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Saint Luke's Building New Heart Institute

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – Saint Luke's Hospital will break ground on a new building for its Heart Institute today. The ground breaking comes just days after the University of Kansas opened its new heart center. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute will move into a new $145 million dollar facility. On Monday, just miles away on the other side of the state line, KU Hospital opened the doors to its new more than $75 million dollar heart center.

Kerry O'Connor, Saint Luke's communication's director, says KU's new heart center is not a threat to Saint Luke's because the heart institute already has a large number of patients who will use the new facility. And, she says, the hospital is expecting even more patients in the future.

Kerry O'Connor: "Well the volume is probably there, and with the aging population that's probably going to increase."

O'Connor says the hospital is upgrading the heart institute that opened in 1980. The updated facility will have more space, operating rooms, cardiac labs and patient beds. And as part of Saint Luke's $300 million dollar master plan a dedicated women's heart center will be built next to the new heart institute, which is expected to open in 2010.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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