Palmetto Health celebrates Heart Hospital’s 10th year

Posted on 2/1/2016

While the hospitals of Palmetto Health have been treating heart patients in the Midlands for 50 years, this February marks the 10th anniversary of Palmetto Health Heart Hospital – South Carolina’s only freestanding hospital dedicated solely to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Palmetto Health Heart Hospital cares for more cardiac patients than any other hospital in the Midlands. From its accredited Chest Pain Emergency Room at Palmetto Health Richland to its open-heart surgery rooms and private patient rooms, we offer the most advanced care delivered in a comfortable, healing environment. A team of 17 cardiologists provides medical and interventional cardiac care with special expertise in electrophysiology, advanced heart failure care and minimally invasive aortic valve replacement. Capable of handling the most complex cases, our team of four cardiovascular surgeons also leads the area’s only left ventricular assist device implantation program. 

Patients like Eddie Gunter know about the great care that that Heart Hospital provided for him. Gunter, a 52-year-old truck driver, suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel. Two years later he was experiencing progressive debilitating symptoms of heart failure and chest pain. In need of a heart transplant, Gunter was implanted with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) at Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, a mechanical heart pump with an external battery pack, which restored his ability to perform everyday tasks.

“Right away I noticed the difference,” recalled Mr. Gunter. “In two months I was walking 3 miles several times a week.” The device even enabled him to participate in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk while he waited for transplantation.

Jay Mullin, a 57-year-old businessman, also can speak about the care provided. He was stricken with cardiac arrest and rushed to Palmetto Health Heart Hospital where an LVAD device was inserted to keep his heart pumping. His situation bleak, Mullin was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which provides both cardiac and respiratory support when the heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life. Improvements in his renal function and blood pressure were noticed immediately, and he continued to improve until ECMO was stopped and the LVAD removed.

“My wife came to see me every day,” remembered Mullin. “She showed up with her hands sweating, her throat dry. We don’t have any family down here, but the way she was treated was better than family. She said the compassion the doctors and nurses had for her was absolutely incredible.”

Palmetto Health Heart Hospital is dedicated to being on the leading edge of advanced medical therapies and technologies. During its first decade of operation, the hospital has introduced:

  • The region’s first STEMI alert system, which quickly transmits patient information from ambulance to physicians during a STEMI heart attack
  • The Advanced Heart Health Center – a new, leading-edge facility dedicated to improving the quality of life for our patients through advanced medical therapies and frequent follow-up care
  • Mechanical circulatory support for advanced heart failure patients, including the Midlands’ only Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) program. We offer LVADs for patients awaiting heart transplantation, as well as for patients who require the devices for life
  • The Midlands’ first valvular heart disease program, providing comprehensive treatments that include minimally invasive aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • More advanced vascular surgery, ranging from complex aortic surgery to minimally-invasive procedures
  • The most advanced treatment available for atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia, including ablation therapies from one of the top ablation centers in the country
  • A hybrid operating room with the safest and most advanced X-ray imaging equipment in the state – for better detection and precision.

Palmetto Health Heart Hospital is consistently recognized for the extraordinary care our team provides.

  • We are proudly designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care® by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.
  • Named “Best Hospital for Heart Health” in 2014 and 2015 in The State’s annual Best contest.
  • American Heart Association Gold Plus Award recipient.
  • Received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award – one of only 135 hospitals nationwide

For more information, visit our website at



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