Let’s Talk About The Heart and Vascular Institute

Heart abstract shape in the hand concept design.
Heart abstract shape in the hand.

Centra recently developed a new Heart and Vascular Institute in order to better serve our patients, caregivers and community. Listen in as Dr. Chad Hoyt and Corrin McCloskey explain why now was the perfect time for an Institute.

Note: Due to extra social distancing and masks being worn during recording for the safety of all parties, some audio may sound more muffled than normal.

Announcer:

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Centra Scripts where we talk health and wellness and practical tips for your everyday life. And now here’s your host, Kate Kolb.

Kate Kolb:

All right, well, welcome to another episode of Centra Scripts. My name is Kate, and it’s such a pleasure to be here with you guys today, and I’m super excited because it is Heart Month officially. And for those of you that don’t know what Heart Month is, we’re going to talk about that some more here in just a few minutes. But this is a really important month around Centra, around the nation as we highlight some really important factors of what is going on with heart health and how we can keep people healthy in our communities.

Kate Kolb:

But today, I have the distinct privilege of being here with Dr. Chad Hoyt and Corrin McCloskey who are with our new Heart and Vascular Institute. And so some of you are thinking, “I don’t know what that is.” Perfect. This is the great place for you to stop by because we’re going to talk about that today.

Kate Kolb:

So I want to give you guys an opportunity just to introduce yourselves for people that don’t know you.

Kate Kolb:

Dr. Hoyt, let’s go ahead and start with you. You are the Executive Chair of the Heart and Vascular Institute. So tell us a little bit about your background, kind of where you’ve come from, what brought you to Centra, and what you’re doing now.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Sure. Thanks, Kate. We’re excited about podcast. I’ve been at Centra for 22 years, and my passion is cardiology. I am an imaging cardiologist, so I enjoy advanced imaging, cardiac MRI, cardiac CT, nuclear imaging, PET imaging. And I also do regular general cardiology, and I’ve been seeing patients for my entire time here. I got into leadership about 15 years ago, and I’ve been the Executive Chair for the last 11 or 12 years. I love the group. I love my partners. I love the staff, and Centra’s been a great organization with which to work.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

My background is that I grew up in Virginia and then moved to Maryland, went to medical school, the University of Maryland, then went to Vanderbilt for my residency, and then down to Emory for my cardiology fellowship. And down at Emory, I made some great contacts with Mike Valentine and Dan Kerry and some other folks in the group who also trained at Emory.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And so that’s how I ended up here in Virginia. It’s been my only job out of training. It’s been a very rewarding career. I’ve made every mistake a human being can make, but I’ve also learned a lot, and it’s just been a tremendous and fulfilling experience for me here.

Kate Kolb:

Amazing. Well, thank you for sharing that, and Corrin, you’re also a part of the cardiovascular group as a business strategist. And so I’m going to just be real honest. I’m not entirely sure what you do from a day-to-day basis, and I should know this because I’ve known you for years now, but tell us a little bit about kind of where you got your start and what you’re doing now.

Corrin McCloskey:

Sure. So my job is really to support Dr. Hoyt and the physicians here in the Institute. My main kind of areas of focus are culture, communication, and strategy. So I get the pleasure of working with these physicians, helping them communicate about the great work that they do, both to Centra and the community, and then helping make sure we’re going to be here for a long time to come, right? So as we look at different projects and different things, helping kind of vet that and talk about what the community needs and how we can support it.

Corrin McCloskey:

So my background… I’ve been with Centra for about seven years. I actually started in our HR department helping with health and employee wellness. I came from about 15 years of public relations, government relations. I’ve just loved being in Lynchburg. It really has become home. I came here as a student, and I stayed, and I’ve just loved being here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m so thankful for Centra and for the Heart and Vascular Institute and all these physician leaders and what they mean to our community. It’s my pleasure to support them and this organization.

Kate Kolb:

Well, that’s awesome. And we wanted to get together today to talk through this new thing called the Heart And Vascular Institute. And we are going to get to that in just a minute, but I want to kind of press pause here for a second and talk a little bit about Heart Month, in general, because this is a highlight that we’re doing this month, and we want to make sure that we are engaging people with what they can do for their heart health and that sort of thing.

