COMPILED BY JOHN JOSEPH PARKER, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM’S Morristown Medical Center (MMC), nationally recognized for heart care, recently opened the second of two new 36-bed units for patients with heart disease, completing a two-story expansion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.
The new unit will serve cardiac surgery patients, while the first 36-bed unit, which opened in November, serves structural heart disease patients who have complex disorders and diseases of the heart. This expands the heart care program at MMC to 180 beds, all within its Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.
“The completion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute expansion further illustrates our deep commitment to grow and meet the continued needs of our patients, who come from all over the country to Morristown Medical Center to receive life-saving care,” says Trish O’Keefe, Ph.D., RN, president, MMC, vice president, Atlantic Health System. “We are proud that Morristown Medical Center is home to one of our nation’s leading cardiology programs and some of the most highly skilled cardiologists and caregivers.”
The two-story vertical expansion began in December 2017 in response to the high demand for the medical center’s programs. More than 100,000 heart patients are served each year, and this number is expected to increase significantly as the population continues to age.
“With this much-needed expansion complete, we will be able to offer exemplary cardiac care to more patients who trust Morristown Medical Center’s experts with their hearts,” explains Linda D. Gillam, M.D., MPH, MACC, the Dorothy and Lloyd Huck Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at MMC and medical director of the cardiovascular service line for Atlantic Health System.
In addition to 72 new private patient rooms, the 55,400 square foot addition increases clinical space and adds a dedicated MRI, for the exclusive use of cardiac patients. The technologically advanced MRI can scan two patients at a time.
Neil and Lois Gagnon, who helped establish the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute in 2008, have continued their generosity and made the lead gift to facilitate the Institute’s expansion, which is a part of the Growing Forward Campaign. “We were thrilled to have a role in shaping cardiovascular care in our community. We’re proud of this facility and support the life-saving work that is performed here, day in and day out,” says Neil Gagnon, a Foundation for Morristown Medical Center honorary trustee.