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On Call

Medical Technology

While summer does not technically end until the start of fall on Sept. 22, for all intents and purposes it ends with the start of school! I remember fondly, or I might say more accurately “un-fondly” the start of school. As a child, summer was an opportunity to hang out with my friends and enjoy the great summer weather. Going back to school meant going back to “work.” Yet, despite the fact that summer fun was ending, the start of the school year always seemed to reignite my competitive spirit. I loved being first in line at the bus stop. I raced to be the first in line in the lunch room; first to pass in my work and first to leave when the bell rang. That personality trait would prove to serve me well later in life, as a physician and as president and CEO of Catholic Medical Center.

For CMC and our medical providers, there is no such thing as summer vacation from “school.” We are always seeking to learn about the latest evidenced-based medical procedures that can offer health, healing and hope to our patients. Medical technology is advancing at warp speed; thus our providers are constantly reviewing medical journals, exploring new treatments, and speaking to their colleagues from around the country and world to stay on the edge of those advances. As a result of that diligent study, and in keeping with the ambitions of my own school years, CMC has many firsts to be proud of in regards to offering our patients state of the art medical technology:

The first hospital in New England to offer robotic-assisted prostate surgery;

The first hospital in the state to perform a mechanical heart/left ventricular assist device implant;

The first in New England to implant the WATCHMAN™ after its FDA 
Approval;

The first hospital in northern New England to offer a new heart failure 
treatment: the CardioMEMS™ HF System;

The first hospital in the state to provide breast angiography for helping to distinguish cancer from benign disease;

The first in New England to offer SAVI SCOUT®, an advanced FDA 
approved surgical technology for breast care;

The first in the world (that is the right, the WORLD) to enroll patients in ASAP TOO clinical trial, offering The WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device for patients with atrial fibrillation who are ineligible for anti-coagulation therapy (blood thinners) to reduce the risk of stroke.

These are just some of our “firsts.” For a community hospital, CMC is providing its patients with the latest evidenced-based technology, all as a 
result of our medical providers staying in school 12 months of the year and looking to be first!

For all of you going back to school this September, I hope you have a safe and rewarding experience. Perhaps you’ll be the next to be first.

Dr. Joseph Pepe is the president and CEO of CMC Healthcare System: Catholic Medical Center, New England Heart & Vascular Institute, and several subsidiaries. He and his wife reside in Manchester.