Kate Kolb:

So why… I guess either one of you, whoever wants to answer this, why is it even important to highlight Heart Month? Why is that something that we do on an annual basis?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Well, I think we have to be realistic and say that we know that cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer of Americans, and especially in South Central Virginia, where we have a crisis of diabetes, obesity, smoking, and Lynchburg has been voted one of the communities having the most obese citizens. So it’s a problem. And when you’re overweight, then you’re more likely to have diabetes and hypertension and then coronary artery disease. So it all goes together.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And so the more we can educate our community about the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease, the more we can impact their quality of life and their mortality. So we want to get the word out. Heart Month is a great way to promote that and to do that, and even though we’re in the midst of a pandemic and people are suffering from COVID and dying from COVID, unfortunately still, the number of cardiovascular deaths greatly outweigh anything from COVID. So we can’t neglect our cardiovascular disease patients.

Kate Kolb:

Right, right. Corrin, what would you add to that? Why do you think this is important?

Corrin McCloskey:

I mean, I think, it’s so important to be talking to your doctor about your heart health. A lot of people are at risk for heart disease that might not even realize it. And there are a lot of health and wellness factors, behavioral factors, but there are also genetic factors. And right now, especially when stress is high, there can be a lot of strain on your heart. I would just tell anyone that’s listening to make sure you have conversations with your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, we have ways that you can access cardiology. We have a health risk assessment, a heart assessment that you’re able to do. So we want to make sure that people are paying attention to their heart, and Heart Month is just a great reminder for us to take a minute and remember that very important part of our body and what it means to our health overall.

Kate Kolb:

That’s awesome. Well, let’s talk then about some of these things that we would promote in general heart health, and obviously, there’s some very specific things that you can get into based on different types of diseases that people struggle with and that sort of thing. But if you were just asked, “What are these high level reminders that I need to be mindful of as I think about my general heart health?” What are those things that you would tell somebody?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

I think it’s all about balance and moderation and perspective. So, we live in a society that is busy, and there’s so much stress. We have social media attention. We have political polarization. We have people that are suffering from anxiety and mental health. So we’ve got to find a way to keep all that in balance and perspective. And that stress does not do anything positive for our bodies and our minds.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

When I say moderation in what we eat nutritionally, we have to be smart about what we eat and not eat too much and eat the right things. We have to be physically active at least four times a week, having intentional scheduled exercise outside of your normal routine. Avoiding smoking. It is so, so bad. It is so, so bad, and it’s such a crisis here in South Central Virginia.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And then we talked about obesity and hypertension, managing those things, excessive salt intake, managing that. And then also alcohol intake. I mean, that certainly needs to be done in moderation. And if it’s not, not only are there medical issues, but there are socioeconomic ramifications of that.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So I think it’s all of those things, keeping them in balance and perspective and in moderation.

Kate Kolb:

Corrin, I know this is a passion of yours too, healthy living and everything that you’ve come through with your background. So if you had somebody here today that was just like, “I don’t even know where to start. I’m super stressed out with my life. What do I do to implement these heart healthy options for myself?” What would your heartbeat behind that be?

Corrin McCloskey:

Man, I just know so many people in this situation right now where they feel like they’re barely keeping their head above water.

Kate Kolb:

Can we all raise our hands in the room right now?

Corrin McCloskey:

So trying to try to make good healthy decisions sometimes ends up at the bottom of the list. And I think what I would tell that person is start. No matter where you start, make a decision today, one small decision and stick with it and find a way to make it a habit. But often, we get so overwhelmed with our expectations of ourself and our health.

Corrin McCloskey:

And, I would just say to that person, “Just do one thing today that makes you feel good. Is it take a walk? Is it taking a few minutes to meditate or clear your mind? Help reduce stress? Is it making a healthy choice by having some fruit or adding a vegetable to your plate?” It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mentality.

Corrin McCloskey:

And so often I think people are paralyzed not to start at all because they don’t know where to or how to. So I think, Dr. Hoyt said it well, he’s the doctor. He knows all those things we need to do to take care of our heart. And I just think from a very personal level, just start. Start with one thing today.

