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Providing Leading-edge Cardiovascular Care


By Jake Kratzenberg

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HOWEVER, THERE ARE OTHER components of KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Care that make it the critical statewide resource it is today. Research, community outreach and support of advocacy organizations are all important aspects of our mission to be the state’s leader in cardiovascular care.

Innovative Care

KentuckyOne provides patients with a full spectrum of cardiovascular care, with treatments for common problems as well as complex cardiovascular conditions. Our surgeons, nursing staff and other health care professionals utilize the latest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat any type of patient with any type of condition.

Whether you’re in need of heart attack care; heart rhythm care for cardiac arrhythmia; transplant (Louisville only) or mechanical device care for advanced heart failure; minimally invasive treatment for a disease like aortic stenosis or mitral regurgitation; vascular care for an aneurysm or artery disease; cardiac rehabilitation at one of our Healthy Lifestyle Centers; or some other type of heart and vascular service, KentuckyOne Health is the place to go.

“Having access to the best equipment and newest treatments is only part of the equation,” said Nezar Falluji, MD, MPH, interventional cardiologist with KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates and director of cardiovascular services for the KentuckyOne Health Lexington market at Saint Joseph Hospital. “The teamwork and collaboration between cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other staff and physicians is what sets us apart.”

Groundbreaking Research

Through a partnership with the University of Louisville and its physicians, KentuckyOne Health, and specifically Jewish Hospital and University of Louisville Hospital, is the site for groundbreaking research across many disciplines. Jewish Hospital is the primary site in Louisville for cardiovascular research.

“The University of Louisville offers access to academic research and innovation that may be effectively applied in clinical settings,” said Mark Slaughter, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville and executive director of cardiovascular services for the KentuckyOne Health Louisville market. “Through this research component, Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville and KentuckyOne Health are leading the way in developing next-generation cardiovascular therapies.”

Roberto Bolli, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville, is a renowned researcher whose stem cell therapy work has garnered worldwide attention.

Dr. Bolli has become a world leader in using patients’ own stem cells, growing them in tissue culture and then infusing them back into the injured heart, as a way to repopulate the heart with cardiac cells that will grow and heal. He is doing truly leading-edge cardiac stem cell work right here in Kentucky.

 “Many of the vascular diseases are silent and often go unnoticed until they eventually lead to major problems,” said Stephen Self, MD, vascular surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Vascular Surgery Associates. “It’s crucial that people are aware of the risk factors and become proactive about their health.”

Knowing the Risk Factors

Despite the sly nature of many vascular diseases, there are some controllable and uncontrollable risk factors you should know about, including:

• Age — People 50 and older are at greatest risk.

• Smoking — Smoke inhalation increases vascular damage.

• Lack of exercise — Contributes to fat storage, muscle loss and low energy.

• Obesity — A common sign of poor vascular health

• Unhealthy diet — Poor diets can increase bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

• Genetics — Your family medical history can help define your risk.

Protecting Yourself

“I recommend people with increased risk of vascular disease, such as those who smoke or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and anyone over the age of 50, get vascular screenings,” said Steve Lin, MD, who specializes in vein care at KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates. “They are completely painless, inexpensive and can ultimately save your life.”