On Wednesday, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), a state-of-the-art facility being called the “first-of-its-kind” in the region.
An international Philips show site, the facility features some of the latest medical technology. It includes two catheterization laboratories equipped for interventional procedures to treat coronary disease, in addition to peripheral artery disease and venous disease in the legs. It also has a cardiovascular clinic for patient follow-up appointments.
The organization said the surgery center was built with patients and their families in mind, offering community innovative outpatient procedures in a convenient and comfortable setting. CIS also noted that same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and treatment procedures, provides patients with a lower-cost alternative compared to hospital-based stay.
“I really like the new technology; I’m crazy about it. But I am bothered that medicine has become less personal and too expensive,” said Dr. Craig Walker, CIS founder. “Sometimes people don’t have access. I think we need new systems that improve access to care and improve outcomes.”
“[The Ambulatory Surgery Center] is going to help. This is a much cheaper way of treating patients. It makes it much easier for the patient. It’s more comfortable for the patient,” he continued. “There’s much more touch involved, not just computer algorithms.”
Walker highlighted the new facility’s location, 191 Innovation Court in Gray, for being in the center of the communities CIS serves in the region and close to Highway 90 — as the renowned institute receives visits from patients and doctors from across the globe.
“It’s much easier for those patients flying in from out of state and from out of the country because from the New Orleans airport, this is only about a 40-minute drive,” Walker said. “Also, physicians have come here for training from around the world. Once again, it makes it much easier for those physicians and cath lab techs to come here because it’s an easy central location.”
He also noted the new facility will “greatly increase” the organization’s capacity, allowing it to care for more patients.
Walker, a Bourg native, said his life’s mission is to establish a world-class cardiovascular program in south Louisiana — one that provides the highest quality of care for its patients while also being a leader in technology, education and research. He called the facility “another giant step” in achieving his lifelong dream.
“I always want the best of the best for our patients,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with how the team has performed thus far. We have people who are really as dedicated to achieving our dreams as I am, and that makes it very easy. We have people who are wanting to see health care improved in our area, and they’re working crazy hard to do that.”