Friday, October 15, 2021

The Inside Scoop on Physicians Regional’s Upcoming Open Heart Surgery Services

To Your Health

Unless you’re a fan of HGTV, it’s uncommon to see adult men and women haphazardly hammering holes in a perfectly good wall—especially in a hospital. However, surrounded by a very special group of my Physicians Regional Healthcare System colleagues and other devoted community members, I recently did just that. And yes, it WAS fun.

This symbolic gesture marked the official kick-off of a multi-million dollar expansion project at our Pine Ridge Campus. When complete, the renovated space will house our new, open heart surgery services.

For example, patients currently seeking open heart surgery have to travel to the other side of the county or north to Lee County. Once this project is complete, that will no longer be the case.

In the last year, Physicians Regional has become “home base” to over 20 area cardiologists—including those on staff at Physicians Regional as well as community doctors who choose to practice within our walls. This expansion is also a reflection of the popular saying: “Give the people what they want.” It was this same group of highly-skilled cardiologists who urged us to take this vital next step in cardiac care.

With a tip of the hat to the movie “Field of Dreams,” the popular belief continues to be: “If you build it, they will come.” Well, the doctors have already come, so the patients are certain to follow—and as they do, they deserve the very best we have to offer.

The open heart surgery expansion will take 12-18 months to complete. It will include 16,465 square feet and feature two OR suites, three new cardiac cath labs, five ICU beds, and 15 pre/post-op bays.

This also presents an opportunity for many within our organization to grow and expand their resumes. Plus, we expect to hire an additional 30+ full-time employees to provide direct care and overall support. There will be a minimum of two surgeons on the medical staff as part of the team.

Understandably, caring for the heart has been our focus for quite some time. We currently operate a multi-disciplinary center, where we perform a multitude of procedures ranging from coronary angiographies and interventions, electrophysiology studies, peripheral vascular stenting and cardiac rhythm device management amongst others.

Physicians Regional Healthcare System Cardiac Team Members.

We also offer a full complement of inpatient and outpatient cardiac diagnostic testing, including Echocardiograms and EKGs, Stress and Tilt Table tests and Holter Monitor studies and Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE), Nuclear perfusion cardiac imaging and Vascular ultrasound (e.g., carotid ultrasound). In addition, we offer Cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac and vascular screenings.

Both hospital locations (Pine Ridge and Collier Boulevard) are Accredited Chest Pain Centers from the American College of Cardiology. To qualify for this accreditation, we use an operational model that combines scientific evidence with process improvement initiatives for the care of any patient who might be having a heart attack. Reducing the time it takes to receive treatment is essential in caring for a heart attack patient.

Our Pine Ridge hospital has received full Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation. This means that this location also has percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) available 24/7 on site.

With the anticipated completion of construction in 2020, physicians will also be able to perform coronary artery bypass grafting, valve procedures, TAVRs and thoracic/aortic procedures. Various interventional and electrophysiology service lines will also be added.

Above all, I am so proud of the phenomenal engagement within Physicians Regional as well as the support of our community partners. Together, we are making this dream a reality: the be-all/end-all of high-quality cardiac care.

To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, call 239-348-4221 or visit us online at For more information on our hospitals and clinics, visit

Heart Disease FAQ

How Healthy is Your Heart?

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD), listed as the underlying cause of death, accounted for 840,678 deaths in the US in 2016, approximately 1 of every 3 deaths.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, 121.5 million American adults had some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • The estimated direct and indirect cost of heart disease in 2014 to 2015 (average annual) was $218.7 billion. Total direct medical costs of CVD are projected to increase to $749 billion in 2035, according to a 2016 study.
Take our new heart risk assessment at to get heart health tips and information you can share with your physician. OR, we can introduce you to a member of our team.

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