The Pediatric Center for Heart Disease, a division of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC, recently received a Philips EPIQ 7 Ultrasound system donated by the Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation (GMHHF). The unit produces highly detailed ultrasound images, enabling the medical team to better diagnose the most complex cases and improve outcomes.
“There is a new form of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM, that is only detectable because of new technology,” said Robert Tozzi, M.D., section chief, Pediatric Cardiology and medical director, Pediatric Center for Heart Disease, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “The images this ultrasound machine produces are so crisp, that we can actually see the muscle itself and the evaginations within the muscle and that’s where the disease is. This technology is enabling us to diagnose this form of HCM and other life-threatening heart conditions, saving countless lives.”
Gregory M. Hirsch was a healthy young man when one week before his 30th birthday on April 28, 2001, he died suddenly of HCM, which had been undetected. In his son’s memory, Fred Hirsch started the Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation to raise awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other heart-related conditions.
“It’s a shame I had to start this foundation for the reason that I did. But, I am glad to see the number of lives we’ve saved over the years through screenings, which has been a very important part of what we’re doing,” said Fred Hirsch. “I’m extremely happy to present this machine to Dr. Tozzi and his team, knowing that it’s in the right hands and the good work they’re able to perform with it.”
The Gregory M. Hirsch Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy at the Pediatric Center for Heart Disease at HackensackUMC is committed to providing individualized care, treatment and support to patients and families with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). It is the first facility established in the area to screen families for HCM. This unique approach enhances care and communication between the healthcare team and family members. Although HCM affects 1 in 500 individuals, it is often unrecognized and misdiagnosed.
The mission of the GMHHF is to prevent sudden cardiac death in children and young adults by educating the medical community, and pro-actively identifying at-risk young adults through comprehensive screening and early detection. Funds raised by GMHHF support cardiac screening and education programs as well as research and detection of heart conditions in babies, children, and adults through the Pediatric Center for Heart Disease at HackensackUMC.
Photo: The Pediatric Center for Heart Disease at HackensackUMC recently received a state-of-the-art ultrasound system, on behalf of the Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation. From left to right: Thomas Anton, administrative manager, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC; Joseph Coccaro, board member, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation; Robert Tozzi, M.D., section chief; Pediatric Cardiology and medical director, Pediatric Center for Heart Disease, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital; Fred Hirsch, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation; Anna Marie Hirsch, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation; Roger Moggio, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation; Arthur Stanton, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation; Linda Stanton, administrative director, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital; and Michael Wilenta, Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation.
About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775- bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 team members and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is the only hospital in New Jersey, New York and New England to be named one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals™ nine consecutive years, and receive the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.