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Release Date: 08/12/2015

Care New England’s Kent Hospital successfully completed its first elective coronary angioplasty last week after receiving state approval earlier this year to move forward with both an elective and emergency angioplasty program.

Coronary angioplasty, also referred to as PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) is a procedure that opens a blocked coronary artery by inflating a balloon and stent in the diseased artery. It is often used for patients suffering from a sudden heart attack. Angioplasty is also effective in relieving symptoms among more stable patients who experience chest discomfort or angina due to coronary artery disease. With the addition of Kent Hospital, there are now four hospitals in the state (two in Providence and one in Woonsocket) offering the procedure.

“The cardiology program across Care New England, and here at Kent, has grown tremendously over the past several years to provide access to and treatment for general and complex cardiovascular care. The successful launch of our elective angioplasty  program represents another critical step in providing the community and patients with the best possible care close to home,” said Dr. Hedgepeth, MD, PhD., chief of cardiology at Kent and the leader of the Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Associates at Care New England, executive chief of cardiology at CNE.

“Kent Hospital and Care New England have done an excellent job building a strong clinical program helping to meet the needs of Rhode Islanders locally,” said David O. Williams, MD, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Care New England director of invasive cardiac services. “Building off of this success and the further development and training of clinical staff, Kent Hospital is now able to provide a critical, life-saving, procedure that is ‘standard of care’ and that will better serve the community and enhance the care provided here.”

The successful procedure was performed by interventional cardiologists, Ed Thomas, MD, and Ashish Shah, M.D., along with a team of highly trained nurses, technicians and other clinical support staff, who have been participating in additional and intensive training both locally at Kent and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a clinical affiliate with Care New England.

A 24-hour, emergency angioplasty service will follow early in 2016 after the completion of construction on a second cardiac catheterization lab. The catheterization lab expansion will essentially double patient capacity and will allow for the cardiac nursing and technical team to be expanded. Elective PCI when done in a high-volume setting builds a strong base for readiness and quick response to emergency PCI patients.

“Let me just say how proud I am of Kent Hospital, Drs. Thomas and Shah and the entire clinical team who performed our first angioplasty. This truly is an important day for this hospital but even more so for those who live in the vicinity of Kent and points south,” said Michael Dacey, Jr., MD, Kent Hospital president and COO. “This standard-of-care procedure will result in lives saved because of decreased travel time to access this critical treatment.”

Data presented to the state Department of Health during the approval process demonstrated that patients residing south of the metro Providence area (more than 300,000 Rhode Islanders) would benefit greatly from expanded access to coronary angioplasty via the new program at Kent Hospital. This is because the longer it takes to open a blocked artery in someone having a heart attack, the greater the risks of poor outcomes, including death and disability. The medical evidence is clear that minutes matter and there are many patients residing in both Kent and Washington Counties who will see their risks of dying reduced by almost 10 percent as a result of the new program at Kent due to decreased transport and transfer times. Also, because more heart muscle will be saved by earlier intervention, the risk of developing congestive heart failure and disability will likewise be reduced substantially.

Despite advances in prevention, heart disease remains the single largest cause of death in the United States and Rhode Island. Nationally, heart disease results in almost 600,000 deaths each year.  

With the addition of the angioplasty program, Care New England Cardiovascular Care provides clinical expertise and treatment from basic cardiac health to all but the most complex. With access to cardiologists across the state, patients are presented with options on where to receive the most convenient care including Kent Hospital, Memorial Hospital the new Women’s Heart Health of Women & Infants located downtown Providence, and offices located in Garden City. The cardiovascular service offers a full range of testing and evaluative services as well as advanced services such as cardiac arrhythmia, advanced valvular heart disease and heart failure clinic. For more information please visit


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