PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Updated: 3/8/2019 4:16 P.M.
While it's no longer an uncommon procedure, there are only a handful of medical facilities nationwide where heart transplants are performed.
But later this year, the first heart transplant operation will take place.
West Virginia University Health System was recently granted a certificate of need for heart transplants.
The head of the WVU Health System says having major cardiac and vascular programs around the state played a role in getting that certificate.
"It will be tied to this program, so that patients from the Parkersburg area need a transplant-let's hope they don't, but we'll be there for them," says President and CEO Albert Wright. "All of their electronic records, all of their testing will flow, and all of the communication between our physicians in Parkersburg and Morgantown, and we'll start to do those transplants in Morgantown, probably in the next 180 days or so."
Wright made that announcement at Thursday's grand opening of Parkersburg Cardiology Associates new location, near WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center.
It has one of the most comprehensive heart and vascular programs in the Mountain State.
A relocated cardiac care center is now open for business at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center.
Parkersburg Cardiology Associates' new facility was formally opened Thursday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It replaces a complex that had been located at the former St. Joseph's Hospital complex for 47 years.
And it now houses other cardiac and vascular health offices that had been in various locations in Parkersburg.
"We made the decision that, when we put people, programs and physical plant together, magical things can happen", says Albert Wright, President and CEO of the WVU Health system." "So we relocated Parkersburg Cardiology Associates to the Camden Clark campus. We built this beautiful facility to create what really is one-stop vascular care on this campus."
Construction on the $9.5 million dollar complex, located across from the hospital's main campus, began in late 2017.