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Heart Lung Vascular Institute

Cardiac Cath Lab

The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab is a multidisciplinary department providing cardiac services for inpatient and outpatient adult populations.  The Cardiac Catheterization Lab performs more than 8,200 procedures each year.  The lab is available 24-hours a day for emergency procedures, while implementing the newest technology to improve patient outcomes.  It is also the only facility in the Knoxville area providing lead extraction for pacemakers and ICDs.  Cardiologists perform lifesaving procedures, as well as, planned procedures to improve the quality of life for patients.

Diagnostic procedures include:

  • Electrophysiologic study
  • Endomyocardial biopsy
  • Fractional flow reserve/Instant flow reserve
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Left and right heart catheterization
  • Peripheral and renal arteriography
  • Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3D TEE)
  • Tilt table testing

Interventional procedures include:

  • Left ventricular assist device
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention
  • Right ventricular assist device
  • Rotational atherectomy
  • Stenting of the coronary, renal, carotid, and peripheral arteries
  • Thrombectomy

Electrophysiologic procedures include:

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT)
  • Catheter ablation for arrhythmias
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Implantable event recorder
  • Lead extraction
  • Permanent pacemaker
  • Temporary pacemaker

Structural heart procedures include:

  • Atrial septal defect closure
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Patent foramen ovale closure
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Mitral valve repair (Mitraclip)
  • Ventricular septal defect closure

Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (CTSU) is a 32-bed telemetry unit, located on the 7th floor of the Heart Hospital, offering patients the most up-to-date treatments and innovations in cardiothoracic surgery procedures available.

As an integral component of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute, CTSU serves as a step-down unit for the CVICU, providing collaborative care for post open heart surgery (both CABG and Valve), Mini-Maze, VATS as well as other post-surgical cardiothoracic procedures. Our patient population is not limited to post-surgical care; based on demand and request, we serve other monitored patients requiring cardiac diagnostic test, treatments, infusions and observation, including patients with congestive heart failure.

Our expert staff is committed to delivering the highest quality of healthcare to a very high acuity patient population and frequently receive praise for providing excellent care with an extra special touch. We truly function with golden opportunities at the heart of leading-edge technology, research and education in collaboration with our cardio-thoracic surgeons, cardiologists and other physicians as well as a multidisciplinary patient management team. Last but not least, we recognize and value patient satisfaction as the very heart of our practice.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

The new Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) opened in April 2010 as the premiere unit to the newly built Heart Hospital. The CVICU is a 24-bed unit that provides each patient with a private room, state of the art technologies, open family visitation and a family centered model of patient care. Our nurses are specialized in caring for patients with cardiovascular intensive care needs.

In working collaboratively with cardiologists, cardio-thoracic surgeons and vascular surgeons, the multidisciplinary team strives to exceed expected outcomes for patients who are:

  • Immediately post open heart surgery
  • Thoracotomies
  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Any other post-surgical cardiac condition requiring intensive hemodynamic monitoring and intervention

In addition to caring for cardiac surgery patients, the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit provides patients with prolonged cardiac arrest and anoxia to the brain with therapeutic hypothermia treatment. This medical treatment lowers a patient’s body temperature in order to help reduce the risk of ischemic injury to tissue, especially the brain, following a period of insufficient blood flow.

Clinical Observation Unit

The Clinical Observation Unit (COU) is a 12-bed outpatient observation unit where diagnostic tests, monitoring and short-term therapies are performed to determine if the patient should be admitted to the hospital for further treatment.  Our staff works collaboratively with the Emergency Department, the Nuclear Medicine Department, and Cardiac Catheterization Lab in order to accommodate the increasing volume of patients undergoing testing and procedures that require observation.  Common diagnosis admitted to the unit include:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart failure
  • COPD
  • Syncope
  • Blood product administration

Our skilled and professional staff promotes and delivers high-quality patient and family-centered care.  The University of Tennessee Medical Center encourages specialty certification.  Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience with these populations are given the opportunity to become professionally certified cardiovascular nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Endovascular Suite

The Endovascular Suite includes three rooms and the Endovascular Recovery Unit (EVR). Two of which are hybrid suites in the main operating room and a third suite which is shared with the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. The suites combine conventional open surgical and endovascular techniques to treat a wide variety of vascular diseases. The department performs more than 2,400 inpatient and outpatient procedures annually. The Endovascular lab serves both adult and pediatric populations. The Endovascular suite is staffed 24/7 with board-certified vascular surgeons, vascular fellows, registered nurses, registered radiological technologists, certified surgical technologist, and surgical scrub technologist. Each member of our staff is ACLS certified.

The Endovascular Recovery (EVR) Unit is an 8-bed unit providing pre and post procedural care for our vascular patients undergoing outpatient procedures. These procedures include arteriograms of the extremities, mesenteric, carotid, and renal vascular accesses. The staff in EVR strives to provide 5-star services to patients and family members during their stay.

Medical/Interventional Cardiology Unit

The Medical/Interventional Cardiology Unit is a 31-bed unit specializing in the care of patients with coronary artery disease requiring medical management and/or interventional treatment. The unit provides acute nursing care, including ongoing assessment, cardiac monitoring and dysrhythmia recognition, medication administration and cardioversion.

