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Lawrence General, Beth Israel team up

LAWRENCE — In January, Lawrence General Hospital interventional cardiologists will join forces with their peers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston to significantly enhance cardiac catheterization and emergency angioplasty services in the Merrimack Valley.

The affiliation gives local heart attack victims a double advantage. Since July 2008, they have had rapid access to lifesaving angioplasty at the hospital, when minutes count. National standards suggest that the procedure is most effective when performed within 90 minutes of a heart attack. The Lawrence General program cares for victims close to home, in familiar surroundings.

That local care will now be augmented by support from specialists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Now, when more than angioplasty is needed to treat an ailing heart, patients can also count upon the support of the entire cardiac team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For example, patients requiring a bypass procedure could have that surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess.

Two local cardiologists on the staff of Lawrence General Hospital lead the local team. Dr. Seth Bilazarian, director of interventional cardiology at Pentucket Medical Associates, will now serve as director. He and Dr. Sunit Mukherjee have treated patients in the angioplasty program since its inception in July 2008. The lead physician from Beth Israel Deaconess is the medical director of cardiac catheterization at the medical center, Dr. Donald Cutlip.