Southcoast Health breaks ground on Harold and Virginia Lash Heart and Vascular Center at Charlton Memorial Hospital

FALL RIVER, Mass. – Southcoast Health today announced it has broken ground on the Harold and Virginia Lash Heart and Vascular Center at Charlton Memorial Hospital. The new venue will house Southcoast Health’s expanding Cardiovascular Services, including a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room.

“Over the years, Southcoast Health has transformed itself from a system of community hospitals serving the basic needs of its patients to a front-line provider of some of the most innovative medicine available,” said Keith Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health. “Today, the reasons to look beyond Southcoast Health for even the most sophisticated of treatments are few and diminishing.”

The hybrid OR is a cardiovascular surgical theatre equipped with advanced medical imaging devices to enable minimally-invasive surgery while bringing together doctors of different disciplines in the same operating room. The hybrid OR will support Southcoast Health’s structural heart procedures, vascular surgery and endovascular medicine.

This operating room of the future allows Southcoast Health to combine in one space several existing cardiovascular interventions currently performed as individual operations. Combining procedures is a less invasive technique than would be involved with separate surgeries, and studies suggest that less surgical staging and anesthesia reduces recovery time and inpatient lengths of stay.

“With this hybrid OR, we’ll be able to offer minimally invasive therapies rather than open surgical procedures, and our ability to offer unique therapies to treat individual patient problems will be expanded with this new venue,” said Adam Saltzman, MD, Medical Director of the Structural Heart Program. “We have already brought together specialists from different areas to help in the assessment of patients with complex cardiovascular disease, now we can collaboratively execute the optimal plan for care in a world-class space.”

Studies also suggest that the hybrid OR will increase patient satisfaction and reduce overall costs. This cost reduction will be achieved by reducing length of stay, ICU usage and surgical infections. The dual achievements of reduced inpatient stays and fewer surgeries increases patient satisfaction.

This project brings to Southeastern Massachusetts the latest high-quality, state-of-the-art technology in cardiovascular services. According to an article in the March 2014 issue of the American Heart Association’s magazine, Hospitals & Health Networks, by 2018 approximately 75 percent of cardiovascular surgeons expect to be working in a new and advanced surgical suite like this hybrid OR.

This new operating room will be used exclusively for inpatients and is designed for a range of cardiovascular procedure applications, including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) technology. TAVR is a highly-specialized valve replacement surgery that eliminates the need for open-heart surgery and gives new hope and relief from pain to high-risk patients with heart valve disease. Due to the complexity of these inpatient cases, Southcoast anticipates 40 to 50 TAVR and 124 open complex vascular surgical cases in 2015.

The Harold and Virginia Lash Heart and Vascular Center will cost approximately $9.5 million to complete. The construction was made possible in large part by a donation from the Harold and Virginia Lash Trust and other major commitments from the Auxiliary of Charlton Memorial Hospital and the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust.

The multi-level, 6,700 square foot center was designed by JACA Architects and is being built by Timberline Construction Corporation. It is expected to open to its first patient in the Fall of 2015.