Butler Health System | Health Link | Fall 2020

For all of us, 2020 has been a year like no other. As we have always done in times of turmoil, we will come through it stronger and better than ever. Through all of this upheaval, the Heart Team at Butler Health System has continued to grow, both in terms of the communities we serve and the advanced technology we provide. We are pleased that in 2020, Clarion Hospital became part of BHS and the Butler Heart Team strengthened its collaborative venture with Indiana Regional Medical Center to provide interventional cardiology services. In addition to these hospital- based services, we now have outpatient facilities that serve Venango, Clarion, Indiana, Armstrong, Butler and Lawrence counties. We are proud to serve the people of these great western Penn- sylvania communities. Technology has become a central part of all of our lives. Nowhere is this felt more acutely than in the field of medicine. In 2020, we opened a state-of-the-art electrophysiology laboratory on our Butler hospital cam- pus, and we have seen collaborative efforts that have led to the develop- ment of new programs. With the Watchman device, our patients with atrial fibrillation can stop taking blood thinners that otherwise would be required for life. The Micra pacemaker, which no longer requires wires extending into the heart, is also available to patients. Furthermore, we are developing a new combined program with our surgi- cal team that allows us to deal with complex cases of atrial fibrillation. In our catheterization laboratory, we have become a regional center of expertise in radial artery access. This allows our doctors to perform catheterization and stent procedures through the wrist instead of the groin, reducing com- plications and making the procedures more comfortable. Finally, we are in the process of developing a “shock team” that will allow us to better help our sickest patients. We are proud to report that we have been awarded the Gold Achievement award by the NCDR, a national da- tabase governed by the American College of Cardiology that monitors the quality of cardiology programs across the country. Through all of these trying times, Butler Health System has continued to grow and improve our Cardiovascular Services. We look forward to continu- ing to serve the people of western Pennsylvania with high-quality care close to home. BHS Heart Team: A year like no other Richard Begg, MD, FAAC, FSCAI Medical Director, Cardiovascular Services A letter from heart surgery patient Evelyn Newton In these modern times, we often don’t take the time to express our gratitude, but today I would like to do just that. I recently had open-heart surgery to remove an aortic aneurysm at Butler Memorial Hospital, with Dr. El-Khatib as my cardiothoracic surgeon. I would like to publicly thank Dr. El-Khatib for his willing- ness to FaceTime my girls, with my husband present, and answer all their questions before surgery; for taking time to explain the process; for his compassion and honesty—but mostly for his skill while my life was literally in his hands. Straight from the heart: Max and Evelyn Newton of Portersville, Pennsylvania. HEALTH LINK 4 | BHS HEART TEAM