The East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital opens for business
1/11/2009 9:54:52 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 11, 2009
Contact: Jimmy Ryals, UHS Public Relations, 252-847-0413 or
The East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial
Hospital opens for business
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The future of cardiovascular care has
arrived at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Cardiovascular services at the hospital moved to the East
Carolina Heart Institute at PCMH Sunday, nearly three years
after ground was broken on the facility. The $160 million
patient bed tower officially opens Monday morning.
"We've worked very hard to open this new chapter for
eastern Carolina," said PCMH President Steve Lawler.
"It's an exciting day for Pitt County Memorial
Hospital, our community and the entire state."
The new six-story, 375,000-square-foot inpatient care facility
is home to 120 inpatient cardiovascular beds, six operating
rooms and 11 interventional laboratories.
North Carolina's need for better cardiovascular care is
acute. Heart disease is the state's leading killer over the
last five years, according to the State Center for Health
Statistics.Eastern North Carolina struggles even more with heart disease.
The heart disease death rate in 2007 in PCMH's 29-county
service area was nearly a quarter higher than the state rate.
PCMH and East Carolina University developed the East Carolina
Heart Institute to reshape cardiovascular health across North
Carolina, said Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood Jr., director of the
"We have a common mission: to change the health of North
Carolina in the next 20 years," said Chitwood.
"It's not only inpatient clinical care, research,
education or prevention. It's a multi-tiered effort -
it's scientists, it's educators, it's
Some 100 patients moved into the new building over the weekend.
They moved to rooms designed to accommodate families in new
ways. Each room has a family area equipped with its own
television, lighting, phone line and seats that convert for
"Our patients' loved ones know them better than we
ever will," said Brian Floyd, executive director of the
East Carolina Heart Institute. "We've designed this
building specifically to make families a bigger part of the
Completion of the heart institute also inaugurates a new way of
treating cardiovascular disease. ECU and PCMH have reorganized
their cardiovascular services, aligning them by disease
processes rather than traditional academic disciplines. The
move brings cardiologists, heart surgeons and vascular surgeons
together and promises to increase communication among
clinicians, according to Floyd. The new organization "puts
patients in the center," he said.
The new bed tower at PCMH joins the other half of the East
Carolina Heart Institute, the $60 million research, education
and outpatient care facility at East Carolina University. The
four-story, 206,000-square-foot ECU building opened in
September 2008. ECU and PCMH jointly dedicated the East
Carolina Heart Institute last month.
University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina includes Bertie
Memorial Hospital, Chowan Hospital, Duplin General Hospital,
Heritage Hospital, The Outer Banks Hospital, Pitt County
Memorial Hospital, Roanoke-Chowan Hospital; University Home
Health and Hospice; ViQuest; physician practices; and is
affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina