"I'm standing here before you as a testament to their great work," said guest speaker and patient Edward Gogal of Nesquehoning at Wednesday's unveiling and grand opening of the new state-of-the-art Heart & Vascular Center, Sleep Lab Center and Outpatient Lab site at St. Luke's Miners Hospital in Coaldale.

Prior to the grand opening, visitors and guests were given a tour of the new areas as well as being treated to heart-healthy appetizers made by the hospital's chefs.

Encompassing approximately half the ground floor of the hospital about 15,000 square feet the new areas consist of the new main lobby, Heart & Vascular Center, Sleep Lab Center and Outpatient Lab site.

The heart and vascular center contains five exam rooms, eight treatment rooms, family waiting room, electroencephalography room, pulmonary function testing room, stress echo room, reading room and numerous office spaces. The new area also contains two state-of-the-art sleep labs and a large, 3,500-square-foot outpatient lab service area.

"The water that flooded the hospital in November of 2011 did not dampen our resolve to continue to meet the needs of the community," said Bill Moyer, president of St. Luke's Miners Hospital. "In fact, the aftermath of that unfortunate night created a new awareness as to how much the community relies on our services, which provided the drive to build a better facility with services that are easy to access.

"With that in mind, we improved physical access by placing key services near the main lobby entrance, featuring our new heart and vascular center which provides state-of-the-art diagnostic cardiac testing complimented by the exceptional team of St. Luke's Cardiology Associates."

"Everything was completely gutted and replaced with new state-of-the-art equipment," said Brian Walsh, project manager, Facilities Planning and Construction, St. Luke's University Health Network.

Proceeds from the 2012 Black Diamond Garden Party helped to construct the heart and vascular center at the hospital.

"The funds from the Black Diamond Garden Party have contributed to making this space into a full service Heart & Vascular Center, Sleep Disorder Center and Outpatient Lab site," said James D. Bohri, MD, chairman, St. Luke's Board of Trustees.

"Putting patient services right at the main lobby has always been our goal this was a good opportunity to do that with cardiology, sleep lab, pulmonary and other services."

The center will be staffed by the experienced and skilled cardiologists of St. Luke's Cardiology Associates including Palmerton native Christopher Cutitta, DO; Richard Kolecki, MD; Hazleton native Lynn Moran, DO; and Sobhan Kodali, MD. The Heart & Vascular Center will provide full access to the latest treatments and technology including echocardiograms, EKGs, holter monitors and outpatient visits.

"I am thrilled to be part of a practice that is bringing advanced cardiology services into the community where I was raised," said Dr. Moran. "I believe we can make a big difference to the residents, as we strive to improve the quality of life for patients with heart and vascular disease."

The total cost of the construction of the new center is more than $2 million, according to Moyer. The establishment of this center will provide easy access to heart specialists for local patients to receive the identical cardiology care with the very same cardiologists that also serve St. Luke's Heart & Vascular Center on 8th Avenue in Bethlehem.

"With the help of the Black Diamond proceeds, St. Luke's is able to make it easy for patients to see their St. Luke's cardiologist close to home," said Moyer. "St. Luke's Miners Hospital had a strong year financially, despite today's challenges; and those dollars and funds from the St. Luke's Network get reinvested into the facility here in Coaldale."

In addition to the Heart and Vascular Center, the new space accommodates a new Sleep Lab and Outpatient Lab Services location. The Sleep Disorders Centers at St. Luke's help evaluate, test and treat problems with sleeping. A sleep disorder may include difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time and/or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.

St. Luke's Sleep Disorders Centers are supported by board-certified sleep physicians and registered sleep technicians (polysomnographers) utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technology. St. Luke's Miners Sleep Lab conducts testing for all sleep disorders and is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The new outpatient lab site at St. Luke's Miners has been serving patients throughout construction, but moved into the new space in early August. Staff pointed out that the hospital-based site will offer walk-in service, early morning hours and help ensures timely, accurate and state-of-the-art analysis provided directly to the ordering physician.

Gogal, who mentioned that St. Luke's doctors found a small growth during his recent bypass surgery, ended his speech with further praise, stating, "I'm glad to be at St. Luke's."