Medical advances in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart and circulatory system have significantly improved the health and quality of life for so many individuals. Hallmark Health’s expert medical staff has always been at the forefront in providing these specialized services.
To continue to offer the best and most comprehensive services, Hallmark Health has established the Cardiac & Endovascular Center, a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat cardiac and vascular disease. The Center is based at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital with the direction and involvement of practicing cardiologists, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists from both Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.
The Center provides a wide array of cutting-edge services that are performed by our highly skilled and experienced physicians. From diagnostic testing to treatment and beyond, patients benefit from the latest techniques and technologies to resolve their cardiac and endovascular concerns.
For more information about the Cardiac & Endovascular Center or to learn more about our doctors, call us at 781-979-3999.
Leading the Way
The Cardiac & Endovascular Center is another example of how Hallmark Health System has earned a reputation as a leader in the region for providing specialized care. This distinction allows us to attract highly qualified physicians devoted to patients and focused on positive outcomes through diagnosis and treatments that improve the quality of life.
The following are just some examples of how Hallmark Health has been leading the way north of Boston for Cardiac and Endovascular services:
- First community hospital in our area to begin performing emergency coronary intervention with stents in the heart and quickly became the leader in the region.
- Hallmark Health is pleased that Melrose-Wakefield Hospital was selected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to participate in a study of elective (non-emergent) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The hospital is one of only ten throughout the Commonwealth to participate in the MASS COMM Study. This program studies the success of elective PCI in hospitals with and without on-site cardiac surgery back-up. Elective (non-emergent) PCI is available at Hallmark Health as part of the MASS COMM clinical registry.
- First cardiac catheterization laboratory in area; recently upgraded with the latest in digital catheterization equipment.
- One of the few community hospitals to provide sophisticated endovascular procedures, including minimally invasive endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm – a procedure not often available at community hospitals.
- Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital are designated “Primary Stroke Services” Centers through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
For more information about the Cardiac & Endovascular Center or to learn more about our doctors, call us at 781-979-3999.
Physicians with Experience
Our dedicated team of specialists offers the finest care available for a broad spectrum of cardiac and vascular problems, ranging from life-threatening heart attacks and aneurysms to leg pain and other vascular disorders.
The Cardiac & Endovascular Center's physicians are board-certified in their specialties, credentialed following strict national guidelines for Cardiac & Endovascular care, and have extensive experience performing thousands of cardiac catheterizations and endovascular procedures at Hallmark Health hospitals and leading Boston academic medical centers, including at Massachusetts General Hospital, our tertiary partner in our angioplasty program.
The interventional cardiology group includes experienced cardiologists, performing a total of more than 12,000 catheterizations and 4,000 angioplasties in their collective years of medical practice.
Quality and Technology
Hallmark Health's Cardiac & Endovascular Center fully integrates cardiac and vascular services at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital, but the coordination doesn't end there. To ensure that each patient receives top quality specialized care, physicians collaborate as a team, bringing together the expertise of cardiologists, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, emergency medicine physicians and other caregivers at both hospitals.
Hallmark Health has proven positive results for cardiac and endovascular care when measured against national standards. Our medical staff has documented better than the national average in outcomes in patient care and lower complication rates, and a more rapid response to treatment. Our "door-to-balloon" time is consistently better than the state average.
The Cardiac & Endovascular Center is equipped with the latest sophisticated technology equal to that found in tertiary hospitals. We are committed to advanced equipment and technology to support the diagnosis and treatment of patients through the use of minimally invasive procedures.
Comprehensive Services and Procedures
The Cardiac & Endovascular Center delivers quality clinical services, with a broad array of therapies and procedures that allow patients to live healthier, higher quality lives. This commitment to quality ensures that the Cardiac & Endovascular Center provides residents of Boston's northern suburbs with ready access to the most advanced care that includes the latest diagnostic and treatment capabilities rarely found in community settings.
- Stress Test
- Nuclear Stress Test
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
- Holter Monitoring
- Event Monitor Recorder
Our interventional cardiologists have proven expertise in diagnosing and treating patients with diseases of the heart, blood vessels or coronary artery disease.
Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has been selected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to participate in an elective angioplasty trial. The Hospital is one of only seven throughout the Commonwealth to participate in the MASS COMM Trial that studies the benefits of elective angioplasties without on-site cardiac surgery back-up. Elective (non-emergent) angioplasty is available at Hallmark Health only as part of the MASS COMM clinical trial.
We now offer residents a higher level of cardiac care that was previously only available in tertiary hospitals. In addition, Hallmark Health invested millions of dollars in its state-of-the-art, fully digital cardiac catheterization equipment. It is the same type of equipment being used at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Interventional treatments include:
Angioplasty, emergent and electively scheduled
Acute heart attack treatments
Non-invasive cardiac testing
Endovascular and Vascular Care
Interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons provide care to patients with vascular disease through the proficient use of endovascular techniques previously done only in teaching hospitals. Using sophisticated minimally invasive techniques, our physicians use tiny instruments that can be positioned through the blood vessels to treat blockages in the carotid, renal and peripheral arteries.
Non-invasive vascular tests
Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair
Treatment for leg pain and Peripheral Vascular Disease
Blood clot treatment
The Cardiac & Endovascular Center's team of experts is supported by Hallmark Health's emergency physicians. Experienced in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks, vascular conditions and stroke, the emergency physicians work collaboratively with the Cardiac and Endovascular physicians to ensure our patients receive the quickest, most appropriate treatment.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Today's gynecological surgeries are easier than ever for patients, thanks to new minimally invasive procedures.
Uterine fibroid ablation
A procedure called uterine fibroid ablation provides a cure for abnormal or heavy bleeding caused by benign masses on the uterus.
During this minimally invasive procedure, a physician inserts a sophisticated instrument called a hysteroscope into the uterus through the vagina. Using heat, the hysteroscope kills the fibroids by damaging the arterial branches that supply them with blood, curing the patient of her fibroid pain almost instantly.
"Ablation has about a 90 percent success rate for uterine fibroids," said Steven Dakoyannis, MD, board-certified OB/GYN on staff at Melrose Wakefield Hospital. "Most patients will revert to a regular menstrual period following the procedure."
This procedure is recommended only for women who have completed their childbearing.
Minimally invasive tubal ligation
Women wishing to prevent any future pregnancies with tubal ligation will also benefit from the hysteroscope. Now doctors are able to reach the fallopian tubes through the patient's vagina in an outpatient procedure.
"While the patient is under local anesthesia, the doctor places tiny coils into her fallopian tubes, resulting in scar tissue that develops over the next three months," Dr. Dakoyannis said. "Once the scar tissue develops, this type of tubal ligation becomes a very effective form of birth control."
Uterine fibroid embolization
A nonsurgical alternative to treat abnormal bleeding caused by fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). In this minimally invasive procedure, an interventional radiologist maps the blood supply to the uterus and fibroid with fluoroscopy (X-ray imaging). A catheter is then inserted into a small incision in the groin to inject small particles that block the blood supply to the fibroids, effectively killing them.
"UFE is a viable alternative to hysterectomy," said Wayne Wivell, MD, chief of interventional radiology at Melrose Wakefield Hospital. "With UFE, women are typically hospitalized for one night and often are able to return to work within a week."
For a gynecological surgeon or interventional radiologist, please call our physician referral line at 800-540-9191.
Advanced Diagnostic Testing
The Hallmark Health hospitals have a full complement of diagnostic cardiac and radiology testing services. With high level CT scanning, SPECT imaging, and nuclear cardiology to exercise and nuclear stress testing and echocardiography, our physicians practice under the principle that a full evaluation is a key component to an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment plan.
Education is a key element in the treatment and recovery, including cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy. Because our nurses and technicians are specially trained in cardiac and endovascular care, they provide patients with education and information that they need to make a full recovery.
Healthy Heart Series
Hallmark Health’s mission is to educate you about taking care of your heart, as well as the rest of your body. With a few lifestyle changes, along with a heart healthy diet and exercise regimen, you can maintain a healthy heart for life!
The Healthy Heart lecture series is designed to help reduce the incidence of heart disease by educating people about heart disease and its risks and to prevent heart disease by promoting regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, and stress reduction.
