Sat | Dec 10, 2016

COMPANY PROFILE - Heart Institute of the Caribbean

Published:Friday | October 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dennis Cohen (left), NCB Group finance and deputy managing director, hands the top award in the Innovation Category to Heart Institute of the Caribbean Ltd's director, Dr Edwin Tulloch-Reid.

The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) is the leading cardiac care centre in the Caribbean. Since its opening in 2005, the Heart Institute has been dedicated to preventing and treating heart and blood vessel diseases through appropriate use of leading-edge technology, research and education. Patients will enjoy the warm, personal atmosphere of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean from the moment they enter the facility and throughout their entire visit.

When patients walk into the lobby, a customer service representative will greet them and review admission information, answer questions and ensure that patients receive proper care during their visit, as well as the necessary information upon discharge. The institute also has branches in Mandeville and Ocho Rios.

As the number of citizens needing this high-quality cardiac care dramatically increased, the drain on the economy posed a major problem as more and more local dollars were being spent overseas to purchase these services. Interestingly, many of our wealthy citizens that depended on United States and other overseas locations for their cardiac care have died suddenly at home from cardiac disease because of the absence of a well-equipped local facility to respond to emergency situations. The time lapse to transport patients out of the country could have fatal consequences.

Our History

Convinced that Jamaicans and the developing world, in general, should have access to optimal levels of cardiovascular care locally, the founders (Prof Ernest Madu and Dr Dainia Baugh) mobilised private funds, encouraged participation from a small group of local physicians and leveraged relationships and resources to fund a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art cardiovascular centre.

HIC has been active in the recruitment of the best trained and experienced cardiologists and technical staff to provide first-rate care to Jamaicans and the wider Caribbean. This dream was realised in April 2005 with the opening of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica.

Firsts

Since HIC opened its doors in 2005 and saw its first patient, it became the first and only for several things:

The first and only cardiovascular clinic in central Jamaica with a comprehensive menu of services, including echocardiography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, stress testing, holters and ambulatory BP.

First and only myocardial contrast echo and dobutamine myocardial contrast stress echo programme in Jamaica.

Only pacemaker and ICD device implantation programme in the English-speaking Caribbean run by board-certified cardiac electrophysiologists.

First and only emergency cardiovascular service in Jamaica with dedicated ambulance service for cardiovascular care.

Additional accomplishments

Opening of 24-hour Emergency Chest Pain Centre

On September 15, Jamaica's first dedicated 24 hour Chest Pain Emergency Care Centre opened to the public. The Chest Pain Centre at HIC has been designed to facilitate urgent diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute heart attack and other life-threatening chest pain or cardiac emergencies. The centre is staffed by four interventional cardiologists who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to handle any cardiovascular emergency.

Community service

JAAA athlete testing

Signed contract between HIC and JAAA to test athletes; this will ensure free cardiovascular screening of junior athletes from 2014 to 2018.

Hypertension clinic

Partnership with Dr Reddy's. BP kiosks set up in select pharmacies offering free blood pressure checks; and referrals made to Heart Institute Hypertension Clinic [initial visit free of cost].

Charity events - ECG Days

Getting your heart checked for only $500

Family Heart Health Forum - The free heart health forum zoomed in on heart diseases, including heart attacks, in the context of families as a support system and a unit for lifestyle change. The forum also included testimonials from heart attack survivors, including Michael Anthony Cuffe Sr and Tommy Cowan.

Heart stations

Mobile clinics in Portmore. ECGs, echocardiography and consultation services are done one per week.

Participation in community health fairs and medical conferences.