20 years ago Sunday, Cookeville Regional Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Center performed it’s first heart surgery.
The patient that day was Linda Good, who attended Monday’s 20th anniversary celebration.
“I’m just so glad that everything they did went so well and so perfect,” Good said. “I got over it quick and I would tell people when I would go speak, to not go anywhere else to have your surgery.”
CRMC CEO Paul Korth says having a top notch facility right here in the Upper Cumberland makes all the difference in the world to local residents.
“It’s outstanding to be able to offer this type of services for patients and family members,” Korth said. “It one thing to be sick, but for the family members to be close by and to have a convenient place to get to is very very important.”
CRMC’s Heart and Vascular Center has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. According to Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Louis Wilson, the center started out with one surgeon, one operating room team, one perfusionist, and three cardiologist.
“By this summer, we will have 14 cardiologist, three cath labs, three operating rooms, three operating teams, three anesthesiologist, two perfusionsit, and three cardiovascular surgeons,” Wilson said.
During the 20-year span, the center has performed 12,916 cardiothoracic surgeries and 5,506 heart surgeries. For Linda Good’s husband Lester, the heart center has meant the life of his wife.
“For me, it means a rebirth of my wife and everyone at the hospital contributed to that and I will be forever in debt to the hospital for saving my wife,” Good said.
CEO Paul Korth said the growth of the center will continue as the years go on, with a new vascular lab expected to be complete later this summer.