January 2012 Edition - Health Matters

The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • January 2012 Health Matters

By Kelly Merritt

This top-ranked destination for cardiac excellence in Florida just got better.

At the Naples Heart Institute grand opening event in November, patients, NCH physicians and interested residents gathered for a catered reception, toured the new state-of-the-art facility and listened to presentations by doctors.

The Naples Heart Institute is changing the face of cardiac care in Southwest Florida. InNovember,Naples Heart Institute (NHI) welcomedmore than 500 people to an open house complete with tours of the facility and the opportunity tomeet the NHI physicians and staff. As part of the NCHHealthcare Group, the purpose of the Naples Heart Insti- tute is simple: provide the best heart care available. The NHI team of 13 dedicated physicians and staff members specializes in the man- agement of cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease. The providers are skilled in the evaluation and treatment of coronary artery disease and heart valve disease; congestive heart failure; palpitations and atrial fibrillation as well as other heart rhythm disturbanc- es—all under one roof. NHI also features specialized clinics for managing Coumadin, pacemaker interroga- tion, lipid evaluations, congestive heart failure and a host of diagnostic testing protocols. Because cardiac events can happen anywhere, anytime, NHI physicians are available to emergency patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week—and patient information is inte- grated and available to physicians at a moment’s notice. “That’s something that can save a life,” said NHI physician Ronald Levine, MD. “I’m excited that we have an integrated medical record,” he said.“If I happen to be on call and a colleague’s patient comes in, I can access the patient’s medical record including the actual images of previous testing, not just a report. This gives the cov- ering physician the most detailed patient information any time of day fromanyplace that there is a computer. That couldmean the difference between life and death.” The benefits of cardiac care professionals sharing medi- cal records cannot be emphasized enough, Dr. Levine added. The integrated electronic medical record that NHI uses to manage patient information allows doctors to retrieve vital records instantly. “Ourmission is topromote,maintain and restore health in those we serve; that translates to educating people to make sure they don’t get sick as well as detecting issues before they become problems,” he said. “When we talk about restoring health, that’s about providing state-of-the-

art cardiovascular care when patients do have problems.” Dr.Levine saidone of the many important functions encompassed withinNHI is the Coumadin management clinic. Many cardiac patients must remain on blood thin- ners like Coumadin, which is a powerful drug that re- quires diligent management. “The potential conse-

quence of poorly managed Coumadin therapy might very well be death or stroke. Creating this clinic in one centralized location provides easy access to make sure Coumadin patients are well managed,” Dr. Levine said.

Silvio Travalia, MD and Carlo Santos-Ocampo, MD welcomed patients and members of the community to the Naples Heart Institute grand opening event in November.

“It’s all part of our vision to have a comprehensive cardiovascular center of excellence.” Dr. Levine encourages patients to adopt a preventive attitude about cardiac health and become aware of issues before they be- come problematic.This goal is best accomplished at NHI where patients can establish relationships with a team of professionals who can address any heart related issues in a proactive manner. “We are part of the NCH Healthcare System. Patients don’t need to be referred by a doctor—they can just call and make an appointment for a preventive check up,” he said. “We hope patients will call us, so we can screen them tomake sure they achieve their maxi- mum wellness potential and take steps to avoid cardiovascular events.”

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