Medical Center seeks CON for heart facility
Having received nearly 800 letters of support, Gwinnett Medical Center is on its way to providing the state with what's hoped to be a rather convincing argument for approving an open-heart surgery facility at its Lawrenceville campus.
Gwinnett is the largest county in the country without open heart services, and the hospital is preparing to apply for a Certificate of Need (CON), which, upon approval, would allow the much needed open heart program.
As it stands, patients in Gwinnett who need heart surgery or emergency heart care must be transported to a hospital in Atlanta.
"National guidelines recommend interrupting a heart attack within 90 minutes," medical center Director of Cardiology Dr. Manford Sandler told the Post previously. Currently, he said it takes an average of 209 minutes to transport a patient to an Atlanta-area hospital offering the appropriate heart care.
Gwinnett's 750,000-plus residents account for nearly 10 percent of the state's population, according to the hospital's Web site, with Gwinnett as the second largest in population in Georgia only to Fulton County - a county whose hospitals have open-heart surgery.
Starting in October hospital administration began to enlist the community's help in acquiring approval for the state-required CON.
Hospital spokesman Kyle Brogdon said a number of community groups and individuals have signed on to support the hospital's efforts.
Nearly 800 support letters have been submitted through the mail and on the Internet through a Web site, www.openheartgwinnett.org, dedicated to Gwinnett open-heart support.
Read this article by Melissa Wilson from the December 25, 2007 issue of the Gwinnett Daily Post.