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Photo by LeAnn Meyer

Saving lives in the cath lab

by Katherine Dinsdale

One part of Lawrence Memorial Hospital where lives saved is directly related to the generosity of our community and philanthropic foundations is the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Funding from the LMH Endowment Association helped establish the cath lab 10 years ago, when the hospital began providing interventional cardiology. The cath lab’s creation meant the end of the need to transfer patients to Topeka or Kansas City for cardiac catheterization.

Now, additional funds are needed to update technology with state-of-the-art digital equipment that can provide clearer diagnostic images. New equipment will emit lower doses of radiation, a benefit to patients and staff.

Fundraising for the project is off to a good start. The Endowment Association’s 2016 Hearts of Gold Ball, along with gifts from several foundations and individuals, raised nearly $1.2 million needed for the $2.7 million project.

Among donors are Bruce and Jeanie Bundy. The Lawrence couple established an independent foundation in their name to fund medical research, services for people who are blind, and other human services. Bruce Bundy says their gift to support the cath lab fell in line with their giving goals.

“A good friend invited us to meet with LMH Endowment staff and to consider giving a gift to support interventional cardiology at LMH,” he says. “I remember the stress and anxiety that all my family felt, years ago, when my father and, later, several brothers experienced heart attacks. Those memories make us happy for the chance to strengthen cardiac care at LMH.

We knew we wanted to support our local hospital. We don’t want to be shipped to another city for care. We are thankful to have excellent healthcare available locally, and we want to help make local healthcare the best it can be. We don’t know what’s ahead for us. Who knows? We may need cardiac care at LMH. We want to support excellence right here in Lawrence.

LMH cardiologists and staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locating and repairing blockages in patients’ arteries and veins. LMH ranks high among more than 900 hospitals of similar size for “door-to-balloon” time, the amount of time it takes an interventional cardiologist to open a patient’s artery after arriving at LMH. The shorter the time, the better the chances that patients do not suffer permanent heart damage. The cath lab staff performs nearly 500 potentially life-saving interventional cardiology procedures a year.

How to help

If you would like to donate to a specific project at LMH, such as helping to update technology in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, please contact Earl Reineman at (785) 505-3317.