New cardiac catheterization lab in Falls offers 24/7 help for heart patients

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NIAGARA FALLS, NY –Catholic Health, Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has opened the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Niagara County.

The new facility, at The Heart Center of Niagara on Memorial’s downtown Niagara Falls campus, is the result of community collaboration between the four health systems and will be jointly operated by them.

Western New York has higher than average cardiovascular mortality rates, according to Neil Dashkoff, M.D., medical director of the new lab. 

“It’s the number one killer in Western New York, specifically in Niagara County.”

Healthcare disparities have historically been severe in Niagara County  for African Americans, Native Americans, economically disadvantaged, people with special needs and people with mental health issues.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure for diagnosing and treating cardiovascular conditions in which a long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in a patient’s arm, neck or groin and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart.

The Niagara cardiac catheterization lab, commonly called a cath lab, will host such procedures as cardiac angiography, stent placement and balloon angioplasty and will maintain 24/7/365 capabilities to perform emergency and scheduled elective procedures and interventions.

Ten experienced interventional cardiologists led by Dr. Dashkoff, James Conley, M.D. and Joseph Gelormini, M.D. will be supported by a 10-member clinical team and will work side by side with the Catholic Health Heart Center at Mercy Hospital and at Gates Vascular Institute.

Construction costs for the $2.2 million, 4,145-square-foot facility were borne by all four partners and supported by $1.1 million in state funding.

The new Niagara cath lab is projected to serve 925 patients in its first year.

Catholic Health President & CEO Joseph McDonald, Erie County Medical Center President & CEO Thomas Quatroche Jr., Kaleida Health CEO Jody Lomeo and Joseph A. Ruffolo, President & CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and their respective boards of directors worked together “for the good of the community,” Ruffolo said. “For that we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.” 

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