Heart hospital opens at St. David’s Laura Ware, director of Cardiovascular Services at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, displays the MRI machine at the hospital’s new facility.[/caption]

A new Round Rock location of the Heart Hospital of Austin will give Williamson County residents increased local access to advanced surgical procedures—such as open-heart surgery—and preventive care.

The Heart Hospital of Austin at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center is a new 15,390-square-foot facility that offers a full range of cardiac care, including some procedures never offered in the county before, according to officials.

“Round Rock [and Williamson County’s] growth is significant, and that means we have a lot of new people moving to the area,” said Deborah Ryle, CEO for St. David’s Round Rock.

The Round Rock Heart Hospital location opened May 1 with advanced equipment, two new surgeons and plans for a hybrid operating room with sophisticated imaging equipment that will provide detailed views of the vascular system, Ryle said.

“This venture has allowed Round Rock to do the full spectrum of cardiac care,” said W. Chance Conner, the new medical director of Vascular and Cardiothoracic Surgical Services at the Round Rock Heart Hospital location.

With the growing number of health care facilities available in the area, Round Rock is becoming a type of health care destination, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw said.

“One of the terms we’ve started throwing around for Round Rock is ‘destination medical,’ which is a spinoff of ‘destination retail,’” he said. “You wouldn’t believe how many times you run into people in some of these smaller communities that now say they come to Round Rock for all their medical needs.”

Jackie Givens, a Cedar Park resident who underwent open-heart surgery at St. David’s Round Rock, said the new location will make it easier for Williamson County residents to visit loved ones undergoing cardiac treatment.

“My husband is on oxygen, and he said [he] really dreaded going downtown [Austin]. [He] isn’t used to driving in the traffic and having to carry his oxygen with him, so we needed a place that was convenient for both of us,” she said. “[The Heart Hospital of Austin at St. David’s Round Rock] is going to be great for all these people who need heart surgery, and they may be in the same situation as my husband and I—they won’t have to worry. “