Fellows Win First Place in National Jeopardy

Each year, cardiology fellows from around the country compete in the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) “Fellows-in-Training Jeopardy Competition: Battle of the States” held at their annual Scientific Session conference.

Virginia Commonwealth University cardiology fellows represented the ACC’s Virginia Chapter and won first place in this year’s competition. Drs. Guru Kowlgi, Sampath Gunda and Pranav Mankad made up the team and won the state competition against others from the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech Carilion to face off again the other chapters at the national conference. This is the third year in a row that VCU fellows have comprised the team.

Kowlgi, who serves as chief fellow for his class, has been a member of the Virginia Chapter team for three years. Last year, the team placed second nationally in a close race. Did that drive him to try again? “Absolutely. I felt it was unfinished business last time,” he said.

“It was amazing,” said Kowlgi. “My teammates and I worked really hard for this. We also got great training from VCU, and had a lot of supporters there, cheering for us.”

The competition was held during the ACC’s 68th Annual Scientific Session at New Orleans in March. Teams from 35 ACC state chapters and Canada participated in the competition, which featured nine 30-minute preliminary rounds. Teams answered questions from four Jeopardy categories based on the American Board of Internal Medicine Certification Examination Blueprint. Nine teams advanced to the semi-finals, and three teams competed in the final round.

“Our first round was actually the most challenging round. We were neck and neck with a team from Louisiana,” said Kowlgi. “But then we got some crucial high point questions right and made it to the semi-finals.”

After winning in the semifinals, the team advanced to the finals where they put on a masterful performance. The California Chapter took second place, finished 3,400 points behind them. The Virginia Chapter received a first-place trophy and plaques, and three $1,000 travel awards to send the next year’s team to 2020 conference in Chicago. Each team member from the chapter received $1,000.

Upon learning of the victory, “my response was pure jubilation, because I think it’s a real credit to VCU, and VCU Health’s Pauley Heart Center, to have the caliber of trainees that are that smart and phenomenally excellent. They basically beat every other institution including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Hopkins, Harvard. It says something about them and our institution,” said Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, chair of the Division of Cardiology at VCU School of Medicine.

Dr. Peter Buckley, dean of VCU’s School of Medicine, agreed. “All of us at the medical school are so very proud of Guru, Sampath, and Pranav. Their success in this very prestigious contest is a testament to their talent and hard work and reflects so well on the quality of their education at VCU.”

During their training, the team spent “hours and hours, day and night to get ready for the competition,” said Gunda. In addition, “our program director, Dr. Gautham Kalahasty, was always supportive and encouraging. Drs. Jay Koneru, Santosh Padala and Nayef Abouzaki also helped as well as other fellows constantly pushed us to a higher level by testing us and helping us to understand and prepare for the competition.”

The team sent each other questions by text, which helped to improve their speed. While all the teams were well-prepared, “the strategy of how you buzzed and answered fast, that made the difference,” said Kowlgi.

“It was my first time at the competition so I enjoyed all of it. We faced really strong teams and it was fun to compete and network with colleagues across the country,” said Mankad. “I loved the enthusiasm from the crowd as the studio was packed, with half the people having to stand in the back. While our team wasn’t competing, I enjoyed being in the audience while other teams were in the hot seat.”

Following their win, that evening, the team walked around downtown New Orleans. “The whole place was filled with cardiology fellows and faculty from all over the country,” said Kowlgi. Wherever they went, “there was not one place where they didn’t stop me and say they were so happy to see VCU win and they wanted to know about the kind of training we get.”

Echoing the thoughts of his other team members, Gunda noted that “VCU certainly is an amazing place. The academic environment, friendly colleagues and wide exposure to almost every case in the book helped us get to this point.”

The ACC’s Annual Scientific Session brings together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world to share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention.
 
Pictured above: From R-L: Drs. Guru Kowlgi, Sampath Gunda (holding trophy) and Pranav Mankad
 
 


Remembrance: Dr. Michael Hess

With great sadness, VCU Health announces the passing of Dr. Michael Hess in Richmond on April 13, at the age of 76, following a long illness. Although he is no longer with us, his love of patients and teaching, and his significant contributions to the fields of heart failure, heart transplantation and cardio-oncology will be remembered for many years.

