The Comforts of Home
When challenges arise, comforts become more important than ever. Such as getting expert cardiology care right here at home.
Imagine having to drive hundreds of miles to get expert medical treatment. You wake up the morning of your procedure in an unfamiliar hotel room. Your daily routine has been disrupted, your doctor is a stranger, and friends and family are hours away. But this doesn’t have to be the case. When treatment options are nearby, so are safety and comfort.
Teamwork Near and Far
In the Sioux City area, the majority of people with cardiology issues and more than 90% of people who need electrophysiology procedures choose UnityPoint Health – St. Luke's Cardiology Services and Cardiovascular Associates (CVA). St. Luke’s and CVA provide stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, pacemaker implants and ablations.
St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Sioux City to offer injectable cardiac monitors. Cardiac interventionalist specialize in a radial artery approach, so patient outcomes are improved. The decreased recovery time after these procedures means patients can return to their homes sooner.
In addition, CVA has two cardiac interventionalists, two electrophysiologists and more female cardiologists on staff than any other Siouxland cardiology clinic. This expert care extends to a dozen local hospitals in Iowa and Nebraska that provide services such as echocardiographies, stress tests, vascular doppler studies, and Holter monitors. “It’s the teamwork at all levels that allows us to have such a good quality program and provide such excellent care,” says Shannon Hoos-Thompson, MD.
A Connected Community
For the cardiologists at St. Lukes/CVA, that teamwork includes being deep-rooted members of the community. “Our group includes a number of physicians who have lived here for 20 or 30 years and call this area home. That long-term connection is very important to patient care. Having a group of physicians with such long-term experience is invaluable in the treatment of heart patients,” says Deborah Majerus, MD.
When doctors live in the area and have personal connections with the people they're treating, whether through screenings, during emergency care or with follow-up appointments, conversations about overall health, as well as heart health, occur more naturally. Medical conversations can be awkward, and some people prefer speaking to a member of their own sex. For some female patients, talking with a female cardiologist can be a comfort. A good fit between provider and patient allows patients to freely share symptoms and express concerns, and allows doctors to provide information about heart health.
Heart health is often considered a “man’s disease.” But according to statistics, nearly half a million women die from heart disease each year. And risk factors and symptoms of coronary artery disease and heart attacks are not the same for men as they are for women. For example, commonly known risk factors for coronary artery disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity. However, for women, endometriosis, polycystic ovary disease and diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy can be added to that risk factor list.
Knowledge of symptoms and risks through conversations with a familiar cardiologist can lead to treatments that lower these risks. When female patients or their caretakers -- often women -- prefer to speak with a female cardiologist for some of their more sensitive concerns, they have that option at St. Luke’s/CVA with Deborah Majerus, MD; Shannon Hoos-Thompson, MD, FACC; Swapna Kanuri, MD, FACC and Joy Taylor, MD.
Receiving expert care from trusted, local providers keeps people in the Siouxland community close to home. Close to comfortable, open relationships with familiar doctors who live in the area and understand the specific needs of the people who live there. “We’re invested in the community and in our patients’ lives,” says Joy Taylor, MD. This investment leads to healthier people and, ultimately, a healthier community.