member of WMCHealth, two new programs will bring a higher level of cardiac care to Ulster County. These are minimally invasive percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), a nonsurgical procedure that improves blood flow to the heart; and electrophysiology (EP), which tests for abnormal rhythms of the heart, such as arrhythmias. EP testing can help physicians decide the best treatment option for patients, including medication, pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, cardiac ablation or surgery.

“Pending final state approval, we look forward to bringing these cardiac care advancements to this community,” says Dr. Panza.

“Our new PCI lab will enable us to provide an essential cardiac service to treat patients suffering from a heart attack or blocked arteries, right here in Kingston, rather than having to be transferred to another hospital,” says Health Alliance Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab Director Falak Shah, MD. “Likewise, many patients with heart arrhythmias will no longer have to leave the community.”

“These expanded services in Kingston will strengthen our existing range of services,” says Ellis Lader, MD, Director of the Cardiology Division in Kingston. “I have been practicing in Kingston since 1983, and I look forward to the positive impact these enhancements will have on the community.”

Complex patient situations that require open bypass surgery and advanced heart failure management will be transferred seamlessly to other WMCHealth hospitals, including Good Samaritan Hospital, in Suffern, or Westchester Medical Center, in Valhalla.

Additional WMCHealth Cardiac Program Enhancements
MidHudson Regional Hospital, in Poughkeepsie, a member of WMCHealth, will reopen the Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization Lab. In a cath lab, physicians run tests and perform procedures to evaluate how well a patient’s heart is working and determine if they have heart disease. Symptoms that might require a visit to a cath lab are chest pain, dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath; also, some of these same symptoms may warn of a potential heart attack.

In Suffern, Good Samaritan Hospital, now offers transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). In this minimally invasive procedure, surgeons make a small incision in the groin, then guide a catheter with a replacement valve into the aorta. The new valve is positioned into the narrowed area before being expanded to widen the opening and optimize blood flow. (For more information, see page 14.)

A Growing Roster of Talent

The expanded services are supported by the addition of new board-certified cardiology talent.

Interventional Cardiologists Louis Heller, MD, Niki Kantrowitz, MD and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Director Falak Shah, MD, as well as Electrophysiologist Rhadames Rojas, MD, have joined Noninvasive Cardiologists Dr. Lader and Anetta Dimova, MD, at the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute, in Kingston.

Gunjan Shukla, MD, a Cardiac Electrophysiologist, and John Zimmerman, MD, Director of the Department of Electrophysiology, have joined the team at Good Samaritan Hospital.

And at MidHudson Regional Hospital, Lovely Chhabra, MBBS, has joined as the Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Services, while Waseem Chaudhry, MD, has joined the team, to focus on preventive care.

“This is a group of extremely talented, experienced physicians, who are committed to safeguarding the cardiovascular health of patients across the region,” notes Dr. Panza.

WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute Locations

You can access WMCHealth cardiovascular services at nine practice offices across the Hudson Valley, plus all our hospitals and emergency departments.

Office locations

1) Valhalla
Ambulatory Care Pavilion
Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595

2) Suffern
Good Samaritan Hospital
Bon Secours Medical Group
257 Lafayette Avenue, Suite 330
Suffern, NY 10901

3) Poughkeepsie
MidHudson Regional
Hospital Practice
1 Webster Avenue
Suite 202
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

4) Kingston
HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Ave Campus
111 Mary’s Ave, Ste 3
Kingston, NY 12401

5) Long Island
877 Stewart Avenue, Suite 12
Garden City, NY 11530

6) Mamaroneck
689 Mamaroneck Avenue
Second Floor
Mamaroneck, NY 10543

7) Carmel
672 Stoneleigh Avenue
Suite C-118
Carmel, NY 10512

8) New Windsor
575 Hudson Valley Avenue
Suite 200
New Windsor, NY 12553

9) New Paltz
279 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561

During the WMCHealth Stronger Together Benefit, Brenda and John Fareri pledged to contribute $1 million to the Westchester Medical Center Foundation to endow the Michael H. Gewitz, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology position at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of WMCHealth. The Fareri family has issued a challenge to other donors in order to drive the value of the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology endowment to $2 million and beyond. To contribute to the endowment or learn more about the Fareri Family Challenge please call 914.493.2504.

For more information about the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute, please visit or call 1.866.962.4327 to make an appointment.

To make an appointment at Good Samaritan Hospital call 845.368.5620 or visit for more information.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department.