From the outside, it appears to be an unassuming facade with its warm brown and tan exterior blending harmoniously into the arid, natural landscape. But inside Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s latest building project is a high-tech, state-of-the-art facility. Here, surgeons and cardiologists will perform advanced procedures to treat complicated diseases and conditions of the heart, including AFib, aortic aneurysms and heart valve disease.
Located on the eastern end of the La Mesa campus, Sharp Grossmont’s new Burr Heart and Vascular Center — slated to open in fall 2018 — is anticipated to be the first and only dedicated heart and vascular center in San Diego’s East County.
“The new center will allow us to continue to perform the latest cardiovascular procedures in a new, modern space,” says Scott Evans, CEO of Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “We are excited to offer this leading-edge facility — equipped with advanced surgical and imaging technologies — to San Diego County residents, particularly those living in our nearby East County neighborhoods.”
East County — comprised of the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee, as well as communities such as Alpine, Jamul, Lakeside and Spring Valley — is characterized by a high population of residents experiencing cardiovascular disease and stroke. In 2017 alone, the hospital treated 138 true ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) cases — a very serious type of heart attack. Partly due to its high cardiovascular patient volume, Sharp Grossmont operates one of the busiest cardiac catheterization labs in California.
“The Sharp Grossmont Hospital Burr Heart and Vascular Center is a state-of-the-art facility with an all-star physician team to care for you and your loved ones,” says Joe Lo Duca, system vice president of the cardiovascular service line at Sharp HealthCare. “As one of the busiest cath labs in California, this new facility will be an incredible addition to the hospital and our East County family and friends needing cardiovascular services.”
A community votes, gives
The new Sharp Grossmont Hospital Burr Heart and Vascular Center is part of the hospital’s modernization plans that began in 2006 when San Diego’s East County voters approved Proposition G, a multimillion dollar bond measure sponsored by the Grossmont Healthcare District. More than 77 percent voted in favor of the $247 million bond measure to address East County’s growing needs for emergency care and other medical services, including cardiovascular care.
Along with community support, generous philanthropists have donated more than $13 million toward the development of the center.
“We are truly grateful to the voters and donors who have helped pave the way in making this center a reality,” says Beth Morgante, vice president and chief development officer for The Grossmont Hospital Foundation. “Their contribution through their votes and generous donations signifies that this building is truly created for the people, by the people.”
More than a decade later, the vision for a new center is closer to reality. The 60,000-square-foot center, located on the first floor of the three-story building, features the latest equipment and facilities, including cardiac catheterization labs with 3-D imaging technology and hybrid operating rooms to diagnose and treat a patient simultaneously during surgery.
“As we near the end of construction, we are looking forward to providing heart and vascular services to our patients in an upgraded environment,” says Evans. “The building, overall, adds to the modernization of our hospital as a whole. We are building for our community and for our future.”
In July 2018, Sharp unveiled a new name for this facility: the Burr Heart and Vascular Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.