SAYRE BOROUGH — Although it won’t officially open to the public until May 6, the community was able to take a look at the new Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Heart and Vascular Center during an open house Tuesday that included a tour of the facility and some reflection from hospital leadership.

The new 17,000 square foot facility, which is situated near the south entrance to the clinic, is the culmination of a three-year-long process involving the efforts of many individuals, from brainstorming to construction, according to Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital President Joseph Sawyer.

He added that the new addition will not only compliment Guthrie’s heart and vascular physicians, advanced practice providers and staff, but also “act as a recruitment and retention beacon, attracting and retaining the top talent with the ability to practice in a high quality state-of-the-art setting.”

“We are very pleased to be able to offer the communities that we serve with the best possible care close to home while being able to save lives and keep people well,” he continued. “The new Guthrie Heart and Vascular Center does just that.”

Dr. Daniel Sporn, chief of cardiology and president of the Robert Packer Hospital board, touted the new facility as more comfortable for patients and their families while also providing more privacy and improved safety. This includes imaging equipment that cuts patient and staff radiation exposure by half; spacious cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and structural heart rooms; a spacious waiting area with real-time status boards; a street level entrance with nearby parking; a location close to the Intensive Care Unit and operating room; and private rooms for preparation and recovery.

Behind the improved facilities, Sporn recognized the team behind the hospital’s recognition as a top 100 hospital for interventional cardiology for several years.

“We’ll be able to do the same procedures and more with improved precision, with improved safety and the same great outcomes,” said Sporn.

Guthrie President and CEO Dr. Joseph Scopelliti noted that heart and vascular services are increasingly more important as the area’s population continues to age, and especially in a rural area when time is crucial to a positive outcome.

“We want to be here for the community and provide that kind of care,” said Scopelliti.

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I am the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily and Sunday Review.