Two recent cardiovascular surgeon additions to Mon General Hospital’s Cardiac Services Program means Mon General can provide the full continuum of cardiac services.
Alexander Nagy, M.D., began seeing patients this month, joining Kee C. Lee, M.D., as the second cardiovascular surgeon at Mon General Hospital. Dr. Lee joined Mon General Hospital last October as the Cardiac Surgery Director.
The addition of Dr. Nagy helps make Mon General Hosiptal’s cardiac services program the fastest growing
in the region, and the Mon General Hospital cardiology group continues to be the busiest in north central West Virginia.
In addition to open heart surgery, Dr. Nagy performs both lung and vascular surgery, including abdominal aortic aneurysm stent grafting.
Dr. Lee has been doing open heart surgeries for more than 25 years. He is experienced in complex open heart surgery, including valve repairs, replacements, aorta surgery, coronary bypass, and carotid artery surgery.
State Senator Joseph Minard, from Clarksburg, was a recent patient of Dr. Lee’s at Mon General Hosipital. He said he had his cardiac catheterization in Charleston but was referred here to Dr. Lee at his own request.
“I think he’s the greatest,” Senator Minard said. “With Dr. Lee, I just don’t know how you can get any better. You could go to any clinic in the country and I don’t think you could do any better than Dr. Lee.”
Minard, who has served as a state lawmaker for 26 years, said that when a Charleston cardiologist discovered the blockages, the cardiologist told him that Dr. Lee had operated on the cardiologist’s mother. “I told him, if he’s good enough to operate on your mother, I think that would be the guy that I want,” Minard said. “He made the appointment for me with Dr. Lee, and as soon as he saw me, he immediately put me in the hospital. When I first went (last May), I thought I was just going for a consultation. It turned out to be more serious than a consultation, something that had to be done and as quickly as possible.”
The Senator said four blockages were discovered, Dr. Lee soon did the bypass surgery, and the grateful patient says he is feeling back to normal again.
“We are very fortunate to have that kind of talent here in West Virginia. He left quite a reputation in Charleston before he came to Morgantown - and he is one of the highly regarded surgeons on the east coast,” Minard said. “We’re very fortunate to have that kind of talent right here under our nose. You don’t even have to leave the state.”
The three daughters of Reedsville, West Virginia native Ann Luckey learned that their Mother wouldn’t need to leave the state, either, to receive excellent cardiac care. Late last year, they noticed that their mother’s health appeared to be on the decline.
“I hadn’t been feeling well for maybe six weeks, and one of my daughters (also a nurse), came to visit me who hadn’t seen me and she noticed that I looked bad - I was weak, and she talked me into to going to Mon General – because she thought it was a great hospital, with great surgeons,” Ann said.
Ann was subsequently diagnosed with anemia, diabetes, congestive heart failure, mitral valve disease and coronary artery disease.
One of Ann’s daughters is Kristin Sarine, an R.N., who now resides in suburban Dallas. Kristin says they couldn’t have selected a better place to care for their mother.
“We all sat down and talked about the different options, wondering if ‘bigger is better’, but we stayed here. We were very pleased that we stayed here - the doctors do a fabulous job and everyone was wonderful here,” Kristin said. “I just can’t praise it enough. Every staff member has been wonderful.”
“I had a five-vessel bypass, and my mitral valve needed repaired and a small hole in my heart needed repaired, so we felt very fortunate to get Dr. Lee as our surgeon,” Ann said.
Now Ann is back to playing with her grandchildren, like she used to. “And I breathe so much better,” Ann said. “And, the cardiac rehab here I love.”
“The cardiac surgeons at Mon General Hospital are now performing complex heart surgery equal to that of a major, metropolitan medical center,” said Mon General Hospital’s President and CEO Darryl Duncan.
During the first six months of 2010, more than 50 valve surgeries, including complex valve repairs and aortic root replacements, were performed, and the open heart surgery program is on track to perform more than 300 total heart surgeries this year. Like Senator Minard and Ms. Luckey, patients treated have had excellent outcomes, with high patient satisfaction.
Dr. Lee and Dr. Nagy are partnering with Mon General’s six highly regarded cardiologists, who treat approximately 4,100 patients per year.
“I think our program is certainly one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, in West Virginia,” said John Lobban, M.D., an electrophysiologist/cardiologist on staff at Mon General.
Cardiologist John McKnight, M.D., says Mon General also possesses the state-of-the-art technologies of a larger, metropolitan area.
“We do heart catheterizations, angioplasty, we have all of the latest, up-to-date, heart failure equipment in the catheterization lab,” Dr. McKnight said. “We have two cardiovascular surgeons who are highly skilled, and very well seasoned.”