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Date Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

HealthAlliance Opens Ulster County’s Only Advanced Service Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Now Available in Kingston: Emergent and Preventive Care for Blocked Arteries and Irregular Heartbeats

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (July 12, 2021) – Fulfilling a promise to deliver more advanced services to Ulster County and surrounding areas, WMCHealth today announced the opening of a new cardiac catheterization laboratory at HealthAlliance Hospital on Broadway in Kingston. The new laboratory offers emergent and preventative solutions for blocked arteries, irregular heartbeats and coronary heart disease, services never before available in Ulster County. The service operates under the direction of WMCHealth’s comprehensive Heart and Vascular Institute and for many community members Ulster County’s only cardiac catheterization laboratory at HealthAlliance Hospital is now the closest option for emergent and diagnostic heart care.

Advanced Cardiac Services, Close to Home

The new HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory offers percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and electrophysiology programs. Interventional cardiologists use PCI to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries (angioplasty), manifestations of coronary artery disease that can lead to heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions. In addition, cardiologists utilize PCI to relieve symptoms of coronary heart disease and reduce damage to the heart during or after a heart attack*. 

Electrophysiology is a rapidly growing subspecialty within cardiology used to diagnose and treat a full spectrum of heart arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats caused by abnormalities in the heart’s electrical system. Electrophysiology testing also can help physicians decide the best treatment options for an individual, including medication, pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, cardiac ablation or surgery.

“Our new cardiac catheterization laboratory enables us to provide an essential cardiac service to people suffering from a heart attack or blocked arteries right here in Kingston,” said HealthAlliance Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Director Falak Shah, MD, who joined HealthAlliance Hospital to provide care and guide the program.  “Likewise, those with heart arrhythmias may not have to leave the community for treatment.”

WMCHealth physicians have already performed several successful procedures in the HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory, including an intervention that aided Kingston’s April Simpson, 49. Simpson checked in to the HealthAlliance Hospital emergency department with chest pains after a pick-up baseball game, and was diagnosed with reduced blood flow to her heart (unstable angina) due to coronary artery disease.  HealthAlliance cardiologists increased Simpson’s blood flow via a cardiac catheterization procedure, and she is now home, feeling better and eager to play baseball again.

“I have been practicing in Kingston since 1983 and know how important it is to have this level of service right here in Ulster County,” said Ellis Lader, MD, Director of the Cardiology Division at HealthAlliance. “Minutes matter when it comes to caring for heart attacks and transferring a patient out of the immediate area for treatment could impact the outcome.  This is a big win for our community.” 

Those experiencing signs of cardiac distress should call 911 or visit their nearest emergency department immediately. Referring physicians or those seeking a non-emergency consultation from a WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute specialist should call 866-WMCHeart (866.962.4327).

 

Commitment to Bring Enhanced Services to Ulster County

The launch of PCI and electrophysiology services at HealthAlliance Hospital is a component of WMCHealth’s continuing plan to bring physicians and services to Ulster County.  In addition to Dr. Shah and non-invasive cardiologist Aneta Dimova, MD, newly recruited interventional cardiologists Louis Heller, MD and Niki Kantrowitz, MD, are caring for patients at HealthAlliance Hospital, along with Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Sei Iwai, MD and cardiac electrophysiologist Rhadames Rojas, MD. HealthAlliance has also added positions in nursing and other specialties for the launch of its cardiac catheterization laboratory services.

“The need for a cardiac catheterization laboratory in Ulster County has been discussed for quite some time and through the hard work and dedication of so many within HealthAlliance and WMCHealth, we are thrilled to offer these services to local residents,” said Michael D. Israel, President and CEO, WMCHealth.  “The opening of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at HealthAlliance Hospital is another example of our commitment to invest in the community by bringing more advanced services to Ulster County.  We are doing so through the onboarding of physicians in a wider variety of specialties, the acquisition and deployment of new technologies, the launch of services such as the cardiac catheterization program and the revitalization of HealthAlliance Hospital on Mary’s Avenue into a state-of-art center of healthcare.”

Currently, WMCHealth and HealthAlliance are undertaking a $92.9 million expansion and modernization of HealthAlliance Hospital on Mary’s Avenue in Kingston.

The HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue project is on schedule for completion in 2022 and will be the new home for HealthAlliance Hospital’s cardiology services including the PCI and electrophysiology programs, which will relocate to HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue when construction is complete.

 

Heart Care Supported by a Health Network

HealthAlliance Hospital is a member of WMCHealth. While most patients treated at HealthAlliance Hospital will stay within the community for care, patients in need of more complex cardiac interventions can be transferred to other WMCHealth cardiac centers including Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Transfers are seamless with physicians collaborating on patient care under the banner of the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute. The WMCHealth Physicians provider practice has offices throughout the Hudson Valley and within a short driving distance for many in the region.

About HealthAlliance, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network

HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley operates a 315-hospital bed healthcare system comprising HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus and HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus in Kingston, New York, and Margaretville Hospital in Margaretville, New York. It also operates Mountainside Residential Care Center, an 82-bed facility in Margaretville. For more information visit HAHV.org or follow Facebook.com/HealthAllianceHV or Twitter.com/HAllianceHudVal.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1, Level 2 and Pediatric Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State, today WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth at Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.

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Press representatives interested in interviews with WMCHealth representatives regarding the opening of the HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory can contact us at any time. Interviews with HealthAlliance Hospital cardiac catheterization laboratory patients may also be arranged.


*According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute


From L-R: Karen Hopkins; Leroy Price, RN; Sei Iwai, MD; Falak Shah, MD; Erik Grazier, RN