Dr. Michael HessDr. Michael Hess was a small man, but he arrived in rooms with a booming voice and a large presence.

“He was a bit of a whirling dervish. A force of nature,” said Maureen Flattery, a nurse practitioner in cardiac transplantation who worked with Hess for more than 20 years. But, she added, his energy drove him to great accomplishment—from his innovative work with Dr. Richard Lower in the early days of cardiac transplantation and his creation of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT), to his coming out of retirement in 2013 to start the cardio-oncology program at VCU Health.

Dr. Greg Hundley, director of VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, remembers Hess from his years as a student at VCU School of Medicine. “He was on the faculty then, and he was an internationally respected leader in cardiovascular physiology and also formative in many of the medical management issues related to cardiac transplantation,” he said. “He was a unique blend of friendliness and exceptional expertise in his craft.”

“He was a true giant in the field of medicine. Very few people accomplish in their career what he did in the first 20 years of his career,” said Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, chair of the Division of Cardiology in VCU’s School of Medicine. “He was a completely unselfish teacher, and an amazing physician and human being. So many people owe their lives to him. He was responsible for the field of heart transplantation getting off the ground. I don’t know how we could all ever thank him for everything he did for this field.”

Born in the small coal mining town of Philipsburg, Pa., on August 10, 1942, Hess attended St. Francis University, then the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, where he met and married his wife, Dr. Andrea Hastillo, who, like him, later became a VCU Health cardiologist. At Pittsburgh, he embarked on several pivotal studies in the physiology of the heart with Dr. Norman Briggs, and joined VCU’s Physiology faculty in 1971. Hess completed his fellowship in cardiology at VCU and earned a Young Investigators Award from the American College of Cardiology in 1972. After serving two years in the U.S. Navy as a clinical cardiologist, he also joined VCU’s Internal Medicine faculty in 1975. He was named a professor of both cardiology and physiology, and published more than 200 research papers.

Hess received many honors over the years, including VCU’s University Award of Excellence as well as its Distinguished Clinician, Distinguished Scholarship, and Distinguished Clinical Care awards. He was recognized seven times with the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award, an honor given annually by medical students, and was named the Outstanding Teacher for Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology four times. Colleagues describe him as a great storyteller, who loved to share a laugh with others.

Early in his career, Hess partnered with Dr. Richard Lower, a pioneering cardiac transplant surgeon. “It started as a hallway conversation in the West Hospital,” Hess once recalled. It was a Friday when he introduced himself to Lower and expressed an interest in caring for his post-transplant patients. “He looked me square in the eye, and he said, `Well I have two new patients coming into the clinical research unit Monday morning. Go to work on them.’”

During those years, Lower demonstrated the ability to preserve the hearts of donors for four hours, and with Dr. Szabolcs Szentpetery, undertook the world’s first long-distance heart transplant in May 1977.

In an interview, Hess recalled spending Tuesday nights on Lower’s porch with esteemed colleagues like Dr. H.M. Lee, “trying to pound out the problems that we were having at the time.” The problems in the 1970s and 1980s included high mortality rates for transplant patients and the fact that “the world of cardiac transplantation was so young that there were no rules, no guidelines,” he said.

At a 1981 meeting of the American Medical Association, Hess co-founded the ISHLT, a network for professionals in the fledgling transplant field. He claimed, “I had no one to talk to.” Hess served as the first president of the society.

Today, the organization is the world’s leading scientific society of transplantation physicians and surgeons and operates the International Registry for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the only database of its kind in the world.

In addition to his work with Lower and the ISHLT, “he was an excellent educator and clinician. His first concern was the patient and his second was to teach people how to take care of patients,” said Flattery. “His patients loved him. He always amazed me, because he’d walk into a patient’s room and say, `so how’s that grandson of yours doing? Is this the year he’s graduating?’” He instructed Flattery to remember something unique about each patient, “to show that you’ve been listening to them.”

