Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Sept. 27

Premier cardiovascular services offered by Northern AZ Healthcare

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) announced the formation of the most extensive and comprehensive program in Northern and Central Arizona to diagnose and treat heart and vascular diseases - the Heart and Vascular Center of Northern Arizona.

The program, anchored at both NAH hospitals - Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) and Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC) - has the largest team of cardiovascular physicians ever assembled in northern and central Arizona. The team is supported by scores of specially trained nurses and technicians and utilizes the most advanced technology available.

The center has established offices in Flagstaff, Cottonwood and Camp Verde, and will open another location in Prescott Valley in early 2009. The program offers a wide spectrum of both inpatient and outpatient services that range from initial diagnosis to open heart surgery.

The world-class group of physicians assembled by NAH is under the direction of Interventional Cardiologist James Dwyer, M.D. Dr. Dwyer has served as the medical director of VVMC's Cardiology Department and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory since 2000, where he developed and initiated its acclaimed interventional cardiology program.

"The Heart and Vascular Center of Northern Arizona is an exciting endeavor to bring a comprehensive organization of cardiovascular care to the people of northern and central Arizona," Dr. Dwyer said. "Our objective is to further develop premier heart and vascular care north of Phoenix. By providing care at FMC, VVMC and outreach offices in surrounding communities, we are ensuring patients can stay in this region for all their cardiovascular needs."

In addition to Dr. Dwyer, the physician team includes interventional cardiologists Bruce Peek, Sam Butman, and Eric Cohen; diagnostic cardiologist Kenneth Bescak; and cardiothoracic/vascular surgeons Steven Peterson, and John Schor. With cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons working collegially as members of the Heart and Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, it is much easier to determine the optimal care for an individual patient.

The physicians are supported by a specialty-trained professional staff of surgical, critical care, cardiac cath lab and cardiac rehab registered nurses; nurse practitioners; cardiac radiology technologists; echocardiography technicians and ECG/cardiology technicians; nuclear medicine technologists; respiratory and physical therapists; exercise physiologists; registered dietitians; pharmacists; patient care technicians and social workers/case managers.

Designed to provide patients a continuum of care, the Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona offers comprehensive services from diagnosis and treatment through recovery and rehabilitation. Diagnostic (noninvasive) services include all types of stress testing, nuclear imaging, cardiac and peripheral ultrasound, cardiac Doppler and pacemaker/defibrillator interrogation and programming.

When invasive procedures are necessary, cardiac catheterization, balloon angioplasty, stent placement, permanent pacemaker insertion and interventional treatment for peripheral arterial disease are available (including aortic endograft therapy and carotid stenting).

Cardiothoracic and vascular surgery is performed including coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair and replacement, Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, and major thoracic and vascular surgical procedures. (Currently, open heart surgical procedures are performed at FMC only.

Some of the most cutting-edge technology available today is offered, including the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System enhances a surgeon's capabilities by combining three-dimensional, high-definition robotics that extend the surgeon's eyes and hands deep into the surgical field through small, precise movements, allowing complex surgeries to be less invasive.

The facilities at FMC and VVMC offer 15 state-of-the-art surgical suites and three cardiac cath labs. The cardiovascular intensive care and telemetry units specialize in the care of cardiac patients. Cardiac rehabilitation includes a complete four-phase program under the supervision of physicians, registered nurses, physical therapists and exercise physiologists.

To make an appointment with one of our cardiovascular physicians call 877 928-WELL. For more information on the Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, visit

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