Christus Good Shepherd Health System broke ground Thursday on its new, $8.5 million Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.

The 21,500-square-foot facility, at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, will offer cardiovascular care services for East Texans.

“It really marks a milestone in cardiovascular care, and we couldn’t be more proud today to be here to present this to the community,” said Todd Hancock, chief executive officer of Christus Good Shepherd Health System.

Irving-based Christus Health acquired Good Shepherd Health System on Feb. 1, 2017. One year later, during Longview’s Go Red For Women luncheon, Christus announced plans to build a new cardiac care center.

On Thursday, Hancock said the cardiac care center will take about eight months to build. When completed, the Christus Good Shepherd Cardiovascular Center of Excellence will feature clinical offices and cardiac health services. The new center will have the capacity to serve the hospital’s 12 existing specialists and their teams, with opportunity for future expansion. The center also will provide expanded comprehensive cardiac care, including diagnosis, treatment, prevention, rehabilitation and education.

“This facility will be a wonderful resource for East Texans because it offers one-stop convenience and a readily accessible location,” said Dr. C. Fagg Sanford, chief of cardiology of Christus Trinity Clinic in Northeast Texas. “It combines cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiovascular surgery into a single, medically integrated clinic. That means we have the high-quality heart care our patients need, offered in a familiar, trusted environment with minimized travel.”

Such “one-stop” services will include a minimally invasive vein clinic, nuclear imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, stress testing, EKG and echocardiography, heart health and device education, and minor procedure rooms, according to Christus. The facility will feature the latest, “state of the art” cardiac care equipment, Sanford said.

“This will be the highest quality center focused on providing the best care for the community of Longview and the surrounding area,” Sanford said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am to be part of this great team, to be part of this wonderful organization.”

The new facility will be located on the ground floor of the Medical Plaza parking garage at Christus Good Shepherd in Longview.

“We had an iconic presence here in this very spot. There was an ambulance that was jutting out of this building. They removed that ambulance in the rain yesterday to make way for what I’m about to reveal,” Hancock said as he unveiled a rendering of the Christus Good Shepherd Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.

Hancock said the new center will build upon the cardiac care foundation that such providers as Dr. Oscar “Jay” Chastain and the late Dr. David Sadler built. Chastain and Sadler brought the city’s first cardiology program to Good Shepherd Medical Center.

“This project is an enormous step forward for heart care in East Texas, and it is a great example of the commitment of Christus Health to the people in the communities we serve,” Hancock said. “We are honored to play a significant role in the advancement of cardiac care that will be transformative for the many patients we serve here in Northeast Texas.”

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