MORENO VALLEY, Ca.—Riverside University Health System—Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art cath lab this week in a move that hospital officials say will expand services for heart and neurovascular patients in the region.
“Our patients previously had to go to other hospitals for advanced procedures,” said Dr. Rajogopal Krishnan, chief of cardiology at RUHS Medical Center. “We are grateful to have the ability to offer a higher level of care to our patients and community. This is a dream come true for our patients and our team.”
The fully integrated $4.3 million GE lab includes imaging equipment to visualize the heart and other cerebrovascular structures, and a special system to monitor blood flow throughout the body. Cath Lab Director Reuben Butler said the team that will be assisting doctors in the cath lab has combined experience of more than 50 years.”
“Our patients are in good hands,” Butler said.
Having a cath lab opens the door for RUHS—Medical Center to become a receiving center for patients experiencing one of the deadliest forms of heart attack, an ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI). Butler said patients experiencing a STEMI require rapid intervention. Currently, ambulances transporting STEMI patients bypass the 439-bed medical center in Moreno Valley in favor of hospitals more miles and minutes away that can provide STEMI intervention.
RUHS Chair of Neurosurgery and founder of one of the Neurosurgery Residency Program, Dr. Javed Siddiqi, said the advanced level of care being offered at the 125-year-old public teaching hospital is good news for patients and his neurosurgery residents, who spend 7 years training in their specialty
“High-end stroke and cardiac care is a community service. Adding the new cath lab is the first step towards RUHS self-sufficiency in neuro-endovascular care, a requirement for a future Comprehensive Stroke Center designation,” Siddiqi said. “Improving access to acute stroke and cardiac care is an important public health measure and the whole community stands to benefit.”
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors in 2015 approved $4.3 million to help fund the cath lab as part of a larger spending package that included a da Vinci surgical robot, and new CT and MRI scanners to replace broken-down, obsolete diagnostic machines. Residential home builder KB Home Inland Empire division contributed $1.1 million to the projects with funding raised by the annual KB Home Golf Classic, heading into its thirteenth year this spring. The tournament benefits RUHS Foundation, which raises support for lifesaving programs and equipment at RUHS Medical Center.
“We are proud to support the RUHS Foundation as it works to expand healthcare access in the Inland Empire, said John Fenn, president of KB Home’s Inland Empire division. “KB Home is in the business of building communities, so we recognize the importance of organizations like the RUHS Foundation in contributing to the health and vitality of our neighborhoods and residents.”