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PROGRESS: GMC to add more heart services

LAWRENCEVILLE -- For the second straight year, Gwinnett Medical Center has added to its cardiac care offerings.

A more than $10 million investment in electrophysiology testing, also known as EP, is expected to begin in spring, 2014 that will include a newly-renovated area of GMC-Lawrenceville.

"Through EP testing the doctor can safely reproduce various heart rhythms to check the appropriateness of medications, or to determine the best procedure or device to treat an individual's heart condition," said GMC President and CEO Philip Wolfe.

EP will allow doctors to expand on such current offerings such as pacemaker implants to support cardiac mapping and additional interventions, Wolfe said.

Last year, GMC opened the Strickland Heart Center, which offered a full suite of open heart surgery services, which eliminated Gwinnett's moniker as the nation's largest county without open heart services. GMC counted 350 heart procedures in its first year, GMC spokeswoman Beth Okun said.

The EP service records the electrical activity and electrical pathways of the heart, so doctors could determine what disturbs a heart's rhythm and what the best treatment will be.

"This broadening of our cardiac services will allow us to continue to meet the growing needs of residents in the region," Wolfe said.