Kate Kolb:

I love that. I think that people, like you just said, they get very overwhelmed. I know I have fallen into this bucket too, of just, “Well, I would love to make some life changes. I would love to make some implementations in my life, but it’s overwhelming. And it feels like you can’t get over that, maybe the fear of am I ever going to be able to get through this, or I don’t know where to start. The information is lacking, maybe.”

Kate Kolb:

So, again, I think that’s what we’re trying to do here with Centra Scripts and here at Centra as a whole is just make sure that our communities are well-educated on what they need to be facing and implementing in their lives. And then that way, they can walk forward in a healthy way, so I love both of those answers. Thank you so much.

Kate Kolb:

If you have noticed, even on our social media recently and ongoing through this month, you’re going to see a little bit of a tagline called, “Listen to Your Heart” as you start to look at some of these things that we’re implementing for Heart Month. And so, I wanted to talk about now just what are some of those signs and symptoms that maybe people need to be on the lookout for if maybe they’re questioning, “Where does my heart health sit right now? What are some maybe red flags or even just some small signs that you can be aware of?”

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Well, Kate, I think that’s a little bit of a tricky question because women, in particular, present with very atypical symptoms, and I don’t want to give a list and then just because someone’s having a symptom that’s not on the list, they ignore it because women… we really have to be vigilant and pay attention to their symptoms because the historical information can be tricky. And so, we have to be very aggressive.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

One thing I would like to encourage everyone that’s listening to do is that if you have an intimidating family history of premature coronary artery disease, like a sibling or a young parent that had a heart attack, sudden death, bypass surgery stent, you really need to be screened yourself. And it’s never too early to come see the cardiologist to be evaluated. And sometimes people think that, “I don’t want to go bother them. I’m not having a problem right now,” when they could come and say, “Tell me what my risk for heart disease is,” and we have risk calculators, and we can tell you are you low risk, intermediate risk, high risk? And if you’re in those intermediate or high risk groups, we can do the appropriate assessments to help put your mind at ease and get you on a path to take the right medication or to make the right lifestyle decisions.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

I think in terms of symptoms, we worry about discomfort in the chest, especially provoked by effort and exertion. We worry about breathlessness that’s new that’s limiting what you can do. Those are the main ones, but it can present in so many different ways. And so I think our community needs to put their symptoms in the context of their history. If they don’t know what their risk is, then they need to get evaluated and be told what their risk is. And we have a lot of programs that Corrin already alluded to that can help them and put their mind at ease.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So we want people to come early and often and not feel like they’re bothering us, or we’re too busy, or they don’t have enough symptoms to warrant it.

Kate Kolb:

Corrin, you mentioned a few minutes ago that the HRA, the Heart Risk Assessment. And so in tandem with what Dr. Hoyt just was speaking about, what does that look like for a patient who maybe is thinking now as they’re listening, “I think I might have some of those things that I need to check into.” What can they do from that point?

Corrin McCloskey:

So there’s a link on our website where you can go, and you can take a health risk assessment specific to your heart. It’s completely free. And it’ll just take a few minutes. It’ll ask you some information like Dr. Hoyt mentioned about family history, some of your behaviors, and it’ll give you a risk score. And if you’re at high risk, then you’re able to come in for a free screening and speak with one of our staff members that can help get you either an appointment or to some appropriate testing.

Corrin McCloskey:

I just would echo what Dr. Hoyt says in that early intervention is key. Don’t wait until you’re having a problem. I know so often we get busy. We’re not thinking about ourself and our health. I’m a young parent. I have young kids. And so I’m always taking them to the doctor. I’m not thinking about making sure I’m testing my cholesterol or my blood pressure, but having those annual appointments to get that done, to know your numbers and know your heart health overall, it’s so important.

Corrin McCloskey:

So make those decisions now so that you can be here for your kids and loved ones for many, many years to come.

Kate Kolb:

And it is just that easy to kind of harken back to what you guys were talking about just a few minutes ago too. It’s press the start button. Just one small thing, and that can be a great thing to get started with today if some of these things that we’ve talked about are kind of pinging in your brain a little bit.

