CMH launches interventional cardiology; local resident makes hospital history


Local resident makes hospital history

News Journal



WILMINGTON — CMH recently launched 24/7 interventional cardiac care with its first patient receiving an interventional stent on Sept. 28.

While CMH has long been this region’s anchor for emergency and specialty care, patients with chest pain and other heart-related symptoms were often transferred to other facilities for life-saving treatment. Many of these patients were transferred as far as the Greater Cincinnati area to get the care they needed.

With the implementation of CMH’s 24/7 interventional program, emergent, life-saving stents can be placed right here at CMH.

Greg Nielsen, CEO of CMH, highlighted the importance of providing this level of care to patients in Clinton County.

“Cardiac care was our single largest source of transfers, and it was past time we treated these patients here,” said Nielsen. “We knew we could do it safely and effectively – hospitals like CMH have done so across the country for years. With the launch of our 24/7 program, we’re now able to provide life-saving care in a fraction of the time, prevent unnecessary, expensive, and inconvenient transfers to other facilities, and improve patient outcomes. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Judy Pendry was excited to hear she was an historic patient at CMH – the first interventional cardiac patient.

She had originally scheduled an outpatient diagnostic cath, but as they did the diagnostic cath, they discovered a blockage, and placed a stent in her right coronary artery. Judy spent a night in ICU before being discharged on Friday.

Pendry recognized Dr. Nihad Al-Assaad, Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology, and CMH’s Interventional Suite team.

“I couldn’t have asked for better staff,” Pendry said. “Everyone’s been great. It was fantastic… there wasn’t any discomfort. They were very informative. I couldn’t ask for any better treatment or care.”

Dr. Nihad Al-Assaad and Dr. Rakesh Chawla now perform interventions at CMH

Dr. Nihad Al-Assaad received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Aleppo in Aleppo, Syria. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, a fellowship in Vascular Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, and an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at University of Cincinnati. Dr. Al-Assaad has more than 15 years of experience as a Cardiologist, and seven years of experience as an Interventional Cardiologist.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Interventional Cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Rakesh Chawla received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine with Summa Health System, a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, and an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Chawla has over thirteen years of experience as an Interventional Cardiologist, working in Chillicothe, Columbus, Cleveland, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Al-Assaad spoke to the months of preparation and his excitement for the program’s launch.

“We have a phenomenal team here at CMH – they are all outstanding,” he said. “I’ve been performing interventions for years, and I’m excited to bring this level of care to our patients here at CMH.”

Dr. John Hollon, Chief Medical Officer of CMH and founding partner of Main Medical Inc., spoke to the importance of this program launch and CMH’s continuing investment in specialty care.

“I grew up here, and I have practiced internal medicine here for 40 years now. This is one of most exciting developments for our community that I’ve seen in a long time,” said Hollon.

“Now, for the first time in our history, we don’t have to ship patients out that need heart care. We can take care of them right here, at home,” added Nielsen.

For more information about cardiac care at CMH, call 937-382-9606.

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Local resident makes hospital history

News Journal