Our staff maintains a close relationship with the Cardiac Catheterization Lab in order to accommodate the increasing volume of patients undergoing procedures that require extended observation. A multidisciplinary approach, including Case Management, Clinical Nutrition, Pharmacy and Cardiac Rehabilitation is used to facilitate discharge planning. Many of our post cardiac catheterization patients are discharged within 24 hours.

Some frequent diagnoses admitted to Medical/Interventional Cardiology Unit includes the following:

  • Post Angioplasty or Coronary Stent
  • Chest Pain
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Congestive Heart Failure

Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience in cardiovascular nursing are given the opportunity to become professionally certified cardiovascular nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (www.nursecredentialing.org).

Neuro/Spine Unit

As part of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute, our Neuro/Spine Unit is a 28-bed unit that specializes in the excellent care of patients with neurological and spine related disease processes. We specifically care for patients in the post-operative period from a variety of spinal surgeries that can include:

  • Anterior cervical decompression & fusion (ACDF)
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
  • Thoracic lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Discectomy
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Hardware removal

Our neuro/spine patient population consists predominantly of patient with disease processes related to the vascular and central nervous system.  These can include:

  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Encephalopathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Paresthesia

We serve patients and their families by utilizing a multidisciplinary approach towards care and discharge planning.  The multidisciplinary team consists of the nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist, professional nursing staff, clinical pharmacist, physical therapy and case management.  The Neuro/Spine Unit has daily discharge rounds that facilitate the discharge process and allows for continuity of care after the hospital stay.  Our skilled and professional staff promotes and delivers high-quality patient and family-centered care.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center encourages specialty certification.  Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience with these populations are given the opportunity to become professionally certified.  Certification includes Neurovascular Registered Nurse (NVRN), Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN), or Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).

Neuro/Stroke Unit

The Neuro/Stroke Unit is a 21-bed acute care telemetry unit that specializes in the care of complex neurological patients focusing on stroke.  Our multidisciplinary team consists of a nurse manager, primary nurse, team leader, stroke coordinator, and director, stroke nurse practitioner, rehabilitation services, case management, pharmacist, and dietician.  Our population includes care of stroke patients, brain tumors, craniotomies, complicated migraines, and other neurological/degenerative diseases.

Our skilled and professional staff promotes and delivers high-quality patient and family-centered care.  The University of Tennessee Medical Center encourages specialty certification. Certification includes Neurovascular Registered Nurse (NVRN), Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN), or Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).

The Neuro/Stroke unit plays an integral role with The Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center at The University of Tennessee Medical Center and has been recognized as an American Stroke Association /American Heart Association Performance Achievement Award winner annually since 2008. Since 2011, the Stroke Center team has earned the Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Award annually since 2011.

Pulmonary Medicine Unit

The Pulmonary Medicine Unit is a 30-bed acute care nursing unit located on the 9th floor of the East tower.  The unit fosters a collaborative multidisciplinary team approach to provide exceptional care for patients with respiratory/pulmonary disorders.  This specialty team consists of pulmonary physicians, nurses with a passion for patient care specific to pulmonary disease processes, a clinical nurse specialist, pharmacist, unit-based respiratory therapists, dieticians, case manager, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, nursing assistants, health unit coordinators, and a nurse manager.  The team members are committed to maintaining optimal patient outcomes while maximizing the educational benefit of a teaching hospital.

The patient population consists of patients with respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and pneumonia.  The unit is and integral part of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute contributing to the only adult Cystic Fibrosis Center in the region and a leading Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic.  These patients are care for using the latest treatment therapies by pulmonologists, hospitalists, along with Internal Medicine and Family Practice residents under the direction of medical staff dedicated to teaching and research.

Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit

The Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit (VSTU) is a 30-bed intermediate care unit specializing in the care of patients with vascular disorders or disease and patients who have undergone kidney transplants. This multidisciplinary team was formed in 2002 to provide a focused approach to care for this growing population and its unique needs. The unit provides an intermediate level of care for patients where invasive monitoring and telemetry are available for patients undergoing surgical interventions. The VSTU provides collaborative care for the following:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Peripheral vascular bypass surgery
  • Kidney transplantation

Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience with these populations are given the opportunity to become professionally certified cardiovascular nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and certified clinical transplant nurses through the American Board for Transplant Certification.

In the Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit, a multidisciplinary team, including patients and family, work together to promote recovery and return to optimal health.

Leadership Team

Janell Cecil, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer & Senior Vice President

Jeanne Wohlford, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE

Vice President, Heart Lung Vascular Institute

Kristi Boggess, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Director, HLVI Patient Services

Jada Bates, MSN, RN, RN-BC

Nurse Manager, CTSU

Shannon Cusick, BSN, RN, RN-BC

Nurse Manager, Pulmonary Medicine Unit

Laura Harper, MSN, BS, RN, NE-BC

Nurse Manager, COU and Medical/Interventional Cardiology

Josh Hawkins, MSN, RN, NVRN-BC

Nurse Manager, Neuro/Stroke Unit

Becky Newport, BSN, RN, RN-BC

Nurse Manager, Cardiac Cath Lab

Beverly Parker, BSN, RN

Nurse Manager, Neuro/Spine Unit

The words

Terry Ray, BSN, RN

Nurse Manager, Endovascular Suite

The words

Dawn Stagman-Tyrer

Nurse Manager, Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit

Contact Info
Heart Lung Vascular Institute
1940 Alcoa Highway
Building E, Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37920
865-305-9458 Find a Doctor Make an Appointment
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