Construction is to begin this month on a $17 million facility at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville‘s Heart Hospital that will house a team specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.
Baptist Heart Hospital, Northeast Florida’s only freestanding hospital for heart and vascular care, offers the region’s “most advanced and comprehensive” program in cardiac electrophysiology, or EP, a subspecialty of cardiology that focuses on the heart’s electrical activity, according to the health system.
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The Heart Rhythm Center “will offer patients a one-stop destination for EP procedures including catheter-based ablations and implanting defibrillators, pacemakers and other devices,” said Dr. Matthew McKillop, clinical cardiac electrophysiologist and medical director of the electrophysiology program. “All pre-operative, procedure and post-operative care, including overnight stays if needed, will be performed in this state-of-the-art center and will allow patients to stay in this community for the care they need.”
Scheduled for completion in January 2023, the 14,400-square-foot center will include three cardiac electrophysiology labs, staff stations, support spaces, 10 patient rooms and a family lounge.
“Heart rhythm problems can be life-limiting or life-ending, so … treatment is important,” said Michael Mayo, president/CEO of Baptist Health, Baptist Jacksonville’s parent.
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Other factors are population growth in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia and new technology to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities, Baptist Jacksonville President Nicole Thomas said.
“Thanks to the expert teams and physicians, the Heart Hospital … is the epicenter of the highest quality cardiac care in the region,” she said. “Adding an EP center will help meet our growing community needs.”
Baptist Jacksonville and its Heart Hospital are on the city’s Southbank. The new center will be built on the second floor of the Heart Hospital’s north wing, in space formerly used for outpatient and cardiac rehabilitation.
The Heart Hospital has about 500 staff members and physicians who have specialized training in inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular and thoracic care, according to Baptist Health. Additional staff members being recruited for the center include registered nurses, cardiac electrophysiology technicians and certified nursing assistants.
Baptist Health is expanding on multiple fronts.
Also at the downtown campus, the $224 million, seven-story Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower/Baptist Jacksonville Entry Building is about 86 percent complete. The project will connect all areas of Wolfson and adjacent Baptist Jacksonville.
In Clay County, the final beam was recently installed on top of the $215 million, 6-story Baptist Medical Center Clay, a full-service hospital to open in fall 2022.
Being built on the existing Baptist Clay campus that opened in 2013, the facility will offer local residents a full array of hospital-based medical and surgical services.
“Clay County residents tell us they need more hospital-based health care services close to where they live and work,” Darin Roark, hospital president of Baptist Clay, said. “Having a full-service hospital nearby will eliminate the need for travel, while providing the medical expertise that Baptist Health is known for.”
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