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UPMC Western Maryland Expands Heart and Vascular Care

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12/15/2022

Hospital Now Offers WATCHMAN™ Procedure, Complete UPMC Heart and Vascular Office Suite

CUMBERLAND, Md. — The world-class, comprehensive care of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is now at home in Suite 420 of Medical Arts Center at UPMC Western Maryland. 

Individuals in need of treatment for many types and complexities of heart and vascular conditions can access care options in one location, with the strength of local providers partnered with the strength of systemwide expertise. The suite includes cardiovascular and cardiothoracic care and surgery, interventional cardiology, structural cardiology, noninvasive cardiology and electrophysiology.  

The expanded office suite and ongoing treatment enhancements are thanks, in part, to funding from the State of Maryland, with support from Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. George Edwards, Del. Mike McKay and the entire Western Maryland Delegation. Elected officials recently attended an official ribbon-cutting event in recognition of their support for UPMC Western Maryland’s HVI and overall health care services available to the western Maryland and tri-state community. 

WM HVI Ribbon Cutting releaseUPMC Western Maryland also now offers the WATCHMAN™ procedure. It is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem, also known as nonvalvular AFib, who also have a need for an alternative to blood thinners to lower their risk of stroke. 

The small device is implanted in the left atrial appendage of the heart to seal it off, preventing blood clots from forming and causing a stroke. Patients who might otherwise be taking blood thinners, which would increase risk of bleeding issues like from falls, can begin a journey away from these medications and improve quality of life. 

Cardiologist Hani Alkhatib, M.D., performed the first local procedure in mid-November and is regularly seeing multiple patients per week for this care.  

“This preventative measure is a key tactic for heart health and quality of life for those in our community, so it’s special to bring this service to our patients and see them thrive,” said Dr. Alkhatib. “This has been one year in the making, with effort, passion, and commitment from our whole local team at UPMC Western Maryland and the support of colleagues across UPMC HVI.”  

UPMC was the first to offer WATCHMAN in the western Pa. region in 2016. The system offers the procedure option at hospitals across the footprint.  

The expansion of HVI services is part of a direct response to serving UPMC’s defined 2022 to 2025 community health need for chronic disease management, specifically enhancing care and services related to heart disease and stroke. 

“We are proud to be the newest addition to UPMC’s world-class HVI program and build on a long history of outstanding heart care here in Cumberland,” said Savannah Kenney, director of HVI at UPMC Western Maryland. “The extensive resources of a top-ranked health system are available right in our community, which means our neighbors and loved ones can access heart care to keep them healthy close to home.” 

UPMC Western Maryland’s heart, vascular and stroke care is award-winning quality care, including: 

  • National College of Cardiology Platinum Performance Achievement for Chest Pain MI-Registry
  • American Heart and Stroke Associations Gold Plus Get With the Guidelines and Mission: Lifeline for cardiac and stroke care
  • American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation certification 

In addition to Dr. Alkhatib, the UPMC Western Maryland HVI team includes Pradhum Ram, M.D., Neil Shachter, M.D., Mark Nelson, M.D., F.A.C.S., Eric Hager, M.D., Christopher Haas, D.O., along with a team of PA-C, CRNP and clinical professional support staff. 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Western Maryland, includes full-spectrum services for cardiovascular conditions like coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and heart valve disease. Learn more at UPMCWesternMaryland.com/Cardiology.  

WATCHMAN™ is a trademark of Boston Scientific.


PHOTO DETAILS: (click image for high-res version)

CREDIT: UPMC

CAPTION: UPMC Western Maryland Heart and Vascular Institute physicians and hospital leaders pose with elected officials as they cut the official ribbon on the HVI office suite, offering patients in the region a hub for comprehensive care.