POSTED: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 4:32pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Cardiovascular disease and stroke affect a lot of people in Louisiana, and more people die of those causes than anywhere else. Now, those suffering from heart and vascular issues don't have to leave Louisiana to get help.
Baton Rouge ranks number one in the country for stokes and number four for those suffering from heart disease. That's why Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is trying to combat those statistics.
"We wanted to make sure that our patients no longer have to leave our region for the most advanced care for their heart, vascular, and intensive care needs," Terrie Sterling, the center's COO, said.
Our Lady of the Lake's Heart and Vascular Institute opened its doors Monday. The more than 300,000 square-foot facility holds nearly 150 patient beds and introduces advanced cardiac technology, so patients do not have to leave the state to get the care they need.
"If you're in Cleveland having a heart procedure done, you're extended family can't be with you," Sterling said. "You're church members can't visit you, and so this is about bringing a healing environment with great technology, so that our residents don't have to leave Louisiana for great heart care."
"All of the administrators, the doctors, the staff has the same vision and that was a dedicated facility to take care of cardiac and vascular patients. With the help of the sisters and Our Lady of the Lake, this vision finally came true," Dr. Mike Davis, OLOL vascular surgeon, said.
Four years in the making, they can finally share its vision with the community.
"I was ecstatic. This is just such an extraordinary facility. It's a beautiful facility. It just warms my heart to people able to see something like this come to Baton Rouge, into our region, and into our state," Charles Freeburgh, OLOL board member, said.
"We want to make sure that we're a hub for the heart and vascular network that wherever you are in this region, you can get time-sensitive illness that can save your life by getting to the regional medical center," Sterling said.
Our Lady of the Lake will start transferring patients to the new facility Wednesday November 6.