“Why not have the best?” he said. “ We have cutting-edge care.”
The BHCI has a staff of about 100 people and budget of $25 million to $35 million, McNulty said, but as part of the larger Bassett Healthcare Network, some services and expenses are shared.
Before the BHCI opened, patients didn’t have access to heart care or had to travel to a facility more than an hour outside the area, the physicians said, but now emergency crews may take patients to Bassett.
The Heart Alert program was created when Bassett provided area emergency squads with EKG machines and training to enable squads to immediately test patients they suspect are having a heart attack, a media release said. Squad members then can phone ahead to have the Bassett Cardiac Catheterization Lab ready for the patient. Upon arrival, patients can be taken directly to the lab, which speeds the process of getting a blocked vessel opened and saving heart muscle.
Today, Bassett has about 100 “heart alerts” a year. The BHCI Heart Alert program was among earlier programs of its type to be introduced in the state and is among the most important advances in the region, Lancey said.
“It is the gold standard now in heart care,” Lancey, chief of the BHCI cardiac division, said in a prepared statement.
Morgan described to the audience Wednesday how, as a Bassett patient, he benefited from life-saving heart treatment, including bypass surgery, during the past 12 years. He supports the BHCI not only because it is among the best providers in the country but also because the center is small enough that physicians know their patients and are able to work in an environment that fosters creative thinking.
The BHCI program also offers advanced electrophysiology services, the release said, and surgery to bypass coronary arteries, correct arrhythmias and repair and replace faulty heart valves, plus availability of ventricular assist devices to save failing hearts.
The BHCI has cardiac rehabilitation programs at Bassett facilities in Cooperstown, Herkimer and at FoxCare in Oneonta, and there are outpatient cardiology clinics at sites throughout Bassett’s eight-county coverage area.
“We’re dedicated to taking care of people,” Lancey told the audience Wednesday.