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Mount Nittany Medical Center is expanding. Here’s what’s being built.

Hospital employees, financial donors and members of the community watch the final steel beam in the construction of the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center be placed during a ceremony on Friday, August 10, 2018.
Hospital employees, financial donors and members of the community watch the final steel beam in the construction of the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center be placed during a ceremony on Friday, August 10, 2018. adrey@centredaily.com

Mount Nittany Health announced Friday a new 26,000-square-foot cardiovascular pavilion will open at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Slated to open in fall 2019, the cardiovascular pavilion, which is being constructed above the hospital’s emergency department, will include two labs that can be used for both cardiovascular and electrophysiology procedures. Additionally, it will have an electrocardiogram exam room; four echocardiography/stress test exam rooms; and eight prep/recovery bays.

The community has donated more than $3.5 million for the cardiovascular pavilion.

Donors and employees had the opportunity at a Friday morning ceremony to sign that last steel beam being placed to complete the pavilion’s infrastructure.

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Andy Charney signs his name on the final steel beam for the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center before it was raised and placed during a ceremony on Friday, August 10, 2018. Andy Charney and his wife Marilyn were financial donors for the new center. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

“Our new cardiovascular center will allow us to provide advanced, life-changing care for patients in our six-county region and beyond,” Dr. Christopher Kocher said. “It will allow us to take full advantage of the skills, expertise and talent, not only of our cardiologists, but of our dedicated cardiovascular personnel. Here at Mount Nittany, we take great pride in providing top-quality care and we’re looking forward to meeting the growing needs for cardiovascular services in central Pennsylvania over the years to come.”

The construction is a visible reflection of the reputation for clinical excellence that the cardiovascular team has, Mount Nittany Health CEO and President Kathleen Rhine said.

That reputation made it necessary that the space be expanded so the hospital can “meet the needs of the growing number of people that trust us with their hearts,” she said.

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Interior rendering of the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center. JPT Architects, P.C.

The cardiovascular team is made up of staff, nurses, technicians, physicians and cardiologists from Mount Nittany Physician Group, Geisinger and Penn State Health. According to a press release, Mount Nittany Health opened Centre County’s first and only cardiac catheterization lab in 2000, and the system added interventional services and stents just more than a decade ago.

“It’s an immense privilege to be able to care for these folks,” said Dr. Albert Zoda, medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab at the medical center.

The team has responded to more than 900 “heart alerts” (cardiac emergencies), Rhine said, and every year, they perform more than 6,600 tests and procedures.

“While the space is important, it’s the team that saves lives,” Rhine said.

Hospital staff, financial donors and construction workers gathered to watch the final steel beam be lifted and put into place for the new cardiovascular pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

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