Skip to Content

CEO Update: Heart care at CMH

Part of the dream of building Citizens Memorial Hospital was to provide lifesaving care for urgent medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. Since 1982, we’ve expanded to provide complete heart care that includes:

  • Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
  • Timely emergency medical care.
  • A team of physicians specializing in heart care with state-of-the-art equipment.

In 2023, CMH treated 130 patients with heart attacks. The CMH Heart Institute clinic had nearly 6,000 patient visits. Our average door-to-balloon time is 44 minutes, well below the national benchmark of 60 minutes.

Continue reading or watch the CEO Update video for more information. Dr. John Best, board certified interventional cardiologist, explains what the door-to-balloon time means and shares more about heart care at CMH.

Door-to-balloon time

Time is muscle with a heart attack. We want to get the patient into the cardiac cath lab through the ER or EMS as quickly as possible. We go through the wrist or the groin to find the blocked artery and open it. We measure the timeliness of our response through the door-to-balloon time.

New cardiac cath equipment

A new cardiac cath machine installed in fall 2023 increases the quality of the X-ray pictures and reduces radiation levels. X-rays can be toxic to the patient, operators or nurses. Reduced X-ray radiation limits the potential for complications.

In the cardiac cath lab, we identify where there are blockages in the heart arteries. We determine if they’re a candidate for balloon angioplasty or stents or if the patient needs a bypass. Stents are metal devices that keep the arteries open.

We also place pacemakers and defibrillators in people’s chests. That is to keep them alive, keep the heart beating or resuscitate them after they’ve had a cardiac arrest. We also can do peripheral angiography and angioplasty. That’s opening blocked arteries in the leg, neck and shoulders to improve blood flow.

Future cath lab expansion

We’re going to build two labs in the expansion. That will allow two cardiologists to perform separate procedures at the same time. Patients scheduled for a procedure will have a shorter wait time. It also frees up a lab in case of emergency.

Complete cardiac care at CMH

A primary care provider can identify a patient’s risk of heart disease by discussing your medical history and completing an annual exam. Cardiologists can perform stress tests or echocardiography and provide an appropriate treatment plan.

The care doesn’t stop there. Follow-up care includes:

  • A lipid clinic, where we work with endocrinology to help patients manage their cholesterol.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation.
  • A Coumadin clinic with a nurse manager monitoring patients taking this common blood thinner.
  • Stress testing.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram to review valvular structures and structures in the heart.

CEO wrap-up

We have an excellent cardiology team, including Dr. Best, Dr. Haris Riaz, Dr. Stephen Davis, and nurse practitioner Kyla Inman. And we’re adding another cardiologist to the team this fall.

CMH is a Level II STEMI Center, a Level III Stroke Center and an Acute Stroke Ready Center. We have awards from the American College of Cardiology for cardiac care and the American Heart Association for stroke care. And our cardiac rehabilitation program is nationally certified.

An expanded cardiac cath lab near the emergency department was crucial in the hospital expansion plan.

Heart care has always been a priority at CMH, and we’re thankful to our heart care team for always providing exceptional service.

Michael Calhoun shares the latest happenings at CMH in his monthly CEO Updates. He is the CEO/executive director of CMH and the Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation.

Related Video

Contact Us

Related Stories

CEO Michael Calhoun

CEO Update: Why CMH is building a hospital expansion

January 2024 CEO Update

CEO Update: A 2024 timeline for expansion progress

Stay Informed

Sign up for the CMH Health News email list to receive the latest information about CMH events, news and programs.

to Top