Patients welcome hospital announcement with ‘open heart’

Posted at 12:52 PM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 18:54:11-04

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) has announced plans to start an open heart surgery program. The program would be the only one of its kind in the Tri-Cities and southern Virginia region, according to the hospital.

The hospital said it had been working for a decade to get the program approved by the state.

“It has been a long, but extremely important Certificate of Public Need process for this community”, Chief Executive Officer of Southside Regional Medical Center Michael J. Yungmann said in a statement. “Our cardiac patients and their families have not only wanted, but certainly deserved this service close to home in their own community. We could not be more pleased to be able to offer it to them.”

One of the reasons the state approved SRMC's program was to help better serve cardiac patients living south of Richmond. Some of those patients must now travel 60 to 90 minutes to receive open heart procedures, according to the hospital.

SRMC said it planned to form its open heart surgery program "immediately."