Newswise — Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center, nationally recognized for heart care, today opened the second of two new 36-bed units for patients with heart disease, completing a two-story expansion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute. 

The unit opened today will serve cardiac surgery patients, while the first 36-bed unit, which opened in November, serves structural heart disease patients who have complex disorders and diseases of the heart. 

This expands the heart care program at Morristown Medical Center – named the number one hospital in New Jersey – to 180 beds, all within its Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute. 

“The completion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute expansion further illustrates our deep commitment to grow and meet the continued needs of our patients, who come from all over the country to Morristown Medical Center to receive life-saving care,” stated Trish O’Keefe, Ph.D., RN, President, Morristown Medical Center, Vice President, Atlantic Health System. “We are proud that Morristown Medical Center is home to one of our nation’s leading cardiology programs and some of the most highly skilled cardiologists and caregivers who provide extraordinary caring each and every day.” 

The two-story vertical expansion began in December 2017 in response to the high demand for the medical center’s programs. More than 100,000 heart patients are served each year, and this number is expected to increase significantly as the population continues to age. 

“With this much-needed expansion complete, we will be able to offer exemplary cardiac care to more patients who trust Morristown Medical Center’s experts with their hearts,” said Linda D. Gillam, MD, MPH, MACC the Dorothy and Lloyd Huck Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at Morristown Medical Center and medical director of the cardiovascular service line for Atlantic Health System. “We take great pride in the fact that our heart care program and medical center are among the best in the nation, and this state-of-the-art expansion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute will further enhance the care and overall experience we provide to our patients.” 

In addition to 72 new private patient rooms, the 55,400 square foot addition increases clinical space and adds a dedicated MRI, for the exclusive use of cardiac patients.  

Neil and Lois Gagnon, who helped establish the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute in 2008, have continued their generosity and made the lead gift to facilitate the Institute’s expansion, which is a part of the Growing Forward Campaign. “We were thrilled to have a role in shaping cardiovascular care in our community. We’re proud of this facility and support the life-saving work that is performed here, day in and day out,” Neil Gagnon, Foundation for Morristown Medical Center honorary trustee, said.


About Heart Care at Atlantic Health System  

Morristown Medical Center, the hub of heart care at Atlantic Health System, is one of the top 30 programs in the country (#26) for Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery (U.S. News & World Report) and one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care (Healthgrades). 

Its expert team presents research across the world and is comprised of cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, heart failure experts, and advanced imagers. 

The program also offers specialty care for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sports cardiology, cardio-oncology, pediatric cardiology, and heart disease in women. The team works closely with community cardiologists who provide a medical home for patients with heart disease. 

Atlantic Health System Heart Care is focused on offering minimally-invasive and non-invasive procedures that help patients return to their lives faster, including valve replacement options for the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valve, and is helping pioneer the radial (wrist) approach for angioplasties, which is typically a one-day length of stay. 

Morristown Medical Center is home to the largest cardiac surgery and cath lab in New Jersey and offers many of the most up-to-date cardiac imaging technologies available. 

Patients from Atlantic Health’s four community hospitals are seamlessly connected to Morristown when advanced cardiovascular care is necessary thanks to an infrastructure that includes helipads and ambulance transport and an electronic health record system that allows physicians to share health records in real-time.

Because of its infrastructure to support research through the Atlantic Center for Research, volume, and earned credibility with the sponsors of trials—pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies—Atlantic Health System Heart Care is able to offer cutting edge and novel clinical trials that offer patients access to the latest advancements in cardiac care.


About the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center 

Established in 1995, the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center’s mission is to inspire community philanthropy to advance exceptional health care for patients at Morristown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Over the past 10 years, donors have contributed more than $175 million to support both Morristown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital.


About Atlantic Health System 

Atlantic Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing exceptional patient outcomes and experiences. Home to seven award-winning hospitals including Morristown Medical Center, the number one hospital in NJ according to U.S. News & World Report, Castle Connolly and Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals, the system has been ranked first in New Jersey in consumer preference by Monigle and first among health systems in New Jersey as a “best workplace” by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine

Many of the system’s programs have received national accolades and designations, including Morristown Medical Center’s Cardiology and Heart Surgery program ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; Morristown Medical Center’s Orthopedics program ranked among the top 35 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic Health System’s Cancer Care program, New Jersey’s first and only National Cancer Institute National Community Oncology Research Program. Additionally, Atlantic Health System Neuroscience at Overlook Medical Center, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable Telestroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients.

Powered by a passionate workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system provides care for the full continuum of health needs across a wide array of settings, including Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Home Care and Hospice and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating connections between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

With a clear sense of purpose and an unparalleled culture, Atlantic Health System attracts top leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who was Chairman of the American Hospital Association in 2019, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across national clinical associations and research entities.