South Florida Hospital News
Thursday August 6, 2020

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December 2006 - Volume 3 - Issue 6

New Heart Center at Martin Memorial Makes Immediate Impact

When the Frances Langford Heart Center opened on Aug. 1, it immediately began fulfilling the promise Martin Memorial Health Systems predicted it would have.

Through October, physicians had already performed 204 interventional cardiac procedures, such as stents and angioplasties. A total of 58 open-heart surgeries had been performed since the center opened. That meant patients received life-saving treatment, close to home – treatment they might not have been able to receive before the center opened its doors.

"Martin Memorial can now provide the kind of care necessary for those patients when they need it most without the danger and inconvenience of an ambulance transfer," said Richmond M. Harman, president and chief executive officer of Martin Memorial. "This will save many lives and greatly help the communities we serve."

Cynthia Silva, RN, CCRN, manager and clinical coordinator of the Frances Langford Heart Center CVICU and CVPCU, looks over a patient in the CVICU.

The team concept has been crucial to the center’s success. Highly trained physicians from established cardiology groups in the area – Cardiology Associates of Stuart, Stuart Cardiology Group and Florida Heart Center – are providing interventional and diagnostic procedures. The groups have long served residents of the Treasure Coast and will continue to help prevent and treat heart disease through their clinical expertise.

Surgeons from the esteemed Ocala Heart Institute are performing open-heart surgeries. With more than 22,000 open-heart surgeries to its credit, the Ocala Heart Institute has helped Munroe Regional Medical Center become a Top 100 hospital for seven consecutive years, the only community hospital in the country that can make that claim.

Those physicians, along with skilled Martin Memorial staff, are providing patients with world-class care close to home – care that is resulting in lives saved.

Recently, that teamwork proved to be crucial to a patient suffering from heart problems. While being transported from Martin Memorial Hospital South to the heart center, the patient experienced heart failure in an elevator going to the cardiac catheterization lab.

The paramedic and the emergency medicine technician who were transporting him quickly worked to stabilize the patient, who was revived in the cardiac cath lab before undergoing an interventional procedure to clear a blockage.

Prior to the opening of the Frances Langford Heart Center, a story like that might not have had a happy ending. Because the patient would have to be transported to another hospital far from home, critical moments would have been wasted that could mean the difference between life and death. Instead, the patient received treatment immediately, when it was most essential.

Creating the heart center has been a significant effort – it took 20 years to receive the right to open the center and cost $18.5 million to build and equip it. Another $6.5 million will go toward future equipment and staff training needs. Community involvement has also played a significant role, as Martin Memorial is seeking to raise $25 million through philanthropy to fund the heart center.

Approximately $15 million had been raised through October, including a donation of $5 million from the Frances Langford Foundation. Because of her generosity, Martin Memorial is honored to name its heart center after the late singer-actress. With her help, as well as numerous other philanthropic-minded community members, Martin Memorial has high expectations for the heart center.

For more information about the Frances Langford Heart Center, visit
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