Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center

The Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

Since opening its doors in 1967, the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has established a rich history of medical firsts and has become the nationwide model for the use of pacemakers and defibrillators.

Victor Parsonnet, M.D., Medical Director of the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center, performed the first pacemaker implantation in New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel in 1961. History was made in 1972, when he and his colleagues, Drs. George Myers, I. Richard Zucker, and Lawrence Gilbert implanted the world’s first nuclear-powered pacemakers, and in 1988 the first dual-chamber nuclear pacemakers.

Through a continued commitment to research and development and patient care, the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center has remained a leader in the field of pacemaker and implanted defibrillator technology and its clinical use in managing cardiac rhythm disorders.

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The Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center is a multi-faceted clinical facility. We provide services at the time of device implantation and later during follow-up. Follow up ensures that an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator is programmed optimally for the needs of each patient. In considering the clinical needs of our patients and taking their lifestyles into account, we can ensure that their devices will provide the best possible service for years to come.

Our services are available to patients with permanently implanted pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). These services include remote transtelephonic monitoring as an adjunct to office visits that permit thorough evaluation and, when necessary, reprogramming of the devices. Our trained and experienced staff members also provide education and reassurance to patients and their families.

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An integral part of our mission is to provide the best possible service to nursing home patients, offering bedside pacemaker monitoring in the privacy of the patient’s room. Throughout the years, despite multiple changes in Medicare guidelines and federal regulations, our Center has remained in the forefront of providing care to all patients.

Our services to nursing home patients include:

  • All on-site pacemaker evaluations are done in the privacy of resident’s room in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This arrangement places fewer demands on both the residents and nursing home staff.
  • A resident/patient can be enrolled at any time simply by calling the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center at 973-926-2287 or speaking to one of our nurses during their visit to the nursing facility.
  • Testing is conducted by our registered nurses who have a strong cardiac background with specific training in cardiac devices. Any deviations from normal are reported immediately to the medical or nursing staff and corrective action is initiated. Every report is reviewed by our physicians, and the reports are faxed within 24 hours to the facility.
  • Billing to Medicare/Medicaid for non-skilled nursing home patients is handled by our administrative personnel.

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Modern pacemakers employ extremely sophisticated circuitry and computer processing in order to sense and control the electrical activity of the heart. Our staff routinely evaluates every aspect of the pacemaker system, including the pulse generator, the battery it contains and the pacing wires by which it is connected to the heart. We also monitor patients carefully for any changes in clinical status that may necessitate pulse-generator reprogramming or attention from another physician or service.

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The goal of programming is to adjust the response of the implanted pacemaker or defibrillator to the changing needs of the patient. Only a properly programmed device can interact with the heart’s spontaneous activity to provide optimum clinical benefit. A programmer is a computerized instrument which, when placed over the pulse generator, can “read” telemetry data from the implanted device and, if need be, transmit new instructions to change a host of aspects of the pulse generator’s operation. This achieves two basic goals: it “fine tunes” the operation of the device for optimal clinical benefit, and maximizes the life of the pulse generator. Reprogramming is only done in a face-to-face session, never during transtelephonic tests (see below).


All pacemaker patients receive a telephone monitor to take home. The transtelephonic monitor transmits basic pacemaker data for interpretation by the clinical staff at the Pacemaker Center. This permits more frequent monitoring without the inconvenience of additional office visits. If a problem is detected over the phone, we ask the patient to visit us for a complete evaluation or to see their physician.

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We are committed to providing the finest care possible. This commitment is realized through a strong emphasis on research. The use of a computerized patient-testing system (developed here at Newark Beth Israel and now used internationally) has made today’s technically sophisticated pacemakers and defibrillators more manageable. The Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center also maintains a comprehensive pacemaker database, with extensive data on all of our patients, allowing us to monitor, analyze and report on our results, thus helping to maintain our high standards.

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Your pacemaker or defibrillator follow up complements your regular medical care. Our services do not replace the medical care you receive from your private physician. Rather, we work together with your physician with whom we maintain systematic contact. Upon your physician’s request, we will promptly forward a report with the results of your routine evaluations and any programming changes that were made.

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The Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center also performs 30 day cardiac event monitoring 24 hours/7 days a week. Cardiac Event Detection (CED) involves the use of a long-term monitor by patients to document suspected or symptomatic transient arrhythmias.

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It is our mission to provide high quality, comprehensive, cost-effective care to any patient with an implanted cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator (including patients affiliated with RWJBarnabas Health and our own Outreach Programs), and in consultation with their private physicians to offer personal and friendly preoperative, postoperative and long-term counseling to patients and their families.

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The Pacemaker and Defibrillator Center is conveniently located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center with easy access to our comprehensive hospital services. Suburban satellite facilities also are located in West Orange and Belleville with appointments available upon request.

Our address:
201 Lyons Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07112

To reach our departments by phone:

Receptionist: 973-926-2287
Appointment Scheduling: 973-926-6747
Phone Monitoring Technicians: 973-926-7500 or 7501
30 Day Cardiac Event Monitoring: 973-926-7418
24-Hour Answering Service: 973-926-7500
Nursing Home Services: 973-926-2287

Office Hours and Directions:

Monday through Friday, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

For directions, click here.

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