One of his grateful patients was George Crutchfield, who was treated by Hess for 34 years. Before he died, his wife, Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield, hosted a luncheon to celebrate their many years together as doctor and patient. She later established the George and Frances Broaddus Crutchfield Lecture Series to provide for continuing education in heart failure medicine.

Drs. Paul, Hess and Dean BuckleyHess served as a mentor for countless students, including Dr. Keyur Shah, section chief of heart failure at VCU Medical Center, who described his great passion for teaching. “He would spend any free moment he had to either give lectures to nurses about EKGs or sit down with students to discuss the pathophysiology of heart failure. He’d always be the first to volunteer to give lectures—really just enjoyed the academic environment,” said Shah. “He was a great educator, and he taught students from lessons he’d learned over his life and career.”

Hess was devoted to his wife and daughter, endocrinologist Dr. Samantha Hudson, and their extended family. In his spare time, he enjoyed reading, spending time with his loved ones, and watching his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers play.

He had a hard time leaving the profession.

“I think he retired three times,” said Flattery.

After one short-lived retirement, he returned to VCU Health to start Virginia’s first cardio-oncology program in 2013. He retired for good in 2017 but stayed engaged. In December 2017, the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation published a special issue dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first human heart transplant, with Hess co-authoring the first chapter.

Recently, he led a Grand Rounds presentation on the history of cardiac transplantation, receiving a standing ovation. On December 8, 2018—the date of his and Hastillo’s 50th wedding anniversary–he traveled to VCU Medical Center for the unveiling of the Dr. Michael Hess Library in the West Hospital.

Along with his family, “medicine, his patients, his students were his life. He was fully committed to the field. VCU Health and heart failure were his passion from beginning to end,” said Shah. “He was very resilient, the fact that he came  back and started a successful cardio-oncology program just speaks to not only his motivation but his passion to be involved in clinical medicine this late in his career.”

To read more about Dr. Hess’s legacy, please see:

A Long, Storied History: Dr. Michael Hess:
https://vcuphc-thebeat.org/2017/09/a-long-storied-history-dr-michael-hess/

In the Spotlight: Michael L. Hess, M.D.
https://vcuphc-thebeat.org/2012/09/in-the-spotlight-michael-l-hess-m-d/

Gift Celebrates Longtime Doctor-Patient Relationship
https://vcuphc-thebeat.org/2014/01/gift-celebrates-longtime-doctor-patient-relationship/

Cardio-Oncology Provides Cancer-Specific Cardiology Care and Research
https://intmed.vcu.edu/news/profiles/hess.html

 

Top photo:
Dr. Michael Hess Library Dedication / (L-R) Dr. Daniel Tang, Dr. Keyur Shah, Dr. Michael Hess, Maureen Flattery, NP

Center: Dr. Michael Hess

Bottom photo: (L-R) Paul Wesolowski, Dr. Michael Hess, Dean Dr. Peter F. Buckley


Heart Walk Celebrates 25 Years

Walkers in group danceThis past fall, VCU Health took part in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2018 Heart Walk from four different locations. More than 4,000 individuals participated in the various walks, which together raised more than $575,000 to support the AHA’s cardiovascular research and educational programs.

VCU Health was one of the sponsors of the event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. “It was truly an honor to serve as chair of the Heart Walk this year,” said Melinda Hancock, VCU Health’s chief financial officer and senior executive vice president. “I am grateful to the many generous organizations and individuals that helped make these events so successful.”

Wearing gold tie-dyed shirts with the Pauley heart icon on the front, participants joined in the first-ever heart walk held at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital on September 22 in South Hill, Va. Walkers made two laps around the hospital to complete the one-mile route. The event also included food and games, music, blood pressure checks, health information and an appearance by VCU Rams mascot Rodney the Ram.

On October 6, the Pauley Pumpers were among the 131 teams hitting the trails at the Innsbrook Pavilion in Glen Allen, Va. Participants chose between one-mile and 5K routes.

On the previous day, for the third year in a row, heart and stroke patients joined the walkers in solidarity from VCU Medical Center. The patients and their supporters made laps around the hallways at the medical center’s cardiovascular thoracic surgical step-down unit, as well as on the recovery unit floor for stroke patients—logging a total of 161 miles.

