Special to

The Hays Daily News

Hays Medical Center recently celebrated 20 years of cardiac catheterizations in western Kansas. The first ever cardiac catherization lab in western Kansas opened its doors Aug. 1, 1996. It was located on the first floor of HaysMed next to the emergency department, which presently houses the OB department.

The cath lab was part of HaysMed’s strategy to provide specialized services for western Kansas. That plan included the recruitment of two cardiologists to High Plains Cardiology which opened in July 1996. In 1998, HaysMed began offering heart surgery, which completed the cardiovascular program now known as the DeBakey Heart Institute. In March 2005, the lab was expanded to two rooms and eight recovery bays and relocated to the Bickle Pavilion, where it remains today. Patients are admitted, recover and discharged all from one location.

“Prior to the opening of the cath lab at HaysMed, patients had to drive to Topeka, Wichita and Denver to seek heart services and follow up care,” said Shae Veach, vice president of regional development and marketing. “We are proud to have been the first to provide cardiac services in western Kansas and even more proud that our program is still strong, providing much needed care to patients throughout the area. The strength in our program lies in the tremendous support we’ve received over the years from western Kansas providers, hospitals, patients and communities we serve.”

In the first year, 901 procedures were performed, well eclipsing the 187 that were projected. To date, more than 31,000 cases have been performed in the cath lab. Those procedures include: left and right heart catheterizations, peripheral/renal/carotid angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, inferior vena cava filter placement, loop recorder implant, implantation of single-chamber and dual chamber pacemakers, defibrillators and biventricular pacemakers, transesophageal echocardiogram, DC Cardioversion, AV fistulagrams, kyphoplasties.

The current staff consists of four cardiologists, three radiology technologists and eight registered nurses. Two cardiologists, Dr. Mauricio Anaya and Dr. Mohammed Janif, perform invasive procedures in the lab while Dr. Rashmi Thapa and Dr. Anil Pandit, also cardiologists, perform non-invasive procedures.

“We are fortunate to have four highly skilled cardiologists at DeBakey Heart,” Veach said. “We are actively recruiting additional cardiologists in an effort to expand our heart services in the future.”

In 2013, HaysMed became an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI. This accreditation acknowledges cath lab services are available 24/7 every day of the year. This means they have a call team made up of the cardiac cath lab staff and an interventional cardiologist who arrive to the facility within 30 minutes of STEMI activation. HaysMed has formal agreements with the facilities that regularly refer STEMI patients for primary PCI. They also have mapped their STEMI processes to maximize efficiencies which lead to quicker treatment and improved outcomes.

“HaysMed is committed to providing specialized heart care for the people of western Kansas,” Veach said. “Our strong history provides a solid foundation ensuring cardiac care for future generations.”