Home > Heart Center News > Mercy Cedar Rapids breaks ground on The Heart Center at Mercy
Published on September 23, 2021
Mercy Cedar Rapids broke ground today on its long-envisioned facility dedicated to advanced heart and vascular care. The Heart Center at Mercy is designed to be Linn County’s largest and most comprehensive such facility, offering integrated, patient-centered care and state-of-the-art technology.
This unique facility, scheduled to open in mid-2023, will bring heart specialists and coordinated heart services all under one roof and within a single center as Mercy continues to grow and develop the area’s leading heart program.
Today’s groundbreaking ceremony took place at the corner of 9th St. and 8th Ave. SE – the building site for the new facility – just across the street from the main hospital.
Funding for the facility was made possible through a generous estate gift from the late Jewel and Jim Plumb of Cedar Rapids. This gift is one of the largest donations in the hospital’s 121-year-history. (See attached news release for additional details on the Plumbs’ gift.)
At the groundbreaking event, Mercy leadership said The Heart Center at Mercy will offer patients access to advanced technologies and treatments, as well as feature patient conveniences along the continuum of care – from prevention and screening to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
Since its inception, Mercy has experienced tremendous growth in its heart program, which now treats more patients in Linn County for heart care than any other hospital. Additionally, Mercy is the only hospital in Cedar Rapids that is currently ranked as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by Fortune and IBM Watson Health. It’s also the only hospital in the city to have earned the prestigious three-star rating – the highest recognition for open heart surgery by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Mercy recently added a new cardiothoracic surgeon to its team of heart specialists – Velu Balasubramanian, MD. Dr. Balasubramanian joins Mercy cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon C.C. Lee, MD, FACS, as the program’s second open heart surgeon.
With Mercy’s heart services situated under one roof, the center will also include an increasing number of heart-focused specialty clinics designed to provide education, ongoing assessments, and individual care plans, including clinics for heart failure, A-Fib, heart valve disorders and more.
Hospital leaders at today’s ceremony said patients can expect unmatched coordination of care between cardiology specialists, including interventional cardiology; electrophysiology; cardiac and vascular surgery; cardio-oncology; pediatric cardiology; and diagnostic teams. Together, Mercy’s specialized cardiac staff will guide patients through the continuum of care.
A central vision of The Heart Center at Mercy is to greatly enhance access to screening and early detection of heart conditions. This will include state-of-the-art cardiac and vascular screening stations within an interactive lobby space to provide education and early detection opportunities. Engaging the community in these activities will support the identification of heart conditions sooner, thereby providing the opportunity for greater intervention earlier and decreasing the number of patients with unaddressed severe cardiac and vascular illness.
The Heart Center at Mercy will also include community education space for CPR and AED training, as well as other similar programming, making the new facility a central hub for heart-related information and education in the community.
Another feature of the ground level will be a large walking track specifically designed for cardiac rehabilitation to help patients transition back from medical and surgical intervention to full daily living.
Designed for vertical expansion, Mercy leaders said the facility could be further developed with the addition of electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites, which are currently available within the main hospital.
Ryan Companies US, Inc., will design and build The Heart Center at Mercy. Ryan and Mercy Cedar Rapids have worked together on dozens of projects over the course of the past 25 years. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin this fall.