WellSpan Health: Innovative Treatment and Systemwide Continuity of Care for Heart Attack Patients in South Central Pennsylvania

By Dava Stewart
Monday, May 11, 2020

A combination of coordinated care, advanced interventions and a highly experienced team of clinicians allows WellSpan Health to provide lifesaving heart attack treatment.

The goal of any dedicated heart attack treatment program is to ensure positive outcomes for patients, minimize impacts on patients’ quality of life and prevent future heart attacks. Experienced cardiology specialists with WellSpan use innovative technologies to achieve those goals and more for patients across South Central Pennsylvania.

Advanced Imaging

Cardiac imaging plays a crucial role in accurately diagnosing and treating heart attacks. WellSpan has invested heavily in some of the field’s most advanced imaging technologies, capable of producing extremely detailed images of the body’s cardiovascular system. The technology also aids in procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

“It’s really improving our ability to take images of the heart in all aspects, from preventive efforts to advanced procedural techniques,” says Stewart Benton, MD, interventional cardiologist at WellSpan. “Our cardiac imaging is truly leading-edge and a great resource.”

Advanced imaging tools, such as 4D CT, also give WellSpan cardiology specialists more clarity in classifying patients’ risks for heart attacks, particularly those who may experience atypical symptoms.

“Advanced imaging helps us know how aggressively we need to manage a patient’s cholesterol, lifestyle habits and so on to keep them healthy going forward,” Dr. Benton says.

Expertise in the Procedure Labs

WellSpan clinicians have earned a reputation as leaders in complex cardiovascular procedures, including treatment for chronic total occlusion, a notoriously difficult blockage to clear.

“Additionally, we have a high level of experience with robotic PCI [percutaneous coronary intervention],” he says. “The high volume of robotic PCI procedures that we perform makes us unique.”

Patients continue to have support after treatment concludes. WellSpan’s Cardiac Rehabilitation takes a comprehensive approach to preventing complications and future heart attacks that encompasses exercise and education about heart disease and necessary lifestyle changes.

“Our cardiology specialists treat some of the most complex heart attack patients, and they’re doing it with leading-edge technology.”
— Stewart Benton, MD, Interventional Cardiologist at WellSpan

Community and Continuity of Care

For WellSpan, a primary focus when treating heart attack patients has been working with community first responders to help patients get the best emergency care. Due in part to this valuable relationship, WellSpan interventional cardiac cath labs have consistently met or exceeded national benchmarks for door-to-balloon times.

In addition, cardiology specialists treat patients at WellSpan acute care hospitals in Adams, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, ensuring they receive the most advanced interventions available.

“We live among our patients and get to know them very well,” says Edward Tadajweski, MD, interventional cardiologist at WellSpan. “They are our friends, neighbors and coworkers. We aren’t just treating strangers. We take great pride in that.”

WellSpan also fosters outreach to local primary care providers.

“We do a lot of work with the American Heart Association every year, and we conduct a number of educational sessions for colleagues,” Dr. Tadajweski says. “We really try to give back to the community and do our part.”

To learn more about WellSpan Cardiology, visit WellSpan.org/HV.