Finally, on October 27, VCU students took part in a one-mile route around the City of Richmond’s Monroe Park.

According to Hancock, “the heart walks are a fun way to raise funds for the AHA and at the same time, educate our community about preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

 


Heart Month Events

In celebration of American Heart Month in February, Pauley took part in numerous community events to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and prevention.

For National Wear Red Day on Feb. 1, Pauley staff gave free blood pressure readings and body mass index screenings to patient and visitors at VCU Medical Center’s cafeteria. The event drew more 450 participants.

Featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Sharonne Hayes of the Mayo Clinic, and Pauley cardiologists presented the latest research at Pauley’s 4th Annual Heart Health in Women Symposium on Feb. 2.

VCU Health’s popular Lewis Ginter seminar series dedicated the month to topics about heart disease, beginning with a cardio-oncology lecture by Dr. Greg Hundley on February 5. Other talks included Dr. Phoebe Ashley on women’s heart health on Feb. 12, and a joint presentation by Drs. Kenneth Ellenbogen and Vigneshwar Kasirajan on procedural interventions on Feb.27. The events were held at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Kelley Education Center.

Finally, it was Pauley night at the VCU Rams men’s basketball game on Feb. 13. Fans showed their “love” to the players by creating valentines for their favorite Rams while also receiving information about improving their heart health at the Pauley booth.

 

Left: Senior Leadership and Heartman / Right: Welcome table


Annual Heart Health In Women Symposium

Dr. Hayes with committeeCardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes of the Mayo Clinic offered the keynote address at the 4th Annual Heart Health in Women Conference, held in February at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Chaired by Drs. Phoebe Ashley and Jordana Kron, this year’s half-day event featured Pauley and other prominent heart doctors from across the U.S.

Hayes’s lecture addressed spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), an emergency condition caused by the tearing of a blood vessel in the heart. The condition, which can cause a heart attack, most commonly affects women in their 40s and 50s, or even younger—often affecting otherwise healthy women. Contributing factors for SCAD may include fibromuscular dysplasia, recent childbirth, extreme physical exertion or emotional stress, high blood pressure and drug use.

The day’s speakers also included Dr. Phillip Duncan (“Heart Disease in Minority Women”), Kron (“Cardiac Sarcoidosis: Making a Challenging Diagnosis”), Dr. Jennifer Jordan (“Cardiac MRI in Women with Breast Cancer”), Dr. Daniel Tang (“The Tin Woman: LVADs and Heart Transplantation in Women”), Dr. James Levenson (“Emotions and the Heart”), Ashley (“Hormones and the Heart”), and Dr. Antonio Abbate (“Go Red for Women in Research”), who addressed the underrepresentation of women in clinical trials.

About 100 health care providers attend the annual conference each year, which is sponsored by Pauley and VCU Health Continuing Medical Education.

Drs. Jordana Kron, Phoebe Ashley, Sharonne Hayes and Jennifer Jordan

 

 


Heart Matters Conference

Health care providers from across the region took part in the 19th Annual Heart Matters Nursing and Allied Health Conference, sponsored by Pauley and VCU Medical Center’s departments of Nursing and Education and Professional Development.

“The focus of this year’s symposium was to raise awareness and understanding on how to make complex decisions in cardiovascular care,” said Michelle Gossip, ARCTIC program coordinator, who helped organize the event.

Angie Carneal, R.N., interim nursing director of invasive and non-invasive cardiology and endoscopy at VCU Medical Center, gave the opening and closing remarks, while Dr. Greg Hundley offered a keynote presentation on “Blending Research and Clinical Expertise to Find Joy in the Journey.” Lectures and breakout sessions followed, with many led by Pauley nurses and faculty. A former heart patient also spoke about his experience.

Held at the Richmond Marriott in November, the conference drew about 150 nurses, who received continuing education credit for their attendance. The day-long event included breakfast, refreshments and a luncheon.

