Conemaugh Nason cath lab expected to open early 2018

Mirror photo by Shen Wu Tan Conemaugh Nason’s new cardiac catheterization lab, which is expected to open early 2019, will occupy the former occupational health space near the hospital front entrance.

A hospital in Roaring Spring anticipates opening a new cardiac catheterization lab in early 2019 to serve residents in the surrounding areas.

Conemaugh Nason Medi­cal Center started the construction of the $3.1 million lab, located in the former Occupational Health space, earlier this month. Tim Harclerode, Conemaugh Na­son CEO, said the lab expects to provide diagnostic and interventional catheterization ser­vices to several hundred patients once opened.

He added that, previously, a significant number of patients with acute heart episodes had to go to other facilities to receive care. Harclerode said this catheterization lab will be the closest lab to residents of Bedford and southern Blair counties.

“Time is muscle,” Har­clerode said. “The faster you get to definitive care, the more likely you’re going to have a positive outcome.

“If we can save one life, it’s worth the investment,” he said of the cath lab. “If you’re having a heart attack, getting to the closest organization for that primary intervention is extremely important for the outcome of that patient.”

Interventional cardiology services at the lab include catheterization for acute heart attack and heart disease and lower extremity vascular studies.

Bedford County Commiss­ioner Josh Lang said of the lab construction, “The more services that we can have that are convenient for residents, the better.”

Medhat Zaher, a doctor at Cardiology Associates in Altoona, will be the lab’s medical director. The cathe­terization lab is expected to add 10 new jobs, including lab technicians and registered nurses.

Conemaugh Nason partners with Conemaugh Mem­orial in Johnstown if a patient does need open-heart surgery.

Occupational health at Conemaugh Nason moved to the outpatient entrance. New outpatient centers will be built in Ebensburg and Somerset.