Check back to this space for more healthy heart programs. Or call 781-979-6338 for information about upcoming programs or lectures.
Women and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women throughout the world, and Hallmark Health’s Women and Heart Disease program is in a position to help impact the health and well-being of women.
As a result of Hallmark Health’s position and drive, a collaborative leadership effort has begun within our women’s and cardiovascular service lines to develop a program that would incorporate expertise from both areas. This expertise will address the growing need for gender focused care delivery and it will directly enhance Hallmark Health’s mission to provide the highest quality health care in a community-based setting to Boston's northern suburbs.
Dr. Erica Brooks, cardiologist, discusses heart disease and, in particular, heart disease among women in this short video. She details risk factors, symptoms, treatments and information on blood pressure and cholesterol.
The key elements and the mission of the women and heart disease program have been identified as: Education and Service. Each of these key elements plays a role in improving the health outcomes of women in our area.
Despite the fact one in five American women are currently living with heart disease, many women are unaware or inadequately informed of their risk factors and the possible impact of cardiovascular disease. The inadequate and/or outdated knowledge base is not limited to the general populations; it may in fact affect health care providers, where only one in five physicians know that heart disease is the number one killer of women. As a result, the women and heart disease program at Hallmark Health will address education from two aspects, community and provider.
The community education will involve ongoing and interactive education sessions service area. These sessions will be catered to the audiences being addressed (typically age group focused) and they will feature lectures, seminars, cable TV talks, and roundtable discussions by Hallmark Health’s cardiology physicians, cardiac rehabilitation staff, and cardiac and endovascular staff.
The education sessions will have a strong emphasis on how individuals can improve their health and outcomes. They will take place monthly with a variety of organizations and groups. If you are interested in having our team come out and talk to your group or organization, please contact the Cardiac & Endovascular Center at 781-979-3999. We will be happy to schedule a time to visit your group or organization.
Many of the women who may already have cardiovascular disease or who are at serious risk for cardiovascular disease may not actively seek appointments to evaluate their risk factors or disease progression due to extremely busy schedules, fear, or other unknown reasons. Therefore, this program will make a strong commitment to provide free screenings in easily accessible areas throughout the communities. These screening efforts include evaluations of key elements such as PVD screening, heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. At the conclusion of the screenings, each woman will receive a brief counseling with a nurse or physician.
Second Chances Happen Here
Saugus firefighter Jeff Moses thought his discomfort was the result of pushing his body too hard. Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Emergency Department staff found he was dangerously close to a heart attack.
Jeff Moses has responded to countless medical emergencies during his 37 years with the Saugus Fire Department, but recently he was the one who needed help.
Moses, 60, felt short of breath at a fire. He was going to take oxygen and get back to work, but paramedics on the scene immediately recognized the need to send him to the emergency department at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. Within minutes of his arrival, staff were certain Moses was experiencing a cardiac episode and ordered a stress test and soon after a cardiac catheterization. One of his arteries was 95 percent blocked, and the team placed a stent immediately. The procedure was performed in the hospital’s state-of-the-art Cardiac & Endovascular Center, the only one of its kind in the region.
“I had the A team,” Moses said of his cardiologists at Hallmark Health: Salil Midha, MD; Bruce Watrous, MD; and Carl Turissini, MD. “They’re all well regarded.
They took great care of me.”
Moses felt relief almost immediately. He now realizes that he experienced shortness of breath on and off since a bad fire in 2008 but always attributed the feeling to exertion or getting older. It wasn’t until he felt so good that he realized how bad he had felt.
“I probably should have been checked before,” said Moses. “The doctors said I wasn’t far from a heart attack that I probably wouldn’t have recovered from. I’m very fortunate.”
Moses now attends Cardiac Rehabilitation at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital three times a week. The comprehensive program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Moses enjoys the exercise, patient education and getting to know his fellow rehabbers. They are monitored closely while they exercise but also have fun. Each patient gets to pick the music for the session; his choice is country.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Moses said. “It’s not like going to the gym – you talk, you joke. It’s like a little therapy session.”
Moses now eats a healthier diet and takes regular walks with his wife, Marianne. He’s committed to maintaining these changes so he can keep up with their growing family, which already includes four grandchildren!