LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officials with the Memorial Health System of East Texas announced Tuesday, that they are forming a partnership with the Heart Institute of East Texas.
"I'm excited. This is one of the historic events in Lufkin because this is very much needed in this town mainly because cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in this country," Dr. Ravinder Bachireddy, the Chief Cardiologist at Memorial Hospital, said.
According to a press release, the two entities are joining forces to create the Memorial Cardiovascular Clinical Institute. The Clinical Institute will be composed of the cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeon from the various Memorial clinics and the cardiologists from the Heart Institute of East Texas.
"Quality cardiovascular care is essential in Angelina County and the surrounding area," said Memorial CEO Gary Looper. "Our local population ranks high in the prevalence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking compared to the rest of the state of Texas. Our goal is to create a regionally acclaimed Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence with a true integration of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons as the foundation in order to better serve our neighbors."
The press release stated that through the Clinical Institute, the doctors and Memorial's leadership will co-manage the "coordination and planning for Memorial's cardiovascular service line."
"We are here to serve patients. So, I think as long as the patient is happy, I think that will benefit all of us...the whole community, the hospital, everyone," said Bachireddy.
Bachireddy, one of the Heart Institutes's founders, said that the Clinical Institute will have a major role in shaping the future of health care delivery in East Texas.
"We have the opportunity to become the regional medical center and a center of excellence for cardiovascular services," said Bachireddy.
According to the press release, Bachireddy and Dr. J.S. Chandra were instrumental in establishing the cardiovascular programs at both Memorial and Woodland Heights Medical Center. They performed the area's first coronary angioplasty, coronary arthrectomy, coronary rotoblater, and defribrillator. The Heart Institute also performed the area's first stent placement.
Looper says the partnership has been in development for quite a while and does have a lot to do with healthcare reform.
"What healthcare reforms all about to us is to continue to find ways that will improve clinical outcomes and to improve operating efficiencies," Looper said.
The Heart Institute will also play an important role in achieving the goals of the East Texas Heart & Vascular Initiative," the press release stated. "The three-year initiative was funded by a $3.8 million grant from the TLL Temple Foundation in partnership with The Methodist Hospital in Houston."
Designed to advance doctor and nursing skills and knowledge of cardiovascular care, the initiative also establishes a community-wide wide heart and vascular disease education program.
"The Heart and Vascular Initiative continues to make great strides in educating the community and the Memorial medical and clinical staffs on the dangers and treatment of heart and vascular disease," said Musa Khan. "We look forward to working with Memorial, The Methodist Hospital and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to improve the health of our area."
For more information on the Memorial Health System of East Texas, visit this link: http://www.memorialhealth.us/.