Kate Kolb:

Additionally, if you’re listening, and you’ve tuned in to some of our other podcasts that we’ve had recently and then also some of our other blogs and things that are going on, you’ll hear this phrase that we’ve been saying, “Partnering with you to live your best life.” And that is Centra’s just cause, and we’ve talked about that a little bit, but what does that look like in terms of heart health for people, for your patients, for the community members that maybe have not been here yet? What does their best heart life look like in this community?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Well, I’m going to say this from the perspective of a physician who’s seeing patients that are asking me that question, “How can I live my best life, and what does my best life look like?” I think we have to recognize that a significant percentage of the patients that walk in the door that come and see us don’t actually have a heart problem. They have problems that are manifesting as symptoms that seem like a heart problem.

Kate Kolb:

Interesting.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

But either they’re having marital problems, or they’re having anxiety about the world around them, or they’re stressed at work, or they’re having issues with one of their children, or there’s been a death in the family, and they’re going through some bereavement. So I think that we have to recognize that a significant contribution to living your best life is to have those things in perspective and in balance and address them. And we’re here to help.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And so when someone comes in, and they’re not sure if they’re having a heart event, we have to sift through all that. And we have to sit down and take the time to talk with them and get to know them and tease out whether it’s more of a mental health issue or if it’s heart-related.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

But I think living your best life is having all those things in balance and knowing what your risk is. We talked about defining your risk. Everybody should know what their risk is. If they don’t, they need to come and see us. And then once you know what your risk is, follow the appropriate guidelines that we would recommend to help live your best life. And again, well-controlled blood pressure, a reasonable diet, regular exercise, scheduled exercise, all of the things. Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol intake, all of those basic principles, but having it all in balance.

Kate Kolb:

That’s great.

Corrin McCloskey:

And I think I would just add to that when we see a patient, we’re not just seeing their heart, right? We’re seeing the whole person. So as Dr. Hoyt mentioned, maybe there’s factors in your life that are affecting your heart health that are causing behaviors that are unhealthy, or maybe you need just some support and some direction. That’s the great thing about Centra partnering with you to live your best life is that we have these resources as a system. So, if you come in and you think you might have a heart problem, and there are other ways we can serve you, we will make sure you get connected to the right care, to take care of what you’re dealing with.

Kate Kolb:

And I love that. And that’s actually a fantastic segue into this next segment that we want to talk about because that’s kind of the heart, no pun intended, behind the creation of the HVI, the Heart and Vascular Institute, was kind of that implementation of all those things together.

Kate Kolb:

So let’s kind of get into the meat of this a little bit. For those who may or may not know, here in the community, Stroobants Cardiovascular Group and Center has been here for how many years now?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Since probably the mid-80s.

Kate Kolb:

So it’s been a staple in the community for some time now. So want to talk through a little bit about what the center has kind of historically been a part of for the community and then kind of what that looks like going forward into this new model.

Kate Kolb:

So Dr. Hoyt, do you want to just kind of start us off with kind of historically speaking, what the center has done and procedures that have been done and that sort of thing.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Sure, I think we got our start in the 80s, and we had a cath lab and then brought on a cardiac surgery program, which was initially at Virginia Baptist Hospital. And then everything was consolidated over to Lynchburg General, but we’ve grown to having about 40 physicians and 35 advanced practice providers. We have every specialty that you could possibly imagine. We have pediatric cardiology, fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology. We have electrophysiology, rhythm specialists. We have a heart failure team. We have a vascular team, a vascular surgery team, a cardiac surgery team. So we had an interventional team, a structural heart team. We have the whole gamut. In fact, in the structural heart world, that’s a very advanced field where we do non-invasive mitral valve surgeries and aortic valve surgeries without opening the chest.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And I don’t know if our listeners know this, but we have the third highest volume in the state of Virginia for those procedures.

