PCMH, ECU Dedicate the East Carolina Heart Institute
on: December 12, 2008, 5:22 am
Release Author: Dan Dunlop
Release Summary: Officials from East Carolina University and University
Health Systems of Eastern Carolina dedicated the East Carolina
Heart Institute today. The Heart Institute puts ECU and Pitt County
Memorial Hospital “at the forefront of progress and the
cutting edge of the future,” said Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood,
director of the East Carolina Heart Institute.
Release Body: GREENVILLE, N.C. – Officials from East
Carolina University and University Health Systems
of Eastern Carolina dedicated the East Carolina
Heart Institute today. Several hundred invited guests
joined leaders from the two organizations to celebrate the facility.
The Heart Institute puts ECU and Pitt County Memorial
Hospital “at the forefront of progress and
the cutting edge of the future,” said Dr. W.
Randolph Chitwood, director of the East Carolina Heart Institute.
we dedicate today is a concept called the East Carolina Heart
Institute that encompasses these new facilities, dedicated to
the people of this region, and to the physicians, researchers,
educators and staff devoted to their care,” said Chitwood,
who is cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery at the Brody
School of Medicine at ECU. He is also senior associate vice chancellor
for health sciences at ECU.
dedication ceremony, held at the East Carolina Heart Institute
at ECU, capped more than four years
of work to bring a world-class cardiovascular disease institute
to eastern North Carolina. In 2004, the General Assembly approved
$60 million for a research, education and outpatient care facility
at ECU. Pitt County Memorial Hospital
secured private funding for a $160 million bed tower. Today, leaders
from the two organizations celebrated the end of construction
on both facilities.
who attended the ceremony also toured the two facilities after
the event ended. The crowd included local and state officials,
donors and other friends of each organization.
The celebration marked “the most significant collaboration
University Health Systems and East Carolina University have ever
undertaken,” said UHS CEO Dave McRae.
“It’s the biggest step of a journey we started
more than 30 years ago, when a small county hospital and a fledgling
medical school committed to forming the world-class academic medical
center we’re part of today,” McRae said.
and PCMH have been “joined at the hip”
for decades, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said.
“The East Carolina Heart Institute is the latest partnership
between us, and it will make a major and lasting impact in eastern
North Carolina, the entire state and beyond,” Ballard
new buildings aren't the only sign of a new approach to heart
disease for ECU and PCMH. The
two organizations have also redefined their model for treating
cardiovascular illnesses. Both have organized their clinical staffs
around illnesses and disease processes, rather than following
a traditional model based on academic specialties. That new model
encourages more information-sharing among doctors and puts new
emphasis on patients' best interests, Chitwood said. “This
new model of care delivery is an innovative way to blend the science
and art of medicine so that we add value to the patient,”
prevalence of cardiovascular disease in North Carolina justifies
the massive investment in treating and researching heart and vascular
illnesses. Cardiovascular disease is the second-leading cause
of death in the state, and nearly a quarter of N.C. residents
suffer from cardiovascular ailments.
for the East Carolina Heart Institute dates to
early 2003. ECU and PCMH held
a groundbreaking for the Heart Institute in March 2006. In addition
to the six-story 375,000-square-foot bed tower, the Heart
Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital spawned a
pair of companion projects: construction of a massive central
utility plant to power the new building and the relocation of
Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital has
120 cardiovascular beds, six operating rooms, seven interventional
laboratories, three electrophysiology labs and a heart-healthy
cafeteria, all designed to create the optimal patient care environment.
four-story, 206,000-square-foot East Carolina Heart Institute
at ECU houses science and clinical research, robotic-surgery
training, future space for simulation laboratories, a clinical
outpatient facility for cardiovascular diseases, a database center,
offices and an auditorium.
Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital will open Jan.
5. ECU physicians have been seeing patients at the East
Carolina Heart Institute at ECU since September. For more information
please visit www.eastcarolinaheartinstitute.com
Details: Contact: Jimmy Ryals, UHS Public Relations
Boyd, ECU News Office