New Heart Program on Maui Allows Treatment On-Island

August 21, 2011, 12:18 PM HST · Updated August 21, 12:18 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Left to right: Dr. Chambers, Cochran and Lee.

The Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) is now one week into a new heart program that allows Maui patients to be treated on island, without having to travel to O’ahu for care.  The new healthcare treatment program targets acute and emergent problems in heart disease, specifically heart attacks.

The new program officially launched on August 15, 2011, and includes a fully-staffed Emergency Department.  The team of cardiologists and cardiac catheter lab personnel are available around the clock to provide emergency services.

MMMC is the first neighbor island hospital in the state to offer this level of care for coronary artery disease, according to an announcement.  Coronary artery disease, the announcement states, is identified as the leading cause of death in the United States.

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The hospital received final approval in July of 2007 for a Certificate of Need (CON) for the cardiovascular program, paving the way for open heart and angioplasty procedures to be done on-island. In 2008, Dr. Richard Cochran was hired as the MMMC Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Since then the hospital has completed necessary infrastructure and hired personnel to fully staff the new heart program.

“This is a very exciting and pivotal moment for healthcare on Maui,” said MMMC Chief Executive Officer, Wesley Lo. “We have been working extensively for several years to bring this new service to Maui. Our new program provides basic services that have been missing, but are required for a community of this size. Heart patients, who previously had to be flown to Honolulu for treatment, now can stay on-island, saving precious time, resources and improving outcomes.”

In addition to Dr. Cochran, the program is manned by interventional cardiologists Dr. Colin Lee and Dr. Joseph Chambers with participation and support from Maui cardiologists. “We are pleased to have such a competent and caring staff to provide these heart services for Maui,” adds Lo. “In addition to our MMMC team of doctors, we have a strong group of Maui cardiologists who are also committed to providing optimal care here on Maui.”

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