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Cardiac care options may expand in Alexandria

Douglas County Hospital (DCH) has taken preliminary steps to provide cardiology services locally.

DCH announced Wednesday it has signed a letter of intent to partner with Minneapolis Heart Institute to offer cardiac care services.

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Currently, for cardiac events that can’t be treated locally, patients are transferred to other hospitals with capacity for a higher level of cardiac care.

Minneapolis Heart Institute, part of Allina Health, has an office at Alexandria Clinic and has been part of the clinic for 20 years.

Cardiologists see patients at the clinic twice a week and offer coronary care procedures like echocardiograms.

Dr. William Katsiyiannis, president of Minneapolis Heart Institute, said, “This partnership will allow more patients to stay in their own community and close to home for the highest quality heart care possible.”

Carl Vaagenes, chief executive officer of DCH, said, “It’s great to see this priority that has been discussed by the board of directors and affiliated physicians come closer to reality. Through a partnership with Minneapolis Heart Institute, we envision becoming a center for cardiovascular services.”

Dr. Ron Verant, cardiac director at Alexandria Clinic, added, “It has taken the hard work of numerous individuals over the span of months to get to this point. The desire to bring the highest quality health care to our community has been our focus throughout this process.”

Next, the financial feasibility of cardiac care expansion will be reviewed.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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