Emory University Hospital expands heart and vascular facilities, enhancing patient access and care

ATLANTA, GA – Pioneering care and innovation come together in the expansion of Emory University Hospital’s new heart and vascular facilities, with a mission to better serve patients in Georgia and beyond. The state-of-the-art care spaces with advanced technology are the result of an $87.7 million investment from Emory Healthcare.

Following three years of meticulous planning, space design, construction and preparation, the enhanced and fully equipped spaces in the hospital will open for procedural services beginning March 19, with cardiovascular critical care services already underway.

The new facilities, located on the third and fourth floors of the Emory University Hospital Tower, and referred to as “3T” and “4T North,” feature a new 16-bed cardiovascular intensive care unit (CV-ICU), a suite of new cardiovascular and thoracic operating rooms (ORs), catheterization laboratories (cath labs) and electrophysiology laboratories (EP labs), all with innovative technology and the latest equipment to advance patient care.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in many of the rooms allow natural light to enter much of the new space. Locating the various procedure areas in one space allows efficient use of resources and facilitates comprehensive patient care by having multiple specialists nearby and available to meet the patient’s needs.

“These new heart and vascular facilities will allow us to greatly enhance patient care, grow procedural capacity and access, and continue to foster innovation and excellence across the whole service line,” says Angel Leon, MD, executive director of Emory Heart & Vascular. “I could not be prouder of our team at this moment.”

The idea for a re-conceptualized Emory Heart & Vascular space expansion first began to percolate during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic — a time when the urgent question of space efficiency, and how to better accommodate patients during times of crisis, was at a fever pitch in hospitals and clinics across the nation.

By 2021, this idea for a clinical expansion of Heart & Vascular had gained traction, with construction beginning on the 4T North CV-ICU in the fall of 2022, followed by a “groundbreaking” of the 3T procedural space just two months later. 

Construction was completed on 4T North last fall, and the CV-ICU fully opened in January 2024. On 3T, the EP labs, cath labs and preparation and recovery areas will begin their services on March 19, followed a week later by the cardiovascular and thoracic operating rooms, which will begin surgical procedures on March 26.

“This reimagined space will greatly enhance the patient experience and provide an outstanding environment for our team members to deliver care,” says Emory Healthcare CEO Joon Lee, MD, who is also a cardiologist. “For years, Emory Heart & Vascular has been considered a regional and national leader in cardiology interventions, treatments and procedures. With this expanded space, we are excited to bring Emory-level care to even more members of our community.”

With the opening of the new heart and vascular spaces, Emory University Hospital has been in the process of recruiting more than 80 new staff members, of which more than half will be highly skilled nurses whose primary focus is cardiovascular care.

jaber leads a tour

Emory Heart & Vascular history

Emory has a legacy of leading the way in innovative treatments, procedures and comprehensive care for cardiovascular patients.

Over the years, Emory doctors have been at the forefront of heart procedures in Georgia: from surgery for mitral valve stenosis in the 1950s to the first open heart surgery and aortic valve replacement in the 1960s to coronary bypass surgery in 1970. In 1980, Andreas Gruentzig, MD, who pioneered balloon coronary angioplasty, came to Emory and built the most prominent interventional cardiology program in the country. In 1985, Emory University Hospital was the site of Atlanta’s first heart transplant.

With the opening and expansion of the new heart and vascular spaces at Emory University Hospital, Emory experts will continue making a difference in the lives of Georgians by providing additional access and enhanced cardiovascular and thoracic care and technology to the community.

Highlights of the new Emory University Hospital Heart & Vascular space


On 4T North:

  • A new cardiovascular ICU (CV-ICU) has been added with 16 new beds, fully open and operational as of January 2024.

On 3T:

  • One hybrid OR (for minimally invasive and open surgical procedures) and six cardiovascular and thoracic operating rooms, including one with robotic capability. Two ORs are additional with this project.
  • Twenty-eight (28) prep and recovery bays, with nine being newly added.
  • Three EP labs moved across Clifton Road into the new space, with labs nearly tripling in size.
  • Four cath labs moved across Clifton Road into the new space, with labs more than doubling in size.
  • Support services added, including a new satellite blood bank and compounding pharmacy onsite
  • The ORs are equipped with the latest advancements for enhancing cross-collaboration, with secure, real-time streaming capabilities for collaborating surgeons to weigh in on operations from outside the OR. These streaming capabilities also deepen training capabilities for faculty to interface with other experts in training, as well as medical students and residents from locations across the globe.
  • The new cath labs have been fully outfitted with the most cutting-edge advancements in equipment to minimize radiation levels for patients and health care professionals.
  • The third- and fourth-floor cardiovascular spaces are designed to offer abundant sunlight — something which dramatically improves both patient and family experiences in a variety of ways, including helping to accelerate patients’ recovery from ICU delirium. 
  • By convening several high-volume care teams in a centralized space, the new Emory Heart & Vascular facilities will also foster enhanced team collaboration. By intentional design, the interconnected new spaces will improve the speed and ease by which experts from across different areas of care can easily work together to promote the best outcomes for patients. 

Photos by Jack Kearse, Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

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