 


Congdon Scholar Visits Pauley

Dr. Calum MacRae, vice chair for scientific innovation at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, visited Pauley in September for two days to work with faculty and share his research as the Congdon Visiting Scholar. In 2016, MacRae received a $75 million grant from the American Heart Association, called the “One Brave Idea” initiative—the largest one-time award in the organization’s history.

The One Brave Idea team is comprised of leading scientists from multiple disciplines working together to understand the earliest stages of coronary heart disease. The group is exploring how the disease develops and how to stop it from leading to heart attacks and strokes.

At grand rounds, faculty meetings, and a Pauley research conference, MacRae discussed his work, which includes the analysis of genetic, molecular and cellular signals that indicate the early formation of heart disease. He also attended dinners with Pauley leaders, and Susan Terry, John Congdon Jr. and Jeffrey Congdon, whose parents, Natalie N. and Jack R. Congdon Sr., established the visiting scholar program in VCU School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology in 2010.

The purpose of the fund is to bring internationally recognized cardiologists to Pauley to work with faculty and share their research.

“For medical advancements to reach their ultimate potential, it is essential that all the medical centers around the world work together, sharing the results of their findings, and brainstorming together to meet the challenges of discovering a better way, a better drug, a better tool, or a better prevention,” said John Congdon Jr.

 


Letter from the Director

Starting this month, Dr. Greg Hundley, director of VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, will be introducing each issue of The Beat. He takes over the task from Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, who has done an outstanding job in helping us put together the issues over the years. Thank you, Dr. Ellenbogen!

Letter from the Director

It’s been nearly a year since I first moved into my office in the West Hospital—and what a whirlwind it’s been.

In October, a team led by Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan successfully completed our center’s 600th heart transplant. In this issue, you can read the heartwarming story about the patient, a mother of three who was turned down for a transplant four times before receiving the lifesaving surgery at VCU Medical Center.

In the new Cardiovascular Imaging Suite, Justin Canada, Ph.D., is working to determine which body compartment causes exercise intolerance in patients with heart failure—something that has never been done before—using a new technology that merges cardiopulmonary exercise testing with MRI scanning. VCU Medical Center is one of only a few sites in the world with this capability, so we’re very excited by it. Many other clinical trials are under way throughout the heart center, as you’ll see in the cover story.

We talked a lot about research at our first-ever Pauley retreat, held Sept. 8 at the Frontier Project in Scott’s Addition. About 70 health care professionals and scientists from the health system and university gathered together. We discussed several big ideas, including a joint incubator for research in cardiovascular disease.

More and more, we will be seeing collaborations between the faculties of cardiovascular medicine and biomedical engineering. We’ve recently hired two new faculty members with biomedical engineering backgrounds who will be helping us to create new technologies to better cope with heart disease.

Over the past year, I’ve enjoyed meeting so many wonderful new people—from our highly dedicated faculty and staff and our thankful patients to our incredibly supportive donors who make our work possible. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting some of these individuals in this issue.

  

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Greg Hundley


Welcome, New Faculty!

Dr. Justin CanadaDr. M. Khalid MojadidiJustin McNair Canada, RCEP, Ph.D., has been named an assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology. He is spearheading the development and optimization of advanced clinical exercise testing services for both research and clinical use. He also serves as senior clinical exercise physiologist for the Department of Occupational and Physical Therapy at VCU Medical Center, and adjunct faculty instructor for the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences’ Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences.

He received his master’s in health and movement sciences, with a concentration in exercise physiology, and a doctoral degree in rehabilitation and movement sciences, also with a concentration in exercise physiology, from VCU. His doctoral dissertation examined the use of exercise testing to identify heart abnormalities in cancer survivors who had previously undergone radiotherapy treatments.

Canada recently received a pilot grant from the VCU Department of Internal Medicine to explore the feasibility of coupling cardiopulmonary exercise testing with cardiac MRI to precisely identify the causes of exercise intolerance in cancer patients following anti-cancer therapies. Participants of the study will exercise on a supine bicycle ergometer while undergoing a cardiac MRI to obtain real-time images of heart function during exercise. He is also co-investigator on NIH and numerous other grants with Drs. Antonio Abbate, Benjamin Van Tassell and other faculty evaluating the efficacy of therapeutic treatments in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Canada recently received a pilot grant from the VCU Department of Internal Medicine to explore the feasibility of coupling cardiopulmonary exercise testing with cardiac MRI to precisely identify the causes of exercise intolerance in cancer patients following anti-cancer therapies.

