Gene Wright

Gene Wright, mayor of the panhandle town of Malone, Florida, knows what he is talking about when he says Capital Regional Medical Center is one of the best hospitals around. “I’ve had a lot of different kinds of surgeries at hospitals in Florida, Georgia and Alabama,” he says. “When you’ve been in the hospital as much as I have, you have a lot of different experiences. At Capital Regional, it’s been a good experience all the way around.

It was mostly back and neck surgeries that brought Mayor Wright to other hospitals, but a problem with his heart brought him to Capital Regional Medical Center in September 2011 when he suffered from a widow maker, a certain kind of grave heart attack. He had gone to the VA Medical Clinic in Mariana because he wasn’t feeling well, where they did an EKG and told him he needed to get to the hospital immediately. “When I got there, they were ready and waiting for me,” he says.

Dr. Niraj Pandit

Niraj Pandit, MD

This was also when Mayor Wright met Niraj Pandit, MD, of Capital Regional Cardiology Associates. Dr. Pandit, an interventional cardiologist performed a heart catheterization and inserted a medicated stent. About five months later, he headed back to Capital Regional when he thought he might be having another heart attack. Dr. Pandit performed another heart catheterization, and thankfully, there weren’t any more blockages, but he did adjust his medications.

Mayor Wright’s third trip came in May 2013. He went to his doctor at the VA Clinic and was told to follow up with Dr. Pandit right away rather than waiting for his next appointment about a month later. “I wasn’t in Dr. Pandit’s office 10 minutes when they sent me over to the hospital,” he says. After a night in the Intensive Care Unit, he underwent another heart catheterization, which revealed a blockage, and Dr. Pandit inserted another stent.

Mayor Wright says he was sent to Capital Regional Medical Center by the VA the first time, but the next two times could have gone elsewhere. However, he chose to come back to Capital Regional. “I really like Dr. Pandit and I really like the hospital. The first time I was admitted everyone was excellent from the people in the ER to the nurses on the floors, even the people that clean your room,” he said. “I also like Dr. Pandit. He tells it like it is and he doesn’t pull any punches. His bedside manner is better than many other doctors I have had.

“When you go the hospital as much as I do, you want to be in the very best place. I’ve had three excellent experiences there. From now on, whether it my heart or something else, I am going to Capital Regional Medical Center.