Lake Macquarie Private Hospital (LMPH) celebrates 25 years of cardiac surgery in 2019.
The cardiac unit at LMPH commenced operations in August 1994. It was founded by Hunter people for patients to have access to a full cardiothoracic surgery service close to home. At the time LMPH was the only private hospital between Brisbane and Sydney to do so.
Since 1994 over 8000 operations have been conducted. Patients have benefited from high quality care and LMPH remains the the leading private cardiac hospital in the region.
The original cardiac cases began under the guidance of Dr Alan Boyd (since retired and now an assisting surgeon) who was instrumental in setting up the cardiac unit at not only LMPH in 1994 but two years earlier with the public cardiac unit at John Hunter Hospital.
"It followed many years of discussions with ministers and others determining that there was an actual need for a cardiac unit in Newcastle," Dr Boyd recalled.
"Lake Macquarie Private Hospital were unbelievably good in the way they approached it. Without the willingness, drive and cooperation of the executive, and the likes of Dr Michael "Charlie" Carlton, director of the intensive care unit, it wouldn't have happened."
Three cardiothoracic surgeons currently operate at LMPH - Dr Allen James, Dr Rosauro Mejia and Dr Taranpreet Singh - who join a long line of surgeons who have proudly served the unit.
"The Cardiothoracic Unit is known to be a unit of excellence where patients and families know they will be cared for by an experienced multidisciplinary team that has helped over 8000 heart surgery patients," Dr James said. "A major strength of the service is the continuity and experience of surgical, nursing, perfusion and intensive care staff, many who have been working with the Unit since its inception."
LMPH offers a full range of complex cardiac surgery and was one of the first private hospitals in Australia to report its data to the national database starting two decades ago. Since then it has consistently achieved outcomes up to international level.
"With the back-up of the Emergency Department and Cardiology services LMPH provides services 24/7 and is perfectly positioned to provide services to regional NSW," said Dr Singh, who has worked with the unit for 10 years.
LMPH has set the standard high in providing cardiac services and remains an invaluable resource for the wider community.
"I am very proud of the staff at LMPH as they have worked collaboratively for many years to bring about best outcomes for cardiothoracic patients," Leah Gabolinscy, CEO of LMPH, said.