Free heart health screenings bring patients peace of mind

MORGANTOWN — Patients got peace of mind as they made sure they were heart-healthy, during the 2018 CHOICE Heart Health screening event Saturday at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Dr. Partho Sengupta, chief of cardiology at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, said the screenings offered some of the most modern technologies used in cardiovascular health.
The American Society of Echocardiography Education and Research Foundation (ASE Foundation) also partnered with WVU Medicine, alongside doctors and others who volunteered their time to offer patient screenings — all at no cost.
“This idea as the patient walks in and goes into the room and goes through the testing and the doctor visit, by the end of the visit they should have a very precise understanding of what is their problem, how they need to be redirected,” Sengupta said.
The screenings are meant to eliminate the guess work and long waits for test results many often face when they leave a doctor’s office. One of the new technologies offered was an ultrasound that plugs into a smartphone. Dr. Sengupta demonstrated how it worked, taking an ultrasound of his own heart. Using this, Sengupta said patients and doctors are given more precise and definitive information.
If at any point an abnormality is detected during testing, patients can consult with a doctor to see what they should do next. If more advanced problems were found, there were means to test further for that as well.
“Everything is free for the patient and gives them the option to go anywhere they want to go. It’s not just for WVU. They can choose, they get educated and they can go anywhere,” he said.
Sengupta said by collecting feedback from patients, it becomes easier to meet the needs of residents and better serve the community.
Robin Wiegerink, CEO of ASE/ASE Foundation, volunteered her time Saturday alongside Dr. Neil Weissman and explained the different problems a person can get from heart disease, along with its many causes.
Wiegerink said Dr. Sengupta’s facility and 22 volunteers from ASE, the response to the CHOICE screening was overwhelming.
“We’ve been really pleased with the response from the area and I think the other thing is the patients that are walking out right now, the woman that just walked out was talking about the peace of mind,” said Wiegerink.
Dr. Segupta said West Virginia is the leader in cardiovascular diseases in the country, so what happens here mirrors the rest of the world. WVU’s Heart and Vascular Institute’s mission is to address some of these problems and challenges that have existed in West Virginia. Bringing back into the community, and partnering with ASE, showed renewed enthusiasm for dealing with the heart disease crisis in West Virginia, he said.
“I think it’s a matter of great pride for us, in fact, that the society has come and we’re working together doing something which has probably not happened before in the US,” he said.

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