By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – The Heart Institute of East Texas held its official grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 14 replete with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception.

Hosted by the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce, the chamber’s executive director – Jeannie Julian – opened the festivities and welcomed everyone in attendance “… who had come out to wish them well.”

Following Julian’s greeting, the staff of the Heart Institute, along with ambassadors from the chamber, moved outside for the ribbon cutting.

According to Marketing Director Sharon Ford, “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for the community and to help further their healthcare needs.”

The Heart Institute is temporarily housed at 300 Cedar St. in Crockett (the former State Farm building) and will move to its permanent location on East Loop 304 once that facility has been renovated.

After the ribbon cutting, Dr. Ravinder Bachireddy – the founder of the Heart Institute – addressed the attendees.

“Thank you very much for being here and allowing us to come in to serve the community. We are very excited to be here and all of our cardiologists are very interested in serving this community,” he said.

Bachireddy indicated all of the cardiologists are board certified with “… 36 board certifications among 12 of us. We have been serving Deep East Texas for the last 35 years. We have created a culture where we all work as a team between the doctors, nurse practitioners and hospital staff.”

He further explained the Heart Institute had partnered with CHI St. Luke’s Hospital to help provide the best cardiac care available behind the Pine Curtain.

“We want to provide the best care possible to the community as well as to provide accessibility to our patients. That is our goal so you don’t feel the lack of healthcare in this town. Our mission is to provide high quality health care with as little cost as possible and to provide satisfaction to our patients. Our patients come first to us and we work towards that on a daily basis,” Bachireddy said.

“Our board-certified cardiologists offer a full range of services from cardiac consults, cardiac imaging, balloon angioplasty, stenting, pacemaker insertions, vascular procedures and preventive cardiology. The office will be open five days a week and will be staffed by two separate cardiologists, Dr. Venkata Kovvali and Dr. Satish Velagapudi. Both are established cardiologists with varying specialties,” a press release stated.

The Heart Institute of East Texas has over 35 years of experience serving the East Texas community and has clinics located in San Augustine, Center, Woodville, Livingston, Trinity, Jasper, Lufkin and now Crockett.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.