LRMC increases heart services

Medical center opens cardiac laboratory



Lea County residents in need of additional heart services now have the opportunity to stay closer to home.

Lea Regional Medical Center has announced Thursday the opening of a cardiac catheterization laboratory to diagnose and treat patients with cardiac irregularities.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 3-6 p.m. inside the hospital’s library. There will be tours of the cath lab, staff on-hand to provide education, promotional items, a special “heart healthy” spread of appetizers, and door prizes.

“When it comes to heart attacks, time equals muscle – so the sooner a patient can get into a cath lab and have those arteries opened up, the better chance they have at a full recovery,” said Lea Regional Medical Center CEO Tim Thornell. “Having advanced cardiac care services at Lea Regional can cut the time from ER to procedure in half, even if you have to travel to another hospital by air.”

This new service line makes more advanced care and services available close to home for Hobbs residents and builds upon the hospital’s national accreditations from the Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care for chest pain and heart failure, and a stroke certification from the American Heart Association.

The lab is the latest in an increase in medical services that the Lea County Commission, Lea’s municipalities and its residents have been asking for during the past few years.

“This is great news for Lea County,” said Lea County Commission Chairman Ron Black. “We are out here in the chicken-fried steak capital of America. We’ve needed something like that. This is not just an increase in quality of life for the area, but it also increases our local economic development. There is a lot of money that goes out of town for medical care and anytime we can add something new, that is a positive. A cardiac lab is something we have been needing here.”

Thornell said LRMC administrators and staff are pleased to make these advanced cardiovascular services available in Hobbs. The medical center’s cardiac care will include: angiograms, coronary stents, stress tests, nuclear tests, holter monitors, pacemake insertions and peripheral vascular intervention for patients suffering from Diabetes.

Dr. Charles H. Moore, an interventional cardiologist practicing at LRMC, is seeing patients in his clinic, Hobbs Heart & Vascular. He is scheduling cases in the cath lab for those patients requiring medical intervention.

“I’d rather prescribe you preventative measures such as a cholesterol reducing medication for the next 20 years versus needing a stent in the next 10 years,” Moore said. “However, should it come to an interventional procedure, I’m impressed with the equipment and staff at LRMC. With the advancements in cardiac care, most cardiac events can be treated through a cardiac catheterization. Only about three percent of patients need open heart surgery.”

Lea Regional remains the only hospital in the State of New Mexico to be an accredited heart failure center.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting event takes place in conjunction with the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, Hobbs Chamber of Comemrce, Hobbs Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Hobbs African American Chamber of Commerce along with the Lovington and Eunice Chambers of Commerce. The “grand prize” is a round-trip voucher on United Airlines provded by Fly Hobbs.