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State health commissioner approves cardiac catheterization facilities at Peconic Bay Medical Center

Archtitect's rendering of addition to Peconic Bay Medical Center that would house cardiac care facility and future emergency department expansion.

Peconic Bay Medical Center has received approval from New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to establish two laboratory cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology suites and construct a rooftop helipad, the Riverhead hospital announced today.

The new “cath labs” will be the first facilities of their kind on the East End, and they have the potential to save hundreds of lives each year. They will form the centerpiece of a comprehensive Cardiac Care Center, which will be named the Kanas Regional Heart Center, housed in Peconic Bay Medical Center’s new $60-million critical care tower.

“It is fitting that we get this long-awaited green light following National Heart Health Month,” PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell said. “East End residents have had to travel farther for advanced cardiac services than anyone else in the tri-state area, and considering that heart ailments require quick diagnosis and treatment, this facility will make a real difference. It will save lives.”

Cardiac catheterization labs are used to place stents in a person’s heart to open blocked passageways and to perform a range of other related life-saving procedures. Electrophysiology labs are used to diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias. The new Peconic Bay Medical Center Cath Labs will feature the most recent advances in catheterization technology.

The labs will be housed in a new critical care tower on the Riverhead campus of Peconic Bay Medical Center. The Town of Riverhead also recently approved a zoning change and site plan for what will again be one of the largest expansions in the history of the hospital.

“Our community has long needed the kind of services we will now be able to provide through this comprehensive Critical Care Tower,” said Sherry Patterson, chair of the Peconic Bay Medical Center and a long-time advocate for the cardiac catheterization facility. “We are grateful for the support of so many generous members of the community in helping us fund this project. Their dreams and ours are about to become a reality.”

In support of the effort that has now received a final go-ahead from the state Department of Health, Peconic Bay Medical Center recently announced a $5 million gift from the John and Elaine Kanas Family Foundation to provide advanced cardiac care options at the hospital. In addition, Eastern Suffolk Cardiology, one of the region’s most prominent cardiology practices, has recently joined the Northwell Health family, of which Peconic Bay Medical Center is the East End’s primary hub.

Stanley Katz, MD, chair of cardiology and chief of interventional cardiology at Peconic Bay Medical Center, has been instrumental in the planning and design of the new cath labs. The long-time senior vice president, executive director and chair of Northwell Health’s cardiology services has helped develop a vast network that resulted in providing world-class cardiology care across our region. Katz will now be focused on expanding the Northwell Health cardiology services on the East End.

Since joining together in January of 2016, Northwell Health has moved rapidly to make Peconic Bay Medical Center the regional medical center for the East End.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.