Published on March 03, 2017

North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital to Open on UNC REX Healthcare’s Raleigh Campus

State-of-the-art facility combines leading physicians, cutting-edge technology and hospitality

RALEIGH, N.C. – The new North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital will open for patients on Sunday, March 5, on the main Raleigh campus of UNC REX Healthcare. The new hospital, which will house all of UNC REX’s heart and vascular services, is equipped with the latest technology for patient care and procedures, but also will focus on prevention, research and education aimed at improving the health of patients from across North Carolina and beyond.

The eight-story, 306,000-square-foot facility houses 114 large patient rooms with lots of natural light to encourage healing. It was designed to include heart-healthy features with input from patients, families, physicians and many other experts. As one example, a new demonstration kitchen will allow the award-winning UNC REX chefs to teach patients and their loved ones healthy cooking and eating habits before they go home, which could lead to important lifestyle changes. A team of rehabilitation specialists will work with patients in a dedicated fitness space on personalized exercise and heart-improvement plans.

“Every aspect of the facility was designed with the comfort of patients and their families in mind,” said Dr. James Zidar, Physician in Chief, UNC Health Care’s Heart & Vascular Service Line. “The design is based on research, best practices from other heart centers across the country, and input from UNC REX patients, physicians, clinicians and caregivers. We are treating more patients at UNC REX from across central and Eastern North Carolina. We wanted to open a facility that will improve care for them and for generations to come.”

In addition, the new hospital includes a simulation lab, conference center, technology for live video streaming and more that will help foster collaboration and training among physicians from around the world. As UNC REX has evolved from a community hospital into a regional referral center, it’s also become a destination for clinicians who want to learn about the latest treatments and procedures.

“UNC REX is committed to innovation that improves patient care and makes the delivery of that care more efficient,” said Dr. Ravish Sachar, Physician in Chief, UNC REX Heart & Vascular. “The new hospital will incorporate the latest technology for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. We will offer patients a wide range of clinical trials and research. The dedicated education space will make it easier for UNC REX physicians to continue training physicians from across the county and around the world, and expand educational programs available for patients and the community.”

UNC REX is treating an increasing number of patients from across Eastern North Carolina and beyond. Those patients will now arrive to a new specialty hospital that can treat their illnesses and ensure that they can enjoy healthy lives for years to come.

“We are thrilled to open our doors to the growing population of the Triangle and surrounding areas,” said UNC REX President Steve Burriss. “This exciting addition is part of UNC REX’s plan to regenerate our main hospital campus, and evolve into a regional referral center offering specialized cardiovascular care, prevention and education for patients from across Eastern North Carolina and beyond. Today is the culmination of years of hard work that will ultimately benefit patients, the region and our state.”

The hospital will fully transition all patients and services from the main UNC REX Hospital on Sunday, March 5. Once all heart and vascular services shift to the new facility, UNC REX will begin plans to improve and repurpose vacated space on its main campus. For starters, a space now used for cardiovascular patients will be converted into a behavioral health zone for patients being treated in the hospital’s emergency department. This space will help provide a safe, welcoming experience for patients in mental distress.

Visit North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital for more information including videos inside the facility. Or, take a look at the hospital's fact sheet and overview card.

The new North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital will offer the following state-of-the-art features:

Hospitality Services

The new hospital offers valet parking at the front entrance and a covered walkway from the nearby parking deck. Upon entering the lobby, patients are assisted in a dedicated room for added privacy.

Patient Rooms

The hospital features 114 private patient rooms, each with a dedicated space for family and friends that includes a privacy screen and a couch that folds out into a bed. Each room also is equipped with vital sign monitoring to increase the time nurses are able to spend in the room with patients, and a patient lift system to safely assist patients as needed.

Nursing Neighborhood

Each of the patient room floors in the hospital is equipped with two nursing neighborhoods with 12 patients assigned to each. The neighborhoods are designed to reduce the number of steps between the nursing station and each patient room. They also feature a command center where physicians and other clinicians can work within eye sight of the patient.

Café and Sacred Space

Kardia Café, located on the first level of the hospital, will serve Mediterranean-inspired, heart-healthy cuisine. The café is adjacent to a family courtyard with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an outdoor waterfall feature and artwork sourced from North Carolina artists. The hospital also features a dedicated sacred space for family and friends seeking a quiet room for meditation or prayer.

Hybrid Suite
The hospital features two hybrid rooms, which are designed for the latest, minimally-invasive procedures that require advanced imaging equipment. One of the rooms features a viewing room with theater seating for physicians and clinicians to view live procedures as part of UNC REX’s clinical education program.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
The hospital also features a cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation room fully equipped with treadmills, bikes, upper body cycles, NuStep® machines and free weights. A team of dedicated rehabilitation specialists will be available work with each patient to design an individualized exercise and heart-improvement plan that meets the patient’s personal goals.

Education Space
A dedicated educational conference space with broadcast technology will make it easier for UNC REX physicians to continue training other physicians from across the globe. The hospital also features a demonstration kitchen where UNC REX’s chefs can teach patients and the community about heart-healthy cooking. A simulation lab will allow for hands-on training for physicians and team members – helping physicians practice specific procedures and train on the latest techniques and devices.