A new cutting edge centre touted to go above and beyond regular cardiac care was unveiled in the heart of Alberta yesterday — the province’s capital.
“It’s fitting that in a city with so much heart, it should be home to a world class institute,” said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach during his government’s launch of the new, state-of-the-art Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute yesterday.
The province says its new $217-million facility will be a major centre for complex cardiac care, including heart transplants, for patients across Western Canada.
“This institute has attracted top international cardiac doctors and researchers because they know it is second to none,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the 600 people packing two floors in the building’s large glassy atrium.
Among the crowd were former premier Ralph Klein, federal Heath Minister Tony Clement and former deputy prime minister Don Mazankowski, who the centre was named for.
“While the Mazankowski Health Institute is located here in the Alberta capital, it will help save lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast,” said Harper.
The centre will be one of only a few cardiac centres in North America to accommodate adult and pediatric heart patients under one roof.
Children are seen in the heart institute for surgery or cardiac catheterization, and they don’t have to go far to recover since the Stollery Children’s Hospital is connected to the centre.
The centre also features an in-house research facility, a hybrid operating room to help cardiologists and surgeons work together on less-complex heart procedures and an above ground garden.
The new addition to the province’s health-care system, mostly funded by the Alberta government along with privately raised cash, also features a narrow, but large, rainbow-coloured glass that rises high into the inside arch of the building to signify hope for patients.
“There are many things that put Albertans on the map,” said Stelmach during in speech. “Few other jurisdictions have the skills and the resources to support such a highly specialized facility.”
A group of patients have already been seen by health officials for diagnostic testing. Inpatients will arrive later this year.