Cardiology

Montana Heart Center

Community Medical Center’s cardiology program provides cutting edge care to heart patients throughout Western Montana and Idaho. The medical professionals at the Montana Heart Center can immediately evaluate and treat anyone with cardiovascular symptoms, using the latest treatments and technologies – in some cases the most advanced available in Montana. For example, several innovative, minimally invasive treatments for peripheral artery disease were employed here for the first time in the state.

Our expert staff performs a broad range of additional services, including cardiac rehabilitation, comprehensive follow-up care after cardiac device implantation, screening for cardiac problems and abnormalities, and emergency transport to a regional medical center, if necessary.

Our patients also benefit from:

  • A care team that follows patients throughout the course of their treatment, to give consistent care and peace of mind.
  • An efficient facility where each patient gets individual attention and the highest level of care.
  • Same-day or same-week appointments for diagnostic procedures
  • Both diagnostic and treatment facilities in the same location, so you rarely have to leave the center for care.
  • Comfortable private rooms with plenty of space for family and friends.

Your Care Team

While excellent technology is the backbone of cardiac treatment, its heart is the people who care for patients. At the Montana Heart Center, that includes the physicians, nurses, therapists, technologist and others who are dedicated to treating each patient and their family with personal attention and compassion.

Your care team starts with you—you and your family always take part in decisions about your treatment plan. Your team may also include:

Patricia Kelly, MD.

Dr. Kelly came to Community Medical Center in 2006, after practicing cardiology since 1990. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, which is the treatment of heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Kelly is expert at diagnosing the full range of these disorders and helping patients achieve the best possible result from treatment. In many cases that happens with a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), and Dr. Kelly has extensive experience at implanting these devices. She also sees people with other heart problems, and is committed to getting all patients the treatment they need, as quickly as possible, with kindness and compassion.

“We see the entire spectrum of heart problems. Patients can get appointments quickly, and we can often do their testing the same day.” Patricia Kelly, MD

Learn more about Dr. Patricia Kelly.

David Jinich, MD

Dr. Jinich began practicing cardiology in 1990 and came to Community Medical Center in 2010. He has extensive experience caring for people with complex heart conditions, and is committed to finding and treating them early. As a board-certified interventional cardiologist, he has a special interest in catheter-based treatments, and was the first physician in Montana to perform several innovative procedures, including drug-eluting balloon angioplasty and orbital atherectomy.

“People often feel dramatically better after their procedure. It’s very rewarding to see them walk without pain.” David Jinich, MD

Learn more about Dr. David Jinich.

Julie Bauer, MS.

Julie is a master’s degree-level exercise physiologist who has been helping patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Community Medical Center for nearly 30 years. She is expert at teaching patients about heart-healthy lifestyle changes and motivating them to get the most from their cardiac rehabilitation. Julie gets to know her patients well and customizes the program to fit each one’s individual needs.

“The bottom line is to help people reach their goals and enjoy life.” Julie Bauer

Cindy Allen, RN.

Cindy is Coordinator of the Cardiac Device Clinic at Community Medical Center. With more than 25 years helping heart patients, and 15 of them at Community, Cindy is highly skilled at working with people who have pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). She loves caring for people of all ages, and develops lasting relationships with her patients as they return over the years.

“I see a person with a device, not a device in a person.” Cindy Allen

Sheryl Alexander, DC PA-C.

Sheryl joined Dr. Jinich’s practice as a physician assistant in September of 2014. She is passionate about helping people with heart conditions, and works hard to give each patient the best possible care. Her practice includes overseeing stress tests and assisting with patients undergoing interventional cardiac procedures, such as angiography, at the Montana Heart Center. She also sees patients for follow-up office visits, and does consultations and rounds with patients in ICU. Sheryl’s background of 23 years as a chiropractor contributes to her excellent rapport with patients, and she is committed to following each one personally through their course of treatment.

