Tuesday, April 05, 2016

TOP STORY >> Hospital opens new units

Leader staff writer

North Metro Medical Center will hold a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. today and an open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its new cardiovascular center. The public can also tour the cardiac catheterization lab and the remodeled sleep lab.

The Jacksonville hospital opened the vascular center last month. The center offers exams and procedures used to diagnose and treat heart conditions.

The vascular center’s physician is Dr. Sadeem Mahmood, and Sarah Brown, Ph.D., is its nurse practitioner.

Mahmood practices at North Metro, St. Vincent’s Infirmary and the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock and the Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.

The cardiovascular center does heart assessments with stress tests and ultrasounds. The clinic monitors the electrical activity of the heart and provides treatments for abnormal heath rhythms.

Doctors can determine if a heart is skipping beats or pausing with a patient complaining of chest pain.

The center can also treat medical conditions related to veins.

North Metro Medical Center has remodeled its sleep center. The lab is used to monitor and diagnose patients with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to circulatory problems such as an enlarged heart.

North Metro Medical Center has also added a cardiac catheterization lab. The cath lab allows doctors to insert a thin hollow tube into an artery in the wrist or the groin and go to the heart. A dye is then released allowing physicians to see how the heart is working and to look for blocked arteries with live X-ray images on a computer.

Stents and pacemakers can be installed at the cath lab.

Chief nursing officer Annalee Haley said the cardiovascular center provides diagnostic services for early intervention and prevention of major cardiovascular events.

“In our community, we have a high incidence rate of diabetes and heart problems. Patients shouldn’t have to travel to Little Rock for definitive care,” Haley said.

North Metro Medical Center CEO Michael Randle said there are additional plans in the works at the hospital.

Randle said the hospital is moving acute-care services to the newly remodeled wing on the second floor by the end of June. It will have additional 13 beds for a total of 40 beds.

“We brought on a new surgeon and are looking to open a gastrointestinal lab and wound healing center,” Randle said.

Randle said North Metro is considering opening a primary care clinic staffed with two physicians.

“We are looking to expand services and are actively recruiting new physicians,” Randle said.

He said another new physician is a doctor who specializes in renal care and treatment of kidney diseases.