For hundreds of heart patients in the Merrimack Valley, the name Dr. Sunit Mukherjee evokes smiles and expressions of affection. The longtime North Andover resident has been a fixture at Lawrence General Hospital for 22 years. The administration recognizes Dr. Mukherjee for his significant leadership in the development of the hospital’s highly successful cardiac program. On September 29, 2018, Dr. Mukherjee will receive the 2018 Santagati Award for Visionary Leadership.
Early in his career, Dr. Mukherjee spent much of his time performing diagnostic cardiac catheterizations—a procedure that threads a long, thin catheter through the femoral artery to the heart.
In July 2008, Lawrence General’s Cardiac Cath Lab performed its first interventional catheterization, diagnosing and treating blocked arteries during the same procedure, which has saved countless lives over past decade. Dr. Mukherjee was instrumental in laying the groundwork for this major new service offering in the Merrimack Valley. In the years since, the hospital gained accreditation in interventional catheterization, chest pain management and congestive heart failure care—the only cardiovascular center in the region to attain these accreditations.
"Without Dr. Mukherjee’s instrumental leadership, we wouldn’t have a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (interventional catheterization) program in the valley,
” said Kathy Caredeo, RN, Lawrence General’s director of Cardiovascular and Ambulatory Services. “Thanks to his focus on quality, our average time from patient arrival to open artery is a full 30 minutes better than the national gold standard.
"We are so pleased and proud to recognize this pillar of the medical community with our highest honor,
” said Dianne Anderson, RN, president and CEO at Lawrence General Hospital. “Dr. Mukherjee is a tireless advocate for his patients and this hospital, sacrificing countless hours with his own family to take care of his Lawrence General family. His vision for our cardiovascular program has helped us position the hospital to serve these critically ill patients closer to home.
The Santagati Award was conceived and first awarded in 2014 to its namesake, Richard Santagati, a Lawrence native, and 30-year board member of the hospital. Mr. Santagati has been a committed supporter of the hospital’s mission and growth over the years and was the first recipient of the award in 2014. In 2015, the award had two recipients: Dr. Eduardo Haddad, the president of the hospital’s medical staff and longtime primary care and nephrologist in the region, and the associates of Market Basket, who organized a successful battle to help their beloved employer retain control of the grocery chain.