Fort Walton Beach, FL - Fort Walton Beach Medical Center officially opened two new state-of-the-art Cath Labs in their Heart Center on Thursday, March 3, 2016. The opening comes after approval of a $2.5 million capital expenditure early last year. The new Cath Labs are equipped with the latest imaging software and offers digital imaging capabilities, larger fields of view, lower radiation levels and the ability to perform PAD procedures.

During the opening ceremony, community guests heard from Dr. Joe Pedone and Dr. Anthony Al-Dehneh, both from the Okaloosa Heart and Vascular Center. The physicians discussed the benefits of having the new Cath Lab technology in the area, which allows their patients to stay in their home town for treatment, versus traveling outside the area.

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center's Heart Team consists of the only open-heart surgeon in the area, and cardiologists from Okaloosa Heart and Vascular Center and White Wilson Medical Center. Assisting these dedicated and compassionate physicians is a team of the most highly trained cardiovascular nurses and techs in the area. All were present for the official opening of the Cath Labs.

"This expansion joins the list of other first-in-the-area procedures available at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center to help those with heart disease", states Mitch Mongell, CEO of FWBMC." The fact that we are the only hospital in the Tri-County area qualified to perform open-heart surgery, first in the area to use the Impella heart pump and the first to perform an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure (which is a procedure that closes holes in the chamber of the heart), is a huge benefit to the community. We have the best cardiologists in the area and now we have the latest technology and procedures to help them treat their patients. "

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has the most comprehensive Heart Center in the Tri-County area, performing procedures not available within 60 miles of the hospital. In June 2015, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center was the first hospital in the tri-county area to perform a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) procedure using the Impella pump (world's smallest heart pump), which essentially serves as an artificial heart for a patient undergoing a high risk PCI procedure.