“I consider it a privilege that people let us take care of their hearts.” Sheryl Alexander

Diagnostic services

The first step in starting the right treatment for a cardiovascular condition is reaching the correct diagnosis. At the Montana Heart Center, our cardiologists use these diagnostic tests:

  • Echocardiography – The use of high frequency sound waves to make moving images of the heart.
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) – Echocardiograph tests done via the esophagus to get clearer images of the heart.
  • Stress echo – Echocardiography tests that examine the heart during exercise.
  • Treadmill stress testing – Electrocardiogram (ECG) tests of the heart during exercise.
  • Dobutamine stress echo – Echocardiogram tests that use a medication to increase heart rate and simulate exercise.
  • Nuclear cardiology – The use of radioactive tracers to examine blood flow in the heart.
  • Cardiac catheterization – The use of thin, flexible tubes called catheters to diagnose problems with the coronary arteries.

Learn more on our Cardiology Diagnostic Services page. 

Interventional Cardiology

Many heart conditions can be treated with minimally-invasive procedures that relieve symptoms and minimize the risk for serious events such as a heart attack or stroke. These procedures are usually done with a device called a catheter, which is a thin, flexible tube. Instead of making an open incision, your doctor will make a small cut to insert the catheter and advance it to the area to be treated. Catheter procedures are also used with imaging processes, such as X-ray and ultrasound, to diagnose cardiovascular problems.

At the Montana Heart Center, Dr. David Jinich and his staff use the latest equipment and technologies to help patients with conditions such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, aneurysms, and more. In many cases, interventional cardiology procedures help patients avoid the need for surgery. You can expect the highest level of expert care during these procedures:

  • Angioplasty – The use of catheters and other devices to restore circulation to blood vessels in the heart and elsewhere in the body.
  • Atherectomy – Cutting away plaque (fatty buildup) inside arteries with blades or other devices.
  • Cardiac catheterization – Using a catheter to access blood vessels in the heart in order to diagnose or treat heart disease.
  • Cardioversion – Delivering low-energy electric shocks from outside the chest to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.
  • Stenting – Placing mesh cylinders called stents in arteries to keep them open
  • Trans-radial cardiac catheterization – A method of cardiac catheterization that uses the radial artery near the wrist instead of the femoral artery in the leg.

Learn more on our Interventional Cardiology page. 

Cardiac Electrophysiology

For people with conditions that involve their heart’s rhythm and electrical system, Dr. Patricia Kelly and her staff employ a number of technologies to diagnose and treat the problem. Some arrhythmias improve with lifestyle changes, such as limiting your intake of alcohol and caffeine. Others can be treated with a medication or an implanted device to maintain or restore a normal heart rhythm. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) help people be more active, and in some cases they prevent a life-threatening arrhythmia. Learn more on our Cardiac Electrophysiology page. 

Cardiac Device Clinic

People who have heart rhythm problems, known as arrhythmias, are often treated with an implanted device to regulate their heartbeat. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (IDCs) allow people with arrhythmias to live full, active lives. At the Montana Heart Center, we keep in touch with our patients to answer questions and see how they are doing. Patients also return at least once a year to have our experts check their device and ensure it is working properly. Learn more on our Cardiac Device Clinic page. 

Cardiac Rehabilitation

If you’ve had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease, cardiac rehabilitation can improve your health and help you gain a better outlook on life. In our small cardiac rehab classes, you’ll learn heart-healthy lifestyle changes and begin adding physical activity to your life in a safe, controlled environment. If you live a distance away, we can customize your program to make your trips more convenient and efficient. Learn more on our Cardiac Rehabilitation page. 

Heart and Vascular Screening

Location: Montana Heart Center

Phone: 327-4646

What is your score? When it comes to heart disease, knowing your risk assessment score can be a life saver. It can tell you how likely you are to develop this disease, and give you the power to improve those odds.

The American Heart Association recommends that people begin regular screening for heart disease risk at age 20. That’s even more important if you have a family history of heart disease, or if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, high blood cholesterol or smoking.