Jennifer Hawthorne Jordan, Ph.D., M.S., has joined the faculty as director of the new Cardiovascular MRI Core Lab and assistant professor of biomedical engineering. Her previous position was engineering director of the Cardiovascular MRI Laboratory at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where she also served on the faculty.

She received her master’s in clinical and population translational sciences at Wake Forest University and her doctoral degree in biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. She also completed a T32 cardiovascular imaging postdoctoral fellowship. One of her research advisors at Wake Forest was Dr. Greg Hundley.

Jordan is a peer reviewer for numerous journals and currently serves as an investigator on over $13 million in NIH and other grants, mostly involving MRI studies of patients with cardiovascular disease, including those who have undergone cancer treatments.

M. Khalid Mojadidi, M.D., FACP, has joined the faculty as assistant professor of internal medicine. Mojadidi is an invasive cardiologist who will see patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Va.

He received his medical degree from the Shifa College of Medicine in Islamabad, Pakistan, during which time he served an internship with the World Health Organization in Kabul, Afghanistan. He later completed his cardiology fellowship at UCLA, his Internal Medicine residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Jacobi Medical Center and his cardiovascular disease fellowship at the University of Florida/Shands Hospital.

His areas of practice include cardiovascular disease, echocardiography (including transesophageal), nuclear cardiology, cardiac catheterization, cardioversion, ambulatory ECG monitoring and stress testing. He is board certified in internal medicine and echocardiography, and board eligible for cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and RPVI.

Mojadidi is widely published in peer review journals and serves as a reviewer for numerous publications. He is fluent in English, Farsi, Hindi and Urdu, with intermediate proficiency in Arabic.

John S. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., has joined as primary investigator of the Cardiovascular Mechanics and Imaging Lab and assistant professor of the Division of Cardiology and the VCU College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in engineering at Baylor University, where he was the highest-ranking graduate of Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, completed an internal medicine internship at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and completed his residency in radiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

He then went on to attain his master’s, postgraduate and doctorate in biomedical engineering from Yale University, afterwards completing a post-doctoral fellowship in MRI-based approaches to quantifying regional vascular strain and remodeling in the departments of Radiology and Cardiology at Emory University.

Along with Drs. Jordan and Canada, he will help Pauley develop new technologies for identifying cardiovascular disease.

Above: Dr. Justin mcNair canada and Dr. M. Khalid mojadidi

 


New Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Opens

Patients in Mecklenburg County, Va. once had to use either a local mobile lab or travel 40 minutes or more to hospitals in Petersburg, Richmond or North Carolina for cardiac catheterizations.

Now, these critical procedures are close at hand with the opening of a new cardiac catheterization laboratory at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in South Hill, Va.

“With the new lab, we’re able to provide the most advanced cardiac care in the region,” said Ursula Butts, vice president of Patient Care Services.

The state-of-the-art medical suite opened November 2017, the same month as the new CMH opened, and offers a full range of diagnostic services for the heart and blood vessels. The services include cardiovascular ultrasound, stress testing, Holter monitoring and diagnostic cardiac catheterizations. The staff includes board-certified cardiologists, registered sonographers and diagnostic nurses. Catheterization procedures are performed using either a patient’s femoral artery or radial artery in the forearm.

CMH’s Cardiovascular Department is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in vascular, echo and nuclear testing and undertakes nearly 5,000 cardiovascular studies each year.

“Our doctors and team are committed to providing the highest quality care in a personalized environment,” said Butts.

Visit vcuhealth.org/community-memorial-hospital for more information.

Above: L to R: Dr. Nimesh Patel performs a diagnostic radial artery catheterization procedure inside the new lab. /  The state-of-the-art diagnostic cardiac catheterization lab inside the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Va.