The Meaning of Care Magazine

Focusing on Cardiovascular Care: Building on Years of Success at Jennie Edmundson

Published: Dec. 12, 2022

Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital is setting its sights on creating a new state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Care Center at the hospital.

The project will include renovated catheterization (cath) lab suites, updated equipment with the most advanced technologies, education spaces, consultation areas and a new waiting room. It’s all designed to help Jennie Edmundson continue providing the region with the most up-to-date cardiovascular care possible.

“The care we provide in the new center will be comprehensive, coordinated and streamlined,” said Julie Buckelew, MSN, RN, CCRN, campus manager for cardiology and pulmonary services. “It will combine the team’s extensive experience and skills with the tools needed to save more lives.”

To support this important project, the Jennie Edmundson Foundation Board of Directors is planning to launch a Cardiac Capital Campaign in 2023.

“Improvements will represent the next generation of health care in our area and an unprecedented leap in technological advancement,” said Tara Slevin, chief philanthropy officer for the hospital and president of the Jennie Edmundson Foundation. “The campaign’s success will ultimately depend upon the enthusiasm and commitment of our friends and neighbors who see the extraordinary value of this project.”

The proposed Cardiovascular Care Center will build on Jennie Edmundson’s already sterling reputation for providing premier regional cardiovascular care.

Since opening the hospital’s cath lab, hospital staff members have seen many advances to care, including improved equipment and new cardiac procedures.  

“From 1987 until 2000, the cath lab was used solely for diagnosing coronary artery disease,” said Marcia Keith, clinical manager for the cath lab. “Anyone who needed a balloon angioplasty or stent was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Omaha. In 2000, our cath lab performed its first coronary balloon interventional procedure – and from that point on, big strides have been made in caring for cardiac patients.”  

Today, Jennie Edmundson’s cath lab staff and cardiovascular care team have more than 100 years of combined experience, offering cardiac/vascular balloon angioplasty and stenting; balloon pumps; Impella percutaneous heart pump technology for patients with severe coronary artery disease; EKOS Acoustic Pulse Thrombolysis, a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to dissolve clots; and other procedures. 

The hospital routinely receives STEMI patients – who are experiencing the most severe form of heart attack – from throughout western Iowa, northwest Missouri and eastern Nebraska. Their timely care is aided by the hospital’s one call, 24/7 patient transfer line – 844-JENNIE1.

The service began in March 2014, and the total number of patients transferred that year was 103. Now, the transfer line averages that many patients each month. 

Further illustrating Jennie Edmundson’s expertise: In 2021, the cardiac care team diagnosed 15,744 cardiac conditions and 3,124 vascular conditions.

Others are taking notice of the excellent care. In 2022, the hospital was recognized by the American Heart Association with its first ever Mission: Lifeline® regional STEMI achievement award for its commitment to the highest quality of care among STEMI receiving centers, STEMI referring centers and 911 EMS agencies.

“This is the first time any hospital in the area has earned the regional award,” Buckelew said. “It recognizes the excellence of our STEMI processes and care from the 911 dispatch level and EMS transport to the diagnostic and interventional treatment in our cardiac cath lab and continued care in cardiac rehab.”

Keith is especially proud of the speed and efficiency of the lifesaving care delivered at Jennie Edmundson. The national gold standard for having a STEMI patient arrive at a cardiovascular care facility, placing the patient on a catheterization lab table, having the blockage diagnosed and opening the blockage with a balloon angioplasty procedure is 90 minutes. It is called the door to balloon (D2B) time.

“There have been 33 STEMI patients we have cared for so far this year, and our average D2B time is 50 minutes,” Keith said. “We set lofty goals, and our staff thrives on finding ways to get better every time.”

With the new Cardiovascular Care Center, she added, they’ll have the tools they need to continue providing outstanding care.

For more information or to learn about giving opportunities, contact the Foundation at (712) 396-6040 or visit our website at

More Resources