Baptist Health to add Heart Rhythm Center at Baptist Heart Hospital

New $17 million facility will specialize in treatments and cures for heart rhythm abnormalities.

Jacksonville, FL

Baptist Health is adding a new Heart Rhythm Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, which will house a team of medical caregivers specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of all heart rhythm disorders. The new Heart Rhythm Center will be a part of the Baptist Heart Hospital, Northeast Florida's only freestanding hospital for heart and vascular care.

Cardiac electrophysiology (EP), a subspecialty of cardiology that focuses on the heart's electrical activity, is a rapidly growing field at the forefront of efforts to find new treatments and cures for arrhythmias. Baptist Health currently offers the most advanced and comprehensive EP program in the region.

"With the population growth in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida, and the ability to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities expanding with new technology, the need to treat Atrial fibrillation (Afib) and other heart rhythm abnormalities is increasing," said Nicole B. Thomas, FACHE, hospital president of Baptist Jacksonville. "Thanks to the expert teams and physicians, the Heart Hospital at Baptist Jacksonville is the epicenter of the highest quality cardiac care in the region, and adding an EP Center will help meet our growing community needs."

"Heart rhythm problems can be life-limiting, or life-ending, so the need for treatment is important. This new Heart Rhythm Center will help Baptist Health meet the growing need for this specialized care, and help save lives in our community," said Michael A. Mayo, DHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Baptist Health.

The 14,400-square-foot facility will include three EP labs, along with staff stations, support spaces, 10 patient rooms and a family lounge. The center will be built on the second floor of the Heart Hospital's north wing in space formerly used for outpatient and cardiac rehabilitation in the Wolfson Wellness Center. Construction will begin in October 2021 and is scheduled to be complete in January 2023.

"The new Heart Rhythm Center is a comprehensive, hospital-based facility that will offer patients a one-stop destination for EP procedures including catheter-based ablations, and implanting defibrillators, pacemakers and other devices," said Matthew McKillop, MD, clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, and medical director of the Electrophysiology Program. "All pre-operative, procedure and post-operative care, including overnight stays if needed, will be performed in this state-of-the-art center, and will allow patients to stay in this community for the care they need."

Additional team members are being recruited to join the team including registered nurses, EP techs and certified nursing assistants.

Baptist Heart Hospital is the centerpiece of Baptist Health's top-ranked heart and vascular program. It is home to more than 500 team members and physicians who have specialized training in inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular and thoracic care.