Among the Northland’s three major health-care providers can be found the busiest hospital in the Kansas City metro area‚ another that boasts a birthing center that has been likened to a spa‚ and yet another that is introducing the latest in interventional cardiac care technology. North Kansas City Hospital is the busiest hospital in the Kansas City metro area‚ with both the highest number of patients seen in its emergency department – 56‚000 annually‚ as well as the most admitted to the hospital for treatment – more than 21‚000 annually‚ according to Kim Shopper‚ NKCH spokesperson. These numbers largely are due to the hospital’s physical growth in capacity as well as expansion of services provided since it opened in 1958. “North Kansas City Hospital began with community support‚ and that support has allowed our hospital to grow from the original 80-bed facility to 451 beds‚” Shopper says. “We are a leading provider of health care services in the Northland and the Kansas City metro area.” North Kansas City Hospital also offers the only full-service cardiovascular program in the Northland‚ including open-heart surgery‚ and is accredited as a Chest Pain Center to quickly handle cardiac emergencies. Saint Luke’s Northland Hospital also is focused on healthy hearts‚ having recently enhanced its cardiac services with new interventional procedures. Dr. Joseph Goeke‚ a cardiologist with the 36-physician St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute‚ says the hospital now provides angioplasty to patients who need the procedure‚ and will soon offer PET (positron emission tomography) stress testing for diagnosing coronary disease. “We’re so excited about the new PET camera‚ especially for our patients’ convenience. The testing takes 30 to 60 minutes‚ where it used to take four to five hours‚” Goeke says. “The radiation exposure is significantly less‚ and there is greater accuracy and easier interpretability. It’s 13 to 20 percent more accurate in defining results.” Goeke says it’s a bonus that patients can have the new services close to home. “There’s a big focus here on optimal patient care – providing services locally without our patients having to travel too far‚” he says. Meanwhile‚ Liberty Hospital is making a name for itself with its luxurious birthing center‚ which opened in 2005. The center contains 24 private rooms – 11 birthing rooms and 13 mother/baby care rooms specifically designed for the comfort of both during the remainder of their stay. All of the rooms are equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows‚ calming‚ natural colors and wood trim‚ as well as an extra sleeping bed. “A stay at the Birthing Center at Liberty Hospital has been compared to staying in a deluxe spa or five-star hotel‚” says Jennifer Benz‚ the hospital’s director of public relations. Liberty also provides a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery for babies with special care needs‚ and free home follow-up visits to all families who deliver a child at Liberty Hospital. “A registered nurse will examine the baby‚ and also the mom‚ evaluating her physical and emotional health since giving birth‚” Benz says. In addition‚ Liberty Hospital is receiving high patient satisfaction scores‚ achieving a 95th percentile ranking for its emergency and trauma services. The emergency room is equipped with 28 beds and an enclosed‚ heated ambulance bay large enough to hold four ambulances at one time.