515 Main Street, Olean, New York 14760
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Olean General Hospital


OGH Illuminates Hospital in Red for New Heart Program

Posted on: 10/16/2013

Nearly 20,000 red LED mini bulb lights will be set a glow with the flip of a switch Thursday evening at Olean General Hospital (OGH) in celebration of the hospital’s Heart Program that encompasses both the recently accredited Chest Pain Center and the recently opened Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory which is operated jointly with the Gates Vascular Institute of Kaleida Health. The lights will remain lit each evening to remind the community that heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country for both men and women, killing more than 385,000 people annually and to underscore the importance of recognizing the warning signs of heart attacks.

With the opening of the new cardiac catheterization lab, patients in the region have access to cardiac catheterization procedures and interventions to quickly diagnose and treat coronary artery disease, significantly reducing both time and distance for residents to travel to receive life-saving heart care. OGH is the only hospital in southwestern New York to have these capabilities. Since the program opened on October 1, the hospital has already performed many cardiac catheterization procedures.

Cardiac Catheterization is a medical procedure in which physicians insert a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and thread it to the heart. Through the catheter, doctors can do diagnostic tests and treatments on the coronary arteries. Procedures available at the new catheterization lab include angiography, used to diagnose blood vessel blockage around the heart; and interventional cardiac catheterization, used to repair blocked arteries using balloon angioplasty and stent placement.

Patients utilizing the new lab are under the care of two interventional cardiologists, Dr. Gary Maur, medical director of the program and Dr. Christopher Mallavarapu. Both are experienced board certified interventional cardiologists who have performed hundreds of cardiac catheterization procedures and provide 24/7/365 coverage for the lab.

Earlier this year OGH earned accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) for its Chest Pain Center. OGH is one of ten hospitals in New York State and the only hospital in Southwestern New York to attain SCPC accreditation. The accreditation recognizes that Olean General Hospital has achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. The accreditation also means that OGH meets the Society’s expectations in demonstrating the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation, appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. In addition, accreditation recognizes the hospital for promoting a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

“Our region has the highest rates of cardiac disease and cardiac-related hospitalizations and mortality in all of New York State. Because of the relative geographic isolation of Cattaraugus County and the surrounding region, the rapid and effective assessment and treatment of chest pain and heart attacks can often mean the difference between life and death. With heart attacks and heart issues, time is of the essence. Eighty five percent of heart damage occurs within two hours of a heart attack. We no longer need to transport patients long distances and in all sorts of weather for cardiac interventions and lifesaving treatment because it is now available at Olean General. Our Heart Program will save lives. The opportunity to work in collaboration with a leader in cardiology like Kaleida Health provides innumerable benefits and advantages for the region’s residents.” said Timothy J. Finan, CEO and President, Olean General Hospital. “This entire program represents the most significant clinical enhancement ever in this region. It is very, very significant.”

“These giant leaps forward in the provision of cardiac services in region will be the focus of the Foundation’s 2013 Annual Campaign,” said Finan. “Our goal is to raise $475,000 of the total $2 million cost of the program”, said Karen Fohl, Foundation President. “We anticipate a great outpouring of support from our community. Our employees have already demonstrated a commitment to the success of the new heart programs by committing $69,000 to the project,” added Fohl. “This is the most successful employee campaign to date in terms of both participants and total dollars raised.”

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