Syracuse, NY (August 17, 2018) – After $32 million of investment and just under a year of construction, St. Joseph’s Health will be officially opening a new 45,000 square foot Cardiovascular Care Center that will allow the hospital to truly become a destination center for all cardiac services by providing a dedicated space for the integration of services to enhance the patient experience and provide the highest quality of efficient care. The newly named “St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute” is the most awarded heart care program in the region and is ranked among the Top 15 heart surgery centers in the nation.

The Center will be named for A. John Merola, M.D. who has been closely aligned with St. Joseph’s Health for more than 50 years and helped create the family medicine residency program in the 1970s. Dr. Merola is Honorary Chairman for the 150th Anniversary Campaign and generously donated a $3 million contribution toward this project.

In addition to the new, expanded, state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab that opened last year, the new Cardiovascular Center renovated existing space in the hospital to consolidate four previously-separate work areas for catheterization, electrophysiology, interventional radiology, and access into one central interventional location – creating a comprehensive care approach for patients. The project also added:

  • Larger, more efficient patient rooms;
  • 15 additional patient bays (up from 19 to 34), plus with 6 PACU bays – for a total 40 patient bays;
  • seven special procedure rooms;
  • a new Hybrid Operating Room;
  • new, state of the art equipment offering lower doses of radiation exposure for patients and improved imaging;
  • larger registration and waiting area with fireplace overlooking Onondaga Lake;
  • additional consultation rooms and increased privacy for patients, families and providers to meet and discuss care; and
  • a new patient tracking system so visitors know when family members are in prep, procedure, post procedure/recovery.

Benefits of the new integrated suite include improved patient/family satisfaction, enhanced operational efficiencies, centralized prep and recovery space, easily accessible and contiguous family waiting space, cross-trained staff, integrated supply chain, and integrated patient care.

“The suites in the new Center enable our physicians and teams of caregivers to expand and innovate with cutting edge procedures that have been pioneered at St. Joseph’s, like the Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Repair (TAVR) procedure,” said Dr. Joseph Spinale, Chief Medical Officer at St. Joseph’s Health. “The Cardiovascular Center is critically important to the future health of CNY residents in particular because heart disease is the second leading cause of early death in our region.”

“This is a significant day in the history of St. Joseph’s Health, and for healthcare in Central New York,” said Leslie Paul Luke, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. “This is a transformational project that is part of a long history of initiatives St. Joseph’s has undertaken to bring the most sophisticated care to the area. It will position our health care system to provide the best care possible for patients and learning facilities for students, while acknowledging the pace of sweeping changes in our industry, and will touch the lives of families all across our service area.”

The St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute serves a 15-county area from the Canadian border (north) to the Pennsylvania border (south), most of the Finger Lakes (west), and east to Utica. For more information about St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Care, visit

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a regional non-profit health care system based in Syracuse, NY. Offering primary, specialty and home care, a Magnet-recognized hospital, and collaboration with community partners, St. Joseph's Health advances the well-being of the communities we serve through an expanding range of services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. St. Joseph’s is ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, a designated Stroke Center, a U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and the only hospital in Onondaga County to be awarded an ‘A’ rating by Leapfrog® Hospital Safety Grades. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a member of Trinity Health.