Kate Kolb:

Really?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And we are one of the largest heart and vascular institutes in Virginia. So we do a lot of volume. We do more volume than some of the referral centers that we send patients to, some of the university centers. And people don’t know that, so they can have a high level of confidence that when they come here for a procedure, we’re very experienced.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And we’re also fortunate that’s our physicians have trained at some of the most prestigious programs in the country. And, we are very fortunate. We don’t have to work hard to recruit. People want to come here because they love what we have here. So we’re very fortunate, and we’ve been able to do that with the support of Centra and with the support of the community.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So we can do everything except cardiac transplantation. Everything except cardiac transplantation. And we don’t do that because there’s a lot of red tape involved, and it’s just a very heavy lift in terms of the bureaucracy. So we’re excited about what we’re able to offer. I think people will find that we’re as about as advanced as anywhere you could possibly go. And one of our former partners was the president of the American College of Cardiology. And so we’ve had some partners accomplish great things. One of our partners is the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Virginia, so I’m bragging a little bit, but we have a lot to brag about.

Kate Kolb:

You’re allowed. That’s great.

Kate Kolb:

And Corrin, you’ve been here with this section of Centra with Stroobants for how many years now?

Corrin McCloskey:

About four years.

Kate Kolb:

About four years. So what has been your experience as you’ve kind of come from the HR side and the employee health and wellness side and kind of moved into this more cardiovascular care-centric idea?

Corrin McCloskey:

Well, I think one thing that really differentiates this group nationally is the strong physician leadership and the culture, and all those things that Dr. Hoyt just talked about wouldn’t be possible without strong clinical leaders. And that’s really what’s at the heart of the Heart and Vascular Institute is an institute is comprehensive, so you’re making sure you’re having all these different resources at your fingertips, all these teams that are assembled for great patient care. It’s provider-led, so the people that are treating you are making the decisions about your care.

Corrin McCloskey:

And then it’s research-focused, so we’re looking for new innovative technologies. We’re bringing the best to you that you would get at any academic institution. So I think what I’ve seen over the last four years is just that continued growth and energy that they’ve had for the last 30 where they’ve continued to recruit incredible physicians, incredible talent, amazing clinicians, and care teams that really offer the very best heart and vascular care you could get anywhere in the country or even the world.

Kate Kolb:

That’s amazing. And one thing I’ve heard echoed over and over again through the years as I’ve been here with different interviews that we’ve done is just this really personal way of looking at cardiovascular care. I think that there are a lot of people who think, “Oh my goodness, if they can perform that many procedures, and they can do that many things, it must just feel like a number through their doors. I must just feel like one of the cattle entering,” and that is not at all what is going on here, and the heart that I’ve heard behind, again, no pun intended, but the heart that I’ve heard behind everyone that I’ve talked to that has been in this facility for the past five and a half years that I’ve been here, it just really speaks volumes about the way that you all interact with your patients, the way that you are wanting to develop things in the community. And so, I’m excited to see what this HVI looks like going forward, what the Institute can do to bring even more of those things to light in our community.

Kate Kolb:

So let’s define a little bit then right now, why an Institute? What is it, and why is now the right time for that?

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So, Kate, everyone asks me that question. And I think that best way to describe it is that a traditional service line is kind of an inward siloed type of service where, “Hey, we provide these services. This is what we do. And if you need something else, you’ll have to go outside.” But an institute is outward looking. It reaches out, and it brings in other specialties, what we call cross-specialization. So you will find in our vascular center that we have wound care specialists with hyperbaric oxygen chambers. We have vascular surgeons. We have interventional vascular cardiologists. And so we have a comprehensive care team to take care of that complete disease for that patient. It’s a one-stop shop. But having those different specialists working on that same disease makes the care better because they bring different perspectives. So it’s outward looking.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

It also looks out to the community. How can we provide care at a lower cost? One thing that our listeners may not know is that we have a staff member who takes care of our indigent drug program, and we save patients over a million dollars a year just on pharmaceuticals that they can’t afford.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

We have donated to help build the Dawson Inn for patients to stay for their families when they travel from long distances. We even take care of patients in Tanzania and Vietnam and other places around the world. We have patients flying here from the Caribbean to have an atrial fibrillation ablation procedure done.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So it’s very outward looking. We focus on graduate medical education. We focus on research and teaching. We focus on quality. I don’t think people realize the cost that’s involved and the investment in having all of these quality registries and accreditations, but we have a lot to brag about. And so that’s a big investment.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

So an institute is outward looking. It’s expansive. It involves cross-specialization, and it reaches out to the community. And another discussion point about cost is that a few years ago, we looked at our Medicare data, and we were by far the least expensive Heart and Vascular Institute in the State of Virginia by a huge margin so that our listeners need to know that what they pay for the service is about as low as you’ll get in Virginia. And we feel like that’s our responsibility to Lynchburg.

