New cath lab for Idaho veterans opens

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 18:46:36-04

Veterans in Idaho with heart concerns are getting access to a new facility designed to serve their needs closer to home. The new cardiac cath lab at the VA Medical Center in Boise expects to treat more than 400 veterans in Idaho every year.

The medical center didn't previously have the x-ray technology or procedure rooms needed to treat veterans with heart disease. Instead, veterans had to go to outside areas like Portland or Seattle to receive treatment. 

Now, they can get the care they need in the comfort of their own community.

"We can speed up the time to diagnosis the time to treatment for our patients and we dramatically reduce the sort of dissociative issues of having to dislocate them in a sense to move them to Seattle and their families, so it's a tremendous asset for this institution," said Dr. Steven Fonken, the director of the VA's new cath lab.

The new lab will help doctors determine the severity of each patient's heart disease and provide quicker treatment. It opens August 7.