Expansion Update: November 2022
Work continues on-time and on-budget for St. Luke's $25 million heart and vascular services expansion project. All changes are taking place behind-the-scenes, inside the existing Nassif Heart Center to make the most efficient use of funding and space, providing increased capacity and a smoother workflow for optimal patient care.
To accommodate next steps, St. Luke's Foundation has moved to 810 First Avenue, on the second floor. Other changes scheduled for early 2023 include:
Expansion Announcement: June 2022
Representing the largest and most experienced heart and vascular team in the area are St. Luke’s Heart Care Clinic
Cardiologists (L-R) Drs. Li, McMahon, Sothwal, Karrowni, Al Darazi, Atay, Wagdy, Kettelkamp, Farid and Vyas; Physicians’
Clinic of Iowa Vascular Surgeons Drs. Kray and Lawrence (front row, right); St. Luke’s Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Weide
(back row); and Radiology Consultants of Iowa Interventional Radiologist Dr. Schmall (back row, right).
As part of its commitment as a leader in providing the most comprehensive and cutting-edge heart care to Eastern Iowans, St. Luke’s Hospital is investing $25 million in expanding its Heart and Vascular services within the Nassif Heart Center to support the innovation and expertise of the largest group of cardiovascular providers and continue to offer the most advanced heart care in Cedar Rapids.
With over 40 years of leading heart care advancements, St. Luke’s was Cedar Rapids’ first hospital to pioneer open heart surgery in 1978 and has been a leader in bringing the latest and most advanced procedures to the community for better patient care and outcomes. This tradition of innovation and medical firsts will continue for UnityPoint Health’s 32 cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and advanced practice providers who, along with area vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists, offer the most comprehensive heart and vascular services in general cardiology, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, structural cardiology, vascular procedures, and cardiothoracic surgery.
The multi-million-dollar expansion will consolidate and enhance St. Luke’s heart and vascular capabilities into one comprehensive center, building upon an already strong foundation as the leader of heart and vascular services in Eastern Iowa. The investment and expansion will focus on several areas:
A second electrophysiology (EP) lab will be added to the Nassif Heart Center. EP procedures correct issues with the heart’s rhythm. This expansion will allow for anticipated growth for these procedures and ensure St. Luke’s heart team is able to build upon its strong expertise in this field of cardiovascular care.
Relocating and expanding St. Luke’s Vascular and Interventional Radiology Labs. By expanding the hospital’s lab capacity and technology, the heart and vascular team will be able to better serve
Eastern Iowans. This expansion will also include dedicated space for pre- and post-op needs,
providing optimal coordination and experience for patients.
Building a dedicated cardiovascular hybrid operating room (OR), which will allow for more complex, advanced cardiovascular procedures at St. Luke’s. The new hybrid OR will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support St. Luke’s multi-disciplinary team of cardiovascular specialists in expanding capabilities and improving patient outcomes. An example of a procedure performed in a cardiovascular hybrid operating room is transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is a procedure to replace a diseased aortic valve. St. Luke’s was the first to bring this procedure to Cedar Rapids in 2016 and is the first and only hospital in the state that has earned TAVR certification from the American College of Cardiology. The team recently surpassed its 400th TAVR.
Largest Heart Center in Cedar Rapids
St. Luke’s Nassif Heart Center originally opened in 2000 and, at 98,000 square feet, is the largest and most comprehensive heart center in the area. In 2018, St. Luke’s invested $5 million in equipment upgrades and renovations to patient rooms.
“St. Luke’s Heart Care is a long-time leader and innovator in offering complex, specialized cardiovascular care in Eastern Iowa,” said Richard Kettelkamp, DO, St. Luke’s Heart Care interventional cardiologist and medical director of cardiovascular services. “Our heart team is proud of this reputation, takes pride in this distinction and considers it our responsibility to continue to offer the area’s most advanced cardiac care. We have long been known as Cedar Rapids’ Heart Hospital and this expansion will continue our legacy and commitment to providing exceptional patient care and innovation.”
“Vascular surgery has also experienced a rapid increase in innovations in recent years,” shared David Lawrence, MD, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa vascular and endovascular surgeon. “St. Luke’s new hybrid OR will allow us to combine traditional and minimally invasive surgery in a single setting to be most
efficient in the care of the patient.”
“Our expansion signifies our commitment to our patients and community in continuing to offer complex, specialized cardiovascular care,” said Michelle Niermann, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids president and CEO. “We’ve offered exceptional, advanced cardiovascular care for over 40 years, and this is our response to the growing number of patients seeking heart care and needing St. Luke’s unique expertise for advanced heart procedures.”
St. Luke’s has been recognized as a Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital six times and is recognized by the American College of Cardiology for “Platinum” performance for Chest Pain and earned the Chest Pain Accreditation. The expansion will take place within the current Nassif Heart Center at St. Luke’s Hospital and construction is underway.
Advanced Heart Treatments Offered at St. Luke’s
Over the last 40 years St. Luke’s has pioneered latest heart procedures in Cedar Rapids. Some of the advanced heart procedures introduced and offered at St. Luke’s include:
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) (2017)
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is used to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at increased risk for open surgery.
- Watchman for Afib (2017)
An alternative to open heart surgery, this device helps prevent clots from forming in the heart.
- MitraClip for Mitral Valve Repair (2021)
Catheter-inserted device used to correct mitral regurgitation (a leaking mitral valve) and doesn’t require open heart surgery.
- Cardiac ablation procedures
These minimally invasive procedures use heat (radiofrequency ablation) or cold (cryoablation) to block the abnormal electrical signals that cause arrhythmia. This helps restore a normal heartbeat—sometimes permanently.
Learn why St. Luke’s is Cedar Rapids’ Heart Hospital at unitypoint.org/facts-matter or call (319) 364-7101 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced cardiologists.
LiveWell Talk On... Heart & Vascular Services Expansion (Episode 208)
St. Luke's announces plans to invest $25 million in the expansion of heart and vascular services within the Nassif Heart Center. In this LiveWell podcast episode, Richard Kettelkamp, DO, St. Luke's Heart Care Services medical director, and David Lawrence, MD, vascular surgeon with Physicians' Clinic of Iowa (PCI) and St. Luke's Hospital discuss the expansion and what it means for heart and vascular patients in our community.