Kate Kolb:

And I love that because I think that there is a concern sometimes when you hear words like institute that carry a little bit more weight behind it, and they’re like, “Well, is my cost going to go up? Is the cost of what I’m investing in here going to be prohibitive to me being able to get that care?” So I appreciate very much that you outlined that so well for us there.

Kate Kolb:

Corrin, you talked earlier in the podcast about this, your position being very focused around kind of the culture and different things of what’s going on here. How do you feel like this institute model is going to continue to build that piece of what you guys are doing here?

Corrin McCloskey:

Wow. Kate, that is a great question. And I think we have this vision of being one of the best places to work in central Virginia. We want the healthcare workers to feel cared for when they come here. The providers, the frontline caregivers, the people that are checking people in or serving them by the bedside, these really are the heroes of our community. They are with you on your worst day sometimes. And I like to say that I care for the caregivers. Part of my job is helping make sure they feel connected to something. And so often people say they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. And I think health care gives you such a unique platform to do that. You impact each patient’s story sometimes in ways you never realized that you could.

Corrin McCloskey:

So I think here at the Heart and Vascular Institute, we want our caregivers to feel like they have the resources they need to care for the patients that are in front of them because really, the people that we’re serving in the community are often our own caregivers too. They’re our patients, and the people that care for our patients. And so, if we’re not taking care of our own people, how can we provide the best care to the community? And so I think, for us, it’s really focusing on communicating with them, respecting, recognizing them, and making sure they have what they need to take care of the people that are in front of them.

Kate Kolb:

That’s great. And so for either one of you here, what does this new model do in terms of… I know we’ve had a lot of ability to sort of liaison with people in the community, with other physicians, other providers, and that sort of thing. What does this new model allow for physician referrals and different things for people coming in from other segments?

Corrin McCloskey:

I think that when a provider refers to the Heart and Vascular Institute, they want to know that their patient’s well taken care of. They want to know that they’re going to get information back quickly to help manage that patient. And I think this new model allows us to do that even more seamlessly. So when you refer your patient here, you can know that they’re going to get the care they need when they need it from the person they need it from, right? We’re not going to do unnecessary testing. We’re not going to continue to follow them if they’re stable. We want to send them back to you for your oversight and care. I think it’s a very collaborative model in that we want to do what we do best. And we want to let our referring physicians do what they do best. And through that whole continuum of care, keeping that patient front and center and helping them get access to what they need when they need it.

Kate Kolb:

That’s great.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And I would just add that being part of a cardiovascular practice, it’s difficult because most everything’s an emergency, right? Most everyone that gets referred needs to be seen right away, and it’s hard to space those out. So we are doing our very best internally from an operational perspective to make it such that patients have better access. And our goal is to be better than the national average in terms of getting our new patients in. And so we’re working hard to do that, but I think that the tricky part is that most every problem is serious. And so it’s just a question of triaging how to do that, but I want to echo what Corrin said when the physicians refer patients to us, we don’t want to follow them any longer than necessary. And we are committed to following practice guidelines, and that means not doing unnecessary testing which you can’t say about every place in the country, in certain states. So we’re trying to be responsible as well, so we try to tailor every treatment plan to the individual patient and try to do the right thing.

Kate Kolb:

Awesome. Well, let’s talk a little bit about this scope of care then with this new model and kind of what that means for patients as they’re coming in. I mean, what does that look like now for a patient as they flow through the program of care?

