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      Hannibal Regional announces new interventional cardiac facility

      A local hospital known for its cancer care now wants to do the same for your heart.

      Hannibal Regional Hospital announced plans to build a new interventional cardiac facility on its campus by the end of 2008.Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in northeast Missouri. Hannibal Regional Hospital hopes to better care for those with heart disease with its new Cardiovascular Institute.

      The new Cardiovascular Institute will be located inside the current HRH Emergency Department. The hospital also plans to construct a new emergency department here on the west side of the ambulance entrance. All the construction should be completed by the end of 2008 and when it opens, officials say it will bring cardiovascular services closer to home, saving time when minutes and seconds count.

      "Time is muscle," said Dr. Allen Duplantis, Interventional Cardiologist and the Director of Interventional Cardiology for the Hannibal Cardiovascular Institute. "If an artery is blocked, every minute, every second that that artery remains blocked damages heart muscle. The sooner you get that artery open and blood flow restored the more likely the patient is to have a good outcome."

      John Grossmeier, president of Hannibal Regional Hospital, says he's not concerned that there will be an oversupply of such centers in the area.

      "I wish that were the case; I really do," he said. "This (cardiovascular disease) is unfortunately high in our region. We worked very hard with Blessing; there is plenty of demand, plenty of need to serve both interventional services."

      "The more cardiologists you have in the area, the more likely you are to save lives," said Dr. Duplantis.

      The Cardiovascular Institute should begin serving patients with limited interventional services in March, and by the end of the year it will offer the full gamut of interventional procedures including angioplasties and stents.

      The cardiovascular Institute will cost between $4-$5 million to build. The Hospital kicked off its capital campaign today. Hannibal Regional's Auxiliary has already pledged $500,000 for construction.