Simi Valley Hospital has opened a heart catheterization lab, the first such facility for treating heart conditions in the Simi-Moorpark market. Until now, the hospital could diagnose heart problems but was not capable of treating them. Patients were transferred to Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks or Northridge Hospital for treatment. If a Simi resident is rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a heart condition, a doctor in the lab can make a small incision in the groin and feed a catheter through veins to the heart. The catheter can resolve some heart blockages by inflating a tiny balloon on the end of the catheter, or using a special attachment to remove a blood clot, for example. Chief Executive Kim Milstein said the hospital felt a need to treat heart problems on the premises, given that heart disease is the biggest killer of both men and women in the United States. “With the heart, time is muscle,” she said. “The faster you treat the blockage and get blood and oxygen flowing, the more muscle you can preserve and the less long-term damage.” To obtain state authorization as a cardiac-treatment facility, the hospital must have the capability to deal with any contingency situation, including open-heart surgery. That’s why the cath lab is designed to quickly convert into a sterile operating room. The hospital already has two cardiac specialists on staff who will run the lab, so no new hires are needed. Milstein said the 11,000-square-foot cath lab is part of a $41 million upgrade to the hospital that includes expansion of the emergency room and regular operating space. The money came from Adventist Health System, the hospital’s non-profit owner headquartered in Roseville, and from a $3 million capital campaign in Simi. The cath lab construction also included a new gastrointestinal facility for colonoscopies. The cardiac lab has a second room designed for cardiac catheter insertion, but only one is licensed to operate for now. “We are already putting a proposal together for authorization, and we expect to have the second lab operational within a year,” Milstein said. The lab is located on the garden level of the Patient Care Tower. Wichita Doctors IPC the Hospitalist Co. Inc. has acquired two related physician groups in the Wichita, Kan. market. The North Hollywood company acquired Kansas Inpatient Services LLC and Kansas Long Term Care Physicians LLC, which together handle about 90,000 patient visits a year, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition marks IPC’s first entry in the Wichita market. Last year IPC, which specializes in doctors that help patients after leaving the hospital, made 15 acquisitions for a total of $68 million. In a press release accompanying its annual report, the publicly traded company stated it plans to continue buying doctors groups. “We are very pleased with our recruiting efforts and the status of our acquisition pipeline,” said Chief Executive Dr. Adam Singer during a Feb. 21 conference call, after the company released its annual report. The company’s guidance for 2013 projects net income between $37 million and $38.7 million, but that could change depending on the cost of new acquisitions. HealthWorks Hire U.S. HealthWorks, an operator of occupational health clinics and urgent care centers, has appointed Scott Strickland as national director of therapy services. Strickland has worked at the Valencia company for two years as a regional director of therapy. In his new job, he will supervise about 160 therapists offering physical, occupational, and massage therapy along with chiropractic medicine and acupuncture treatments. Strickland has a background in physical therapy. He previously held supervisory positions at HealthSouth Corp. in Birmingham, Ala.; Select Medical Corp. in Lower Allen, Pa.; Outreach Senior Healthcare in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and in private practice. Strickland noted that U.S. HealthWorks has grown by acquisition and he plans to help the company continue to expand by buying providers. “We recently acquired four centers in Milwaukee and three centers in Chicago,” he said. “We intend to continue expanding our footprint nationwide in order to best serve our clients who have locations in multiple states.” U.S. HealthWorks, a subsidiary of Dignity Health Inc. in San Francisco, has 190 clinics and work sites in 17 states and serves more than 12,000 patients a day. Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at (818) 316-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.