WMC, Allegheny form alliance

WEIRTON – Weirton Medical Center and Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network Wednesday announced a strategic alliance that will significantly improve the delivery of high-quality, comprehensive heart care services to residents of Weirton and its neighboring communities through greater collaboration between cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at each system.

WMC has also entered an exclusive agreement with Dr. Vardhan Reddy, one of the region’s pre-eminent cardiac surgeons, for the coordination of cardiovascular disease care at the hospital. Under his direction at WMC, patients from the Weirton area who require heart surgery and other advanced cardiovascular care will now have seamless access to those services at Allegheny Health Network’s Cardiovascular Institute.

“This alliance will guarantee an unmatched continuum of high quality care for local heart patients. Together with our team of outstanding WMC cardiologists, including Drs. Stanley Mannino and Cherian John, we will determine the best course of treatment for each patient, taking advantage of WMC’s terrific interventional cardiology services and giving patients who require more invasive surgical and advanced cardiovascular care the opportunity to transition to Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh,” said Reddy.

A graduate of the world-renowned Texas Heart Institute, Reddy has performed more than 5,000 cardiovascular and cardiothoracic procedures in 20 years of practice. He will now be performing all of his surgical procedures at Allegheny Health Network’s West Penn Hospital, while managing his patients’ post-surgical follow-up care at WMC.

WMC provides of interventional cardiology care – including heart catheterization, angioplasty and stenting – through its percutaneous coronary intervention program and chest pain center.

“We have invested millions of dollars over the years in our cardiovascular capabilities to ensure that patients have access to the latest technology for heart procedures. With this new alliance, we are providing the opportunity to for a seamless continuum of highly advanced cardiovascular care to patients whose needs extend beyond interventional cardiology,” said David Artman, WMC director of operations.

The health care providers of Allegheny Health Network have a long history of providing state-of-the-art cardiovascular disease care. At West Penn Hospital, that includes comprehensive cardiac surgery capabilities such as heart bypass and valve replacement, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation and complex peripheral vascular procedures. The hospital recently invested $10 million in facility improvements and technological upgrades to its cardiovascular institute.

According to Dr. Srinivas Murali, medical director of the Allegheny Health Network Cardiovascular Institute, establishing greater coordination of cardiovascular care between a growing community hospital like WMC and the quaternary services of Allegheny Health Network will not only benefit patients tremendously from a clinical perspective but ensure that the resources of both organizations are utilized in the most efficient and effective manner.

“Weirton Medical Center does an exceptional job of caring for patients with heart disease,” Murali said. “We are excited to become an extension of WMC’s cardiac program and look forward to accommodating patients from Weirton with the leading-edge cardiovascular capabilities and great compassionate caregiving that our network is known for.”

WMC’s alignment with Allegheny Health Network will provide patients from the Weirton area enhanced access to the nationally recognized cardiovascular and thoracic surgery program at Allegheny General Hospital, including its heart transplantation, mechanical heart assistance, robotic heart surgery and pulmonary hypertension surgery programs.

“It’s because of Allegheny Health Network’s incredibly impressive capabilities in the practice of cardiac surgery that we wanted to turn to the best for these life-saving procedures. As a community facility, we know how important access to the latest technological innovations and leading physician expertise is for exceptional patient outcomes,” Artman said.

According to Kelli McCoy, WMC director of communications, the hospital will provide important support services to make the surgical experience in Pittsburgh as convenient as possible, including luxury transportation to and from the city.

“This major development represents a new era in heart care in our community and we are committed to ensuring that the experience of our patients is as positive as it can be. Heart surgery can be a very stressful and frightening ordeal for patients and their loved ones. With this alliance, we hope to provide our patients with the peace of mind that they are in the best hands from start to finish,” McCoy said.

McCoy said WMC is planning to expand the reach of its services with the opening of offices in Imperial and Robinson Township to provide more health care options to those currently under-served along the U.S. Route 22-30 corridor.

“We are very excited about what the future holds for WMC and the patients we care for,” she said.