January 17, 2020
William Newton Hospital Treats First Cath Lab Patient
On Wednesday morning, William Newton Hospital treated its first patient in the new cardiovascular catheterization lab. The “cath lab” is located within the freshly completed H. L. Snyder Medical Foundation Surgery Center.
Through its partnership with Heartland Cardiology, William Newton Hospital can now diagnose and treat many cardiac patients that would otherwise have to go to Wichita.
“Our cath lab will increase accessibility to necessary cardiovascular care in Winfield and the surrounding areas and has the potential to save lives,” stated William Newton Hospital CEO Ben Quinton.
Preparing for the Cath Lab Part 1: People
Though the cath lab project is four years in the making, things started moving swiftly last June when the hospital hired Christopher Graham, MHA, RT(R), as manager to oversee the new department, recruit a skilled team, and coordinate its opening.
In November, Graham recruited Kadie Chittick, BSN, RN, from Phillipsburg, Kansas, as lead cath lab nurse and Cort Chittick, RT(R)(CT), from Maywood, Nebraska, as lead cath lab technician. Steven Kramp, BSN, RN, from Greenville, South Carolina, was hired earlier this month as cath lab nurse. The three have worked at numerous cath labs across the country and have 16 years of experience between them.
Heartland Cardiology brought Alaa Boulad, MD, full-time interventional cardiologist, on board to practice at William Newton Cardiology in Winfield. Dr. Boulad joined William Newton Hospital’s active medical staff and has been seeing patients in the clinic and consulting in the hospital. Dr. Boulad and Wassim Shaheen, MD, of Heartland Cardiology, serve as co-medical directors of the cath lab.
William Newton Hospital Director of Human Resources, Tiffany Shinneman, commented on the level of expertise the new team brings to the hospital.
“Recruiting experienced healthcare professionals to a rural area is challenging. It’s extraordinary to have such a cohesive and skilled team in place.”
With the assistance of Corazon Consultants, Graham and team began educating hospital and clinic staff about the new procedures, with employee forums and skill labs taking place throughout the winter.
Over 120 people participated in these sessions including 20 hospital departments and emergency medical services from Winfield and Arkansas City.
Preparing for the Cath Lab Part 2: Practice
With William Newton Hospital receiving approval from the fire marshal to occupy the new space on January 8, the cath lab team hosted a “dry run” on January 9, to simulate a heart catheterization procedure performed by Dr. Boulad.
Forty hospital, Heartland Cardiology, and EagleMed staff members, plus representatives from vendors and consultants, ran through scenarios with retired William Newton Hospital nurse Barbara Humpert posing as a patient.
“Everyone was asking ‘What if…?’ and answering questions very well,” shared Humpert.
One of the scenarios involved EagleMed transporting the patient by air following an interventional procedure.
“It was interesting to see how the team was able to get the specialized equipment onto the helicopter in a safe way,” Humpert said.
EagleMed Program Director Craig Isom reflected on the exercise, “Testing our equipment with the compatibility of the new cath lab equipment was extremely important, and working with William Newton Hospital staff was exceptional as always.”
The cath lab went live this week with Dr. Shaheen on site, while Dr. Boulad and team successfully performed five procedures. Several project partners spoke to the teamwork fostered by this effort:
“At Heartland Cardiology, we are dedicated to helping patients live their lives to the fullest. To extend these services to the greater Cowley County area helps fulfill our mission,” voiced Shaheen.
“It would not have been possible without the support of our hospital board of trustees, and Dr. Shaheen and his group, Heartland Cardiology,” said Quinton.
“It truly took all of us to make this happen,” said Brandy Cuevas, MHA, RN, William Newton Hospital administrative director of cardiovascular services. “I’m extremely proud of how everyone pulled together.”
Receiving Cardiovascular Care
Dr. Boulad is accepting patients at William Newton Cardiology. The clinic is open full-time, Monday through Friday, and is located at the Physicians Pavilion in Winfield. Electrophysiologist Madan Acharya, MD, of Heartland Cardiology is also now available the third Monday of each month at the Winfield Healthcare Center.
According to Cuevas, the cath lab is currently scheduling patients on Mondays and Wednesdays, and is expected to perform six procedures per week. She says the long-term goal is to also offer emergent interventional cardiology procedures.
In addition to the procedures offered in the cath lab, patients can have all cardiac testing done at William Newton Hospital including echocardiograms, stress tests, and lab work.
Patients experiencing these symptoms should seek treatment for a possible cardiac event:
- Pressure, tightness, pain, aching sensation in the chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw, or back
- Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
Dr. Boulad also treats arterial conditions of the lower extremities. Patients experiencing numbness, leg pain when walking, coldness in the lower leg or foot, or discoloration should seek treatment for a possible blockage.
Contributing to Quality Cardiovascular Care
William Newton Hospital was approved last year to receive tax credits through the state of Kansas Community Service Program to purchase the new cath lab equipment.
Through the William Newton Healthcare Foundation, community members can help elevate cardiovascular services in Cowley County and the surrounding counties by contributing at least $250. Of the $250,000 available, the hospital has $31,000 remaining to award through December 31, 2020. These 70 percent tax credits are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Top: New William Newton Hospital Lead Cath Lab Nurse Kadie Chittick, BSN, RN, prepares for a heart catheterization procedure.
Middle: Alaa Boulad, MD, interventional cardiologist at William Newton Cardiology, performs a heart catheterization procedure at William Newton Hospital.
Bottom: The EagleMed crew heads toward the helipad during the dry run on January 9 at William Newton Hospital.