Renovations unveiled at Cardiovascular Care Center

The Cardiovascular Care Center at Charlton Memorial Hospital has opened a newly constructed electrophysiology lab and a completely renovated cardiac catheterization lab for patients in need of both emergency and elective treatments, Southcoast Health officials announced during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

The catheterization (Cath) and electrophysiology (EP) labs have been upgraded with technology allowing for clearer diagnostic images, faster access to results, and potentially life-saving procedures, President & CEO Keith Hovan shared with attendees, among them Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan and State Representative Alan Silvia.

In June, LWDA Design and Columbia Construction completed extensive renovations on the labs, which include new ventilation systems, anesthesia infrastructure and the installation of state-of-the-art equipment allowing for the recording of electrical signals from patients’ hearts and the visualization of catheters and other implanted devices, officials said.

“Charlton Memorial is the region’s ‘Heart Hospital,’ an already nationally recognized destination, and this ambitious investment tells our community that we will continue expanding and strengthening options and offerings on behalf of patients as well as staff,” Hovan said. “After all, our technology and facilities are only as good as the people running them, and Southcoast’s nurses, cardiologists and care teams are truly at the top of their fields. These upgrades will take their standard of care to even higher levels – changing and saving lives for patients who deserve and expect the best.”

Southcoast is the leading cardiac catheterization and interventional center in the region, according to cases performed and “door to balloon time,” a critical metric that measures how quickly a vessel is opened in the setting of an acute heart attack. The Cardiovascular Care Center at Charlton Memorial has been recognized for this achievement in more than 95 percent of cases – outperforming 90 percent of American hospitals, said Dr. Peter Cohn, Physician-in-Chief of the Southcoast Cardiovascular Care Center.

In addition, Cohn said, electrophysiology is one of the fastest-growing subspecialties in cardiology, as atrial fibrillation (AFib) affects 37 million people every year. Southcoast leads the region in the number of AFib ablation cases performed annually.

“You can think of catheterization as the ‘plumbing’ and EP as the ‘electrical’ systems for your heart, and these advancements contribute to the comprehensive range of services at the Heart Hospital … reinforcing the fact that patients know they don’t have to go to Boston or Providence for world-class cardiovascular care, as they may have thought decades ago,” Cohn said. “Our goal with these renovations – with all improvements and recruitment in recent and future years – is straightforward: We are showing southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island that you will not find better providers and facilities anywhere in the world.”

Dr. Nosheen Javed, Southcoast’s Medical Director of Catheterization, agreed.

“It has been so important to think about what we needed to do in this community, and what tools we needed to take care of our own, and that’s what we did … since then, we’ve never looked back,” she said. “We knew we had to innovate and continually improve, and that’s what we believe in here at Southcoast. The leadership, the physicians, the nurses, the staff, our board, donors and neighbors. Everyone is committed to this ideal.”

The Southcoast Cardiovascular Care Center was recently selected to participate in two innovative clinical trials and research concerning the treatments of atrial fibrillation, and these new labs build on that international recognition, added Dr. Ramin Davoudi, Southcoast’s Medical Director of Electrophysiology.

“Participating in these technologies and trials allows our providers to offer the best cardiac care for our patients and solve for them many of the unanswered questions in medicine today,” he said. “Now, with the addition of these rooms, we have increased capacity to care for our community. We have in our armament the best technology available anywhere in the world to deal with these complex cardiac arrhythmias.”

To learn more about the Southcoast Cardiovascular Care Center, visit