UNMH Opens New Cardiac Catheterization Center

On May 11, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich joined UNM Hospital officials for the grand opening of the new UNM Cardiac Catheterization Center, located in UNM Hospital. The opening represents an important step in the expansion of the UNM service mission to provide outstanding cardiovascular care to patients.

“The new UNM Cardiac Catheterization Center represents the end-result of many individuals’ vision for modern, efficient and expert delivery of cardiovascular care to the citizens of New Mexico. The new facility, along with additional developments in the cardiovascular imaging program at UNM, will provide the most advanced cardiovascular imaging facilities in the state”, said Warren K. Laskey, M.D., Robert S. Flinn professor of Medicine and chief, Division of Cardiology and UNM HSC Heart and Vascular Center.

“These new facilities will provide for the capability to provide truly front-line cardiovascular care,” said Mark J. Ricciardi, MD, associate professor of Medicine and medical director, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories. He added that progress in the non-surgical correction of congenital heart defects and the treatment of life –threatening disorders of the heart’s electrical system at New Mexico’s only academic health sciences center, is now possible thanks to the high quality imaging and advanced technologies in the new labs.

“We believe these developments will become an important aspect of cardiac care to the growing population of New Mexico,” said Ricciardi.

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions – or PCIs - are invasive stent procedures that interventional cardiologists perform in catheterization laboratories to open clogged arteries.

Even before the opening of the new Center, UNM Hospital’s aggressive, inter-disciplinary approach to a patient arriving in the emergency room with a possible heart attack has resulted in national recognition. According to www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/, a quality tool provided by CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 98 percent of the heart patients arriving in UNM Hospital ER in need of such procedures receive them within 90 minutes, far surpassing the 73 percent average for all reporting hospitals in the US and the 65 percent average for reporting hospitals in New Mexico. I

n fact, the most recent data rank UNM the best in New Mexico for so-called “door-to-balloon” times and top 5% in the country.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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