At the Montana Heart Center, heart and vascular screening includes:

  • Diagnostic 12-lead EKG.
  • Lab profile that includes total cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides and hemoglobin A1C (a three-month average glucose measurement).
  • Blood pressure.
  • Body mass index (BMI).
  • Ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI) to assess peripheral artery disease, if you have signs or symptoms of this condition.
  • Consultation with a registered nurse specializing in cardiology.

Even people who have already been diagnosed with heart disease can benefit from the information this screening test provides. And young athletes may benefit from being screened to help learn their risks for a sudden cardiac event during active play.

If your screening turns up a problem or questionable area, you can schedule an appointment. Learn more about Heart and Vascular Screening

Mission Lifeline

People with heart attack symptoms need immediate care to have the best recovery possible. In the case of a kind of heart attack called STEMI, getting the right care quickly can be a matter of life and death. STEMI is the name for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, which refers to the electrical pattern of the heart during this type of heart attack. With a STEMI, the blood supply to a large area of the heart is blocked for a prolonged period. People having a STEMI are at high risk for death or disability if they don’t get the proper care within 90 minutes.

Proper care includes clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics, or a procedure such as balloon angioplasty, stent placement or surgery. But according to the American Heart Association, about 30 percent of people who have a STEMI don’t get that care. Mission Lifeline is a program that aims to change that. Community Medical Center is one of nine centers in Montana to participate in this program, which funds customized training for hospital and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to recognize and treat STEMI.

Mission Lifeline also funds 12-lead EKG machines and transmission equipment for ambulances, so rescue personnel can send the test results from there to the treatment facility. That way the emergency department doctors can diagnose STEMI even before the patient arrives, and give the right treatment at the right time.

In Montana, nearly 1800 people were hospitalized for an acute heart attack in 2012, and 777 of them were STEMIs. Mission Lifeline will help Community Medical Center improve the outcomes for STEMI patients in our area.

To learn more about Mission Lifeline, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

Now Cardiology

At the Montana Heart Center, experienced cardiologists and other medical professionals can immediately evaluate and treat anyone with cardiac symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations. We provide a breadth of diagnostic tests such as echocardiography (echo), transesophageal echo (TEE), treadmill stress testing, stress echo, nuclear cardiology, Dobutamine stress echocardiography and cardiac catheterization.

We quickly evaluate and treat irregular heartbeat conditions in our Cardiac Device Clinic. And our interventional cardiologist treats a variety of conditions with both conventional and innovative techniques. For example, the Montana Heart Center was the first in the state to use an advanced technology called orbital atherectomy to open clogged arteries.

For more information about Now Cardiology, call 406-327-4646.


A breadth of services
In summary, The Montana Heart Center can immediately evaluate and treat anyone with cardiac symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath. We also provide a breadth of heart care services:

  • Cardiac Screening—Learn your score with heart and vascular screening
  • Diagnostic—including echocardiography (Echo), transesophageal echo (TEE), treadmill stress testing, stress echo, Dobutamine stress echo, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac catheterization
  • Interventional—including angioplasty, stents, and peripheral vascular procedures
  • Cardiac Device Clinic—evaluation and treatment of irregular heartbeat; including pacemaker implantation and follow-up, pacer generator change, pacer lead revision, cardioversion, mapping and catheter ablation, Holter monitoring, and event monitoring
  • Cardiac rehabilitation—offering individual fitness plans, convenient scheduling, and a team approach of exercise physiology, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and psychology
  • Specialty clinics—including a congestive heart failure and inotropic infusion clinic and regional outreach clinics
  • Emergency transport—available for regional patient transfer if needed

Should you have questions about the services we offer through The Montana Heart Center at Community Medical Center, please do not hesitate to call (406) 327-4646. For more information about our outreach clinics in Western Montana and Idaho, please call (406) 327-4646.


 



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