Surgical Recovery at The Ronnie Green Heart Center
Following any cardiothoracic or vascular surgical procedure, patients are taken directly to the Ronnie Green Heart Center, our cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). Patients with a serious life-threatening cardiac event, such as a heart attack or cardiac arrest may also be taken to the CVICU.
This 17-bed state-of-the-art unit provides each patient with a private room equipped with the most advanced technology to carefully coordinate their recovery. These rooms are centered around the primary nursing station, to provide the clinical staff with a clear view all patients. With large monitors displaying each patient’s vital signs, the team can immediately respond if there are any abnormalities or significant changes.
While in the Ronnie Green Heart Center, patients receive 24/7 care and support from a team of experts trained in cardiac surgical care, including dedicated nursing staff, intensivists, respiratory therapists and physical therapists. Plus, one of our cardiothoracic surgeons is available around-the-clock to provide additional care. Together, this comprehensive team carefully monitors vitals, helps to manage pain/discomfort with medication and treats any side effects following surgery. In some cases, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be used to oxygenate and circulate blood after surgery, allowing the lungs and heart to rest.
Ensuring a consistent and healing environment starts with having patients located in comfortable surroundings with the best, most appropriate care for their stage of recovery. We take a personalized approach to post-surgical cardiac care, meaning that after spending the first few days in The Ronnie Green Heart Center, patients will be relocated to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) to continue their recovery journey.
What services are offered at The Ronnie Green Heart Center?
After any type of cardiothoracic surgery or complex procedure, high-quality care is essential to ensure a safe and swift recovery. In addition to attentive care and patient education, support technologies and services are provided in the Ronnie Green Heart Center to continuously monitor patients and promote healing, such as:
- Breathing support with ventilators
- Breathing exercises & coaching
- Cardiac imaging (electrocardiograms and echocardiograms)
- Comprehensive blood tests
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- IV medications and fluids
- Post-surgical education
- Physical rehabilitation
History of The Ronnie Green Heart Center
A lifelong resident of Gainesville, Ronnie Green was 55 when he died in March 2001 of a heart attack. In December 2001, his parents, Frank and Lillie Mae Green donated $4 million from Ronnie’s estate through The Medical Center Foundation to benefit Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s new open-heart program.
The gift was a tribute to their son Ronnie, beloved by the Gainesville community. Ronnie was born to Mr. and Mrs. Green, the founding owners of Green’s Grocery Store in Gainesville. A graduate of Young Harris College and the University of Georgia, Ronnie wished for nothing more than to return to Gainesville, Green’s Grocery and the neighborhood people he loved dearly.
For this reason, the Greens felt it was only appropriate for part of Ronnie’s legacy to be a gift that would continue to contribute to the health of his community. The unprecedented donation resulted in naming the cardiac intensive care unit the Ronnie Green Heart Center. A bronze memorial marks the entrance to the Heart Center, commemorating the generous gift and Ronnie’s life. Now, Ronnie Green will go on touching, both literally and figuratively, the hearts of many in northeast Georgia for years to come.