CHW: Cardiac Surgery to Move from Long Beach to St. Mary
Catholic Healthcare West officials announced their intention last week to relocate heart surgery services from 261-bed Long Beach Community Medical Center to 539-bed St. Mary Medical Center, despite protests from community members and physicians. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that a CHW board vote last Wednesday night also approved plans to retain a cardiac diagnostic lab at Community. Physicians argued that the profitable cardiac surgery program is critical to the hospital's survival and warned that removing it would drive many patients to competitor Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, creating an "unsustainable situation" for Community in as little as 18 months. But administrators feel St. Mary's teaching program and trauma center will better complement the surgery program. The move is the latest in a series of efforts to bring Community and St. Mary closer together: The hospitals' administrations were merged in April, and CHW announced plans last month to move Community's pediatric and obstetric services to St. Mary (Lowe, 10/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.