Corrin McCloskey:

So, I mean, I think, again, I would just highlight how important it is to have a primary care doctor and have them know you and your history and that they know when it’s appropriate to refer you or when you have risk factors that need additional attention. Or if you don’t have a primary care, as you’ve mentioned, maybe doing that risk assessment, but when you come here to cardiology or the HVI, I think it’s mostly what we’ve talked about already. They’re going to see you as a whole patient, not just your heart. They’re going to have access to get you specialized care at high quality at a low cost. And so for you as the patient, it might not seem like there’s a whole lot that’s different because you’re getting what you need. But I do think from the way that we’re structured and set up, the way that we’re tracking the work that we’re doing, the way we’re prioritizing things as an organization makes all of that more seamless for the patient.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And I would say just from a practical perspective, when you come to the office, some patients are referred by their primary care provider, and some patients refer themselves, and it’s okay either way. We like taking care of all of those patients. Much of the care can be done in the office in terms of imaging. Sometimes if you need an invasive procedure, you’ll have to go to Lynchburg General Hospital where we have the Cardiac Pavilion, and many of those procedures are elective. Or if you have a surgical procedure, you obviously have to go to Lynchburg General. And we have an imaging center over there as well. So the testing can occur in both places, the office and in the hospital in the outpatient area. But we take patients who are referred and patients that refer themselves, so it doesn’t really matter.

Kate Kolb:

Great. Well, and I love both of you have sort of mentioned in the process of answering some of these questions that collaborative care model. And I think that that’s really, really important for our listeners to understand is this idea of not only is there collaboration happening with outside resources and physician referrals and different things like that, but there’s an inside culture collaboration happening here among our providers within this program and then kind of those cross referrals and cross services that we would use for those. So I love that you guys have both highlighted this total care for the patient and the fact that they are being seen not just as whatever their condition is, but as whatever is going on with them in their life.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

Kate, if I could just insert something, there’s this concept called a heart team. And so for a patient that has severe aortic valve disease, we do a procedure now called the TAVR, transcatheter aortic valve replacement. But when the patient gets evaluated, they don’t just get seen by the cardiologist. They also get seen by the cardiac surgeon. They get seen by our advanced practice practitioners, and there’s a team that plans their care. What’s the best treatment plan for this patient, and both the surgeon and the interventional cardiologist has to agree. And so that team-based care… the same thing with mitral valve disease. We really emphasize that and look at the whole patient and give the patient different perspectives. And that’s part of what an institute is.

Kate Kolb:

I love that. I think that’s fantastic.

Kate Kolb:

Well, as we’re starting to sort of wrap this episode up, just want to say thank you again for sitting down with me and talking through all these points. But is there anything else that you guys would want to share with our listeners that you just feel like I would just be remiss if I left the table today and did not say this?

Corrin McCloskey:

I think just to tell the community, not just the community, but whoever the individual is on the other side of this recording, that you have access to some of the best heart and vascular care in the country if not the world. And we are here for you. We are community supported, and we’re here because we care about your heart health. And we want to partner with you to live whatever that best life looks like for you. And at the end of the day, that’s why we’re here. We’re here for you. And we hope that you feel like we are available and that we’re informative and that we want what’s best for you and your heart health.

Dr. Chad Hoyt:

And my message would be that we recognize that this healthcare system is the community’s healthcare system. And so, we want every person to know that every decision we make on the care team is made through the lens of what’s best for that patient. And every decision we make is based on practice guidelines, best practice published literature. And we understand that the resources we have here are the community’s resources, and we have to be very, very respectful of that and be good stewards of that. So when we see an individual patient, we’re thinking about what’s cost-effective for them. We’re thinking about what the right diagnostic workup and treatment is for them also in the context of what their financial resources are. So we think about all of that. We’re a community. We’re a close knit community. And I think we want the community to know that that is the most important thing to us.

Kate Kolb:

That’s great. Well, thank you guys, again, so much for sitting down with me. Dr. Hoyt, it was a pleasure to have you. Corrin as well. And, for our listenership out there, there are so many resources that you can visit both on centrahealth.com and centrascripts.com that we will be linking to for this month for the content of our Heart Month content. And then just additionally as we go into the rest of the year, you’ll be hearing stories and interviews and all kinds of things as we continue to highlight the really great work that is happening here and elsewhere in Centra and continuing to partner with you to live your best life. So stay tuned.

1 Comment

  1. Sue Hoyt on February 10, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Fantastic!!!!!!

Leave a Comment