SCRANTON -- Regional Hospital of Scranton opened its new Heart and Vascular Institute on Tuesday.
In a room full of people on hand for the grand opening of a new Heart and Vascular Institute, perhaps no one understands its impact better than Kevin Schorn. He's a proud Chicago native, so proud the Cubs logo is tattooed on his chest. But, when he started having chest pains a few years ago, he was in his adopted Scranton.
He came to Regional Hospital and survived cardiac arrest.
"Now that I live in Scranton, and this place is here, I don't think I'll move from Scranton. It's so great having this place here. It's a comfort because I know it's going to happen again. And I'm doing everything I can to keep it from happening, but with cardiac arrest, there's not much you can really do. So this is in my backyard, and I'm not going to leave this backyard," Schorn said.
Schorn feels especially safe with Regional's brand new Heart and Vascular Institute. It features brand new labs, and all pre-op and post-operation rooms all in one place, something Regional, formerly Mercy Hospital, did not have before.
"There's no way that we are not going to be the destination hospital of the northeast, not just of Pennsylvania," said Sharon Hahn.
The Heart and Vascular Institute was finished in only a year but it is only part of a much larger project for the Commonwealth Health hospitals in Scranton.
Regional Hospital and its neighbor Moses Taylor will connect; that construction is expected to be done in 2020.
Meanwhile, the heart institute is up and running and touting a special accreditation. The American Heart Association named Regional the first cardiovascular center of excellence in the country.
"When they left and said they were going to verbally recommend you to our board and then we got it, like I said, we were on cloud nine," said program director Elaine Walker RN.