Valdosta Daily Times

August 24, 2013

A place with heart

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Every day, on average, there are eight patients who have cardiac catheterizations, stents, pacemakers or open-heart surgery at South Georgia Medical Center. Many more are tested for heart problems.

In all, more than 3,000 procedures were performed in 2012 at the Dasher Memorial Heart Center, and the number keeps growing each year. Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the U.S. and the likelihood of dying of heart disease is far higher in the South than in other regions of the country.

Early intervention is key to survival, as is having facilities, physicians and staff dedicated to the treatment of the disease. SGMC has made great strides in its heart program through the years, but with the opening today of the new Dasher Memorial Heart Center and Patient Tower, these services are greatly enhanced and expanded.

The new center and tower will allow SGMC to better care for patients with the latest and newest technology available. The hospital hasn’t built new patient rooms for 30 years, since the North Tower’s completion in the mid-1980s, and although many areas of the hospital have been refurbished through the years, the lack of private patient rooms and space has been a hindrance in meeting the community’s needs.

Today the public can view the heart center and patient tower at SGMC from 2 to 4 p.m. Once patients begin moving in later this week, many areas of the new facility will be closed to the public for patient safety, so today may be the only opportunity to view the entire building.