Patient Portal

Hospital Launches Heart Center

May 25, 2010

Heywood Heart CenterHeywood Hospital in Gardner announced the creation of the Heywood Heart Center in collaboration with the UMass Memorial Health Care Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence at a press conference held on May 25, 2010. According to Hospital President and CEO Daniel P. Moen, new doctors, new technology and new services have been added at Heywood, greatly expanding cardiac services and access for residents throughout the north central Massachusetts region.

"We are pleased to partner with the renowned UMass Memorial Health Care Heart and Vascular Center in this endeavor," said Moen. "They are leaders in cardiac care, not only in this region, but across the state and the country."

Moen noted that UMass Memorial was named the number one hospital in Massachusetts and New England for surviving a heart attack according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and ranks among the top five hospitals nationwide for surviving a heart attack for a second year in a row. In addition, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has once again awarded its highest designation – three stars – to the cardiac surgery program at UMass Memorial Medical Center, ranking the hospital among the top 12 percent of heart surgery programs nationwide.

Robert Phillips, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Heart and Vascular Center and Senior Vice President of UMass Memorial Medical Center said that the collaboration with Heywood has deepened over the past year, and has already yielded benefits to patients from this region. “Our goal is to provide the highest possible quality of complex cardiology care and services, while working in partnership with our network of community hospitals to ensure seamless transitions and communication as well as outstanding cardiology care closer to home,” he said. “Our work with the team at Heywood is an excellent example of how to best achieve that goal,” he added.

Phillips noted that the collaborative efforts of the two facilities have resulted in improved transport times for patients needing emergency cardiac catheterization, better communication between UMass Memorial physicians and Heywood physicians, and the joint development of quality improvement efforts. In addition, cardiologists trained at UMass Memorial Medical Center are now joining the Heywood staff.

According to Moen, Heywood Hospital’s new Heart Center will be looking for a home on the Hospital campus, once the Hospital’s 72,000 square foot addition is completed in November. Currently, Heart Center services will be located in several areas in the Hospital and Medical Arts Building.

According to Dr. Michael Stauder, Cardiologist and Co-Chief of Medicine at Heywood, the Hospital has recently added new technology that is second-to-none for diagnosing blockages in the coronary arteries. “Our 64-slice CT scanner enables us to do testing non-invasively and painlessly for patients who are at risk of coronary disease,” he said.

Heywood Hospital Board member and patient James Garrison is a fan of the new technology. “The Cardiac CT at Heywood Hospital saved my life,” he said. After winning a free heart screening including the cardiac CT scan, Garrison says he was surprised to get a call from Dr. Stauder, informing him that the Cardiac Scan revealed life-threatening blockages in his arteries. Within days, he was at UMass Memorial having stents put in. “I can attest to the value of having technology like this in our community, and in having a system that makes it a smooth and fast transition to UMass Memorial for the more complex care,” said Garrison.

Another patient benefiting from the relationship between the two hospitals is Marcia Jalbert. She first came to Heywood’s cardiologist Robert Terlato, MD in 2004, presenting with symptoms of heart failure. Over the next year, she was treated at Heywood and referred to UMass Memorial’s Dr. Theo Meyer in the Heart Failure program. Eventually, she was referred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston and placed on the heart transplant list. She had a heart transplant on September 12, 2007 and continues to receive care from Dr. Terlato at Heywood. “I was not feeling well at all when all this started. I don’t think I would have even started this process if it were not for Dr. Terlato,” she said.

Jalbert says she was stunned by the diagnosis of heart failure. “My symptoms were not what I would have expected for heart problems,” she said. She noted that although the journey to a heart transplant is a difficult one, the transitions from one hospital to another were relatively smooth. “Dr. Terlato’s connection with UMass Memorial, and my transplant doctor’s connection with UMass Memorial and Tufts Medical Center made this journey a lot easier,” she said. “I received wonderful care at all three hospitals,” she added. “Today I am feeling so much better and have so much more energy.”

During the press conference, Stauder also introduced two new physicians who are joining the Heywood Heart Center team later this summer. Dr. Benjamin Prentiss will be providing general cardiology services and Dr. Kevin Floyd will be providing electrophysiology (EP) services for patients with heart rhythm abnormalities. Stauder and Prentiss will also perform cardiac catheterizations and other procedures at UMass Memorial, and Dr. Floyd will be performing procedures for diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders at both sites.

"I think it is comforting for our patients to know that for some types of advanced care needed at UMass Memorial, they will receive that care from Heywood cardiologists who travel to Worcester," he said.

Following the press conference, Prentiss and Floyd presented health information on heart disease and arrhythmias to members of the public and an expert panel of cardiologists from both facilities conducted a question and answer session. The event also included screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Contact: Lorie C. Martiska, Vice-President of Community Relations and Development, (978) 630-6338 or Lisa Lastella, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, (978) 630-5088 or Rob Brogna, Media Relations Manager at UMMHC (774) 317-0422