New cath labs

The Memorial Medical Center Foundation, who is the fundraising arm for Long Beach Medical Center, received a generous, anonymous donation of $1.5 million to renovate the catheterization (cath) labs in the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute.

“We are so grateful to this member of our community for providing us with the funds to renovate the cath labs, which will provide life-saving care for children and adults through Long Beach and beyond,” says Sharon Thornton, president, Memorial Medical Center Foundation. “With the right equipment, our team is able to address the unique needs of each patient to ensure a smooth recovery.”

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center includes a suite of five cardiac cath labs, which are examination rooms with diagnostic imaging equipment and interventional capabilities to visualize the chambers and great vessels of the heart and treat various cardiac abnormalities.

Over the past 20 years, the cath labs have received new software and equipment, but the cameras have remained the same. Three years ago, Long Beach Medical Center converted its largest cath lab into a hybrid imaging suite, which combines the diagnostic capabilities of a cath lab with the technology of an operating room. This hybrid model allows the team to perform both cardiac catheterizations and surgical procedures at the same time and avoid multiple procedures.

This generous gift will help Long Beach Medical Center renovate the remaining four cath labs into state-of-the-art cath suites. “We have seen tremendous improvements in patient outcomes through the implementation of our first hybrid imaging suite,” says Serge Tobias, M.D., medical director, Electrophysiology, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “We want to expand our capabilities throughout our entire suite of cath labs.”

Since Long Beach Medical Center shares a campus with MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, this generous gift will help patients of the Children’s Heart Institute at Miller Children’s & Women’s. The second completely renovated cath lab will offer state-of-the-art technology to view the heart in multiple planes simultaneously, which is particularly helpful when performing procedures on children.

“The advanced technology and imaging capability of the new cath lab, will provide us the ability to better visualize the heart and create a 3-D image. This will greatly enhance our ability for interventions on children using balloons, stents and specialized catheters to correct congenital or acquired heart defects,” says Saar Danon, M.D., Medical Director, Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Cardiac Catheterization, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “We will even be able to replace heart valves using this minimally invasive technique.”

The Memorial Medical Center Foundation has served the philanthropic needs of Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s for more than 50 years raising between $7-15 million annually. The 501(c)(3) is led by a 26 member fundraising Board of Directors.