In an effort to meet the demands for Montana’s population growth among individuals over age 55 and to help address heart disease as the country’s leading cause of death, Community Medical Center announces a new partnership with Billings Clinic’s nationally recognized cardiac center. This new partnership – Billings Clinic Heart and Vascular at Community Medical Center – is a collaborative effort to provide advanced cardiac care to patients in Missoula and the surrounding area. It combines CMC’s tradition and strong presence in the community with the expertise and resources of Billings Clinic’s nationally recognized cardiac center, which is Montana’s most comprehensive and longest-running heart program.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, with an estimated 610,000 people – or about one in four – dying of heart disease-related issues annually. Additionally, 1.4 million Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The national pattern includes Montana, where heart disease is consistently among the top two most common causes of death each year. More than half of patients with heart disease also develop vascular disease, which involves blockages forming outside the heart.
Dr. Dean French, CEO of Community Medical Center, explained that the new partnership is intended to address the need for expanded cardiac and vascular services in Western Montana and the urgency of care required to reduce cardiac-related death.“We are pleased to partner with Billings Clinic to expand our cardiovascular team of physicians, while continuing to provide CMC’s excellent team of nurses, therapists and clinical staff,” French said. “Treating patients with cardiovascular disease is complex, with new techniques and technologies changing regularly. As a result, we want to ensure we are providing high-quality specialists to deliver the most advanced care to our patients.”
Billings Clinic is part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and its cardiac program has received national recognition:
Billings Clinic is the only cardiac program in Montana and one of just two in the four-state region of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and North Dakota and named to the 2017 Becker’s Hospital Review list of the 100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Heart Programs.
The American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry recognized Billings Clinic with the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for its high standard of care for heart attack patients.
“We’re excited to share our extensive cardiovascular experience, resources and accreditations with CMC,” said Dr. Randall Gibb, Billings Clinic CEO. “The new Heart and Vascular program at CMC will offer patients throughout the region access to new options for outstanding care.”
The new Heart and Vascular program at CMC provides full-time interventional and clinical cardiology services, including a catheterization lab with 24/7 coverage for STEMIs (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarctions, or heart attacks that occur as a result of a complete blockage), a cardiology outpatient rehabilitation unit and cardiac ultrasound services. Patients will have the opportunity to receive interventional therapies using only radial artery access (through the wrist), for both heart and vascular disease. Additionally, the program will provide outreach services in Ronan and rural communities throughout Western Montana.
Care at Billings Clinic Heart and Vascular at CMC is led by Dr. Robert Minor and Dr. Douglas Waldo, two skilled and experienced interventional cardiologists, working alongside CMC’s professional team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, technicians, therapists and support staff. Both Billings Clinic and CMC anticipate ongoing expansion within this program to meet the growing needs of the region it serves.