Lexington adds second open heart surgeon
Ten months after starting its open heart surgery unit, Lexington Medical Center has hired a second surgeon for the unit — Dr. Steven W. Marra.
Marra joins Dr. Jeffrey A. Travis at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice that provides cardiovascular services. With Travis at the helm, Lexington Medical Center performed 163 open heart procedures in 10 months, according to hospital officials.
Lexington battled for years to offer open heart surgery, but Palmetto Heart Hospital and Providence Hospitals argued against the expansion of services in the area. State health regulations place limits on some medical services to prevent spreading the area’s resources too thinly. Eventually, Lexington paid $15 million to Providence Hospitals, which agreed to shut down one of its heart units.
The hospital had planned to add a second open heart surgeon as more patients chose the new surgery option. As Lexington’s unit began operations, the goal was to reach 150 surgeries in the first year and eventually grow to 250 surgeries each year.
Marra earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and did his internship and residency at MetroHealth Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Cleveland. For the past five years, he has been the medical director of cardiothoracic surgery and the only operating cardiothoracic surgeon at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, Va.
Belk offers free mammograms at mobile center
The BelkGives on the Go Mobile Mammography Center, a 39-foot-long, state-of-the-art screening center on wheels, will stop at Belk stores in the Columbia area during the week of Feb. 25 to offer free mammogram screenings.
Women age 40 and older with no breast concerns and who have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months are eligible for the exams. To schedule an appointment, call (855) 655-2662.
The screening center will be at the Village at Sandhill store at 670 Promenade Place, Columbia, on Feb. 26 from 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; and at the Columbiana Centre store at 100 Columbiana Centre Circle, Columbia, on Feb. 27 from 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Screening exams will be done by Charlotte Radiology. Confidential results will be sent to the patient and her primary care physician.
Pee Dee centers get healthcare training grant
Regardless of whether South Carolina accepts Medicaid expansion, the role of community health centers in the state is going to expand when other Affordable Care Act provisions begin in 2014.
That means those facilities will have to expand their staff. A recent federal grant will pay for training some of those new workers at CareSouth Carolina in Hartsville. CareSouth Carolina, which runs health centers at 10 sites in rural South Carolina, is one of five centers in the country awarded the grants.
The RCHN Community Health Foundation awarded $199,302 to the Hartsville center to recruit and train medical assistants, receptionists, care managers and health system navigators. Trainees will join patient-centered health teams. The training will be done in partnership with Northeastern Technical College.
The classes start in the fall. If you’re interested, call Northeast Technical College at (843) 921-6900 for more information.
Compiled by Joey Holleman