Standing in the new cardiac operating room at Emanuel Medical Center, Dr. Noel Conception calls the $7.1 million dollar suite “a field of dreams.”
“Now that they’ve built it, the patients will start coming,” Conception said.
EMC’s unveiling of the new Justin Ferrari Cardiovascular Operating Suites will usher in waves of new procedures, techniques and possibilities that will change the type of cardiac care in Turlock.
“This is a big change for us,” said Dr. Randy Jenks, director of cardiovascular services at EMC. “This means we’ll have expanded care and new procedures will be performed here.”
The suites feature a dedicated cardiac operating room with the newest medical innovations in sterilization, patient-monitoring, and lighting that, among its other features, can sense when someone leans over the table and adjusts the lights so that no shadow is cast. All the display monitors and other equipment are suspended from the ceiling on adjustable arms so a surgical team can position them for optimal use.
“These operating suites have features that you usually would have to go to a teaching hospital to see, not a community hospital like here,” said Director of Perioperative Services Ron Evangelista. “This exceeds the expectations of any operating room.”
The second part of the suite is a hybrid cardiac care room that combines a cauterization and interventional lab with an operating room. The hybrid cardiac suite allows for new treatment options and doubles the hospital’s ability to treat emergency cases. For example, if a patient comes in to have a stent put in and while the procedure is being done the doctor determines open heart surgery is an immediate necessity, the patient doesn’t have to be moved to another area. The surgery can be performed right there.
“It’s a great setting for high-risk patients,” Jenks said.
The hybrid operating suite will also be used to treat patients with spinal compression fractures that are treated with vertebroplasty — a procedure that injects bone cement into a patient’s damaged spinal disks. Because the procedure involves a fair amount of pain, patients can now opt to be put under anesthesia and have if performed in the hybrid suite.
The cardiac suites are expected to open in February after the licensing process is finished. Once open, they will complete a larger project EMC embarked on in 2010 to ensure Turlock had access to a comprehensive cardiac care program. Since that time the hospital has opened a cardiac cath and interventional lab, enabling it to become a heart attack receiving center and accredited chest pain center. The hospital also converted an operating room and started performing heart bypass surgeries and valve repairs.
The Justin Ferrari Cardiovascular Operating Suites were named in memory of the Turlock native who showed an enthusiasm for outdoor and physical activities. Ferrari was living in Seattle with his wife and two children and working as a software engineer when he was killed by a stray bullet fired by a gang member. His parents, John and Jeani Ferrari were major donors to the EMC cardiac project and were given the honor of naming the new facility.