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Release Date: 2/26/2014

Lewis Rice HEART Unit expands

Ribbon cutting at the Heart Evaluation And Rapid Treatment Unit.

Ribbon cutting at the Heart Evaluation And Rapid Treatment Unit.

St. Anthony’s Lewis Rice Heart Evaluation And Rapid Treatment (HEART) Unit, the only one of its kind in the St. Louis area, is now open in a new, expanded office.

The HEART Unit provides outpatient care for patients with non-life-threatening heart issues, allowing them to undergo the tests they need without being admitted to the hospital. The average visit to the HEART Unit is eight hours or less, compared with a two-day stay in the hospital.

A nurse practitioner and nurses staff the HEART Unit 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They provide necessary laboratory tests, continuous EKG monitoring and adjust medications frequently. This is all provided in one of the ten private rooms.

The HEART Unit opened in May 2012 with eight beds. Its expansion was funded by contributions from friends, colleagues and family of the late John K. Pruellage, a board member of St. Anthony’s who served as a champion of the medical center.

“On the second and third day we were open, we filled all the beds,” said Kathleen Martin, R.N., Nurse Manager of the HEART Unit. “We’re seeing a greater need: more cardiologists and primary care physicians are using this center.”

Depending on the diagnosis, patients may be referred to the HEART Unit by their primary care physician, urgent care center staff or home health care provider with physician approval.

This advanced model of care is attracting increasing community interest, said Charles Carey, M.D., Medical Director of the HEART Unit.

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