Revere Health augments cutting-edge cardiology services with new specialist, expanded campus

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Revere Health Heart of Dixie Cardiology has offered a comprehensive range of treatments and services to Southern Utahns for more than a decade. With a new specialist on board and an expanded facility opening its doors in the coming weeks, the practice remains on the forefront of health care in the region.

Dr. Ryan Cooley with Heart of Dixie Cardiology, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Revere Health, St. George News

Dr. Ryan Cooley has more than 20 years of experience in cardiac electrophysiology focusing on heart rhythm disorders. He is the newest addition to the Heart of Dixie Cardiology team, consisting of four doctors and six advanced practice clinicians.

Cooley said he was drawn to Southern Utah from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the opportunity that Revere Health presented for greater physician input and its emphasis on delivering preventative care on a more personal level.

During his time in Wisconsin, Cooley became an early adopter of physiological cardiac pacing, a developing technology in treating patients who require a pacemaker to correct abnormal heart rhythm.

Traditional pacemakers are implanted in the heart muscle for either upper or lower chamber pacing. They stimulate the muscle directly, bypassing the existing electrical pathways of the heart.

But with these natural conduction pathways no longer in use, Cooley said the ventricles will contract out of sync with each other and in an inefficient way, potentially leading to poor cardiac pump function. Studies have shown a significant increase in new diagnoses of heart failure after a pacemaker is implanted.

“We’ve always recognized that with traditional pacing, while it overcomes the underlying structural problem, it’s a double-edged sword,” he added.

Physiological pacing allows cardiologists to restore that pathway at some level in the heart, Cooley said. To achieve this, pacemaker leads can be placed at either the His bundle or the left bundle branch lower in the heart, both of which play a critical role in transmitting electrical impulses.

“The end result is stimulation of the natural pathway, restoring the more natural, physiological way that the ventricle contracts,” he said. “It substantially reduces the chance that the heart will develop heart failure because of an abnormal contraction that a traditional pacemaker would impose.”

Just a few weeks ago, Cooley implanted the first left bundle branch pacemaker in the state of Utah.

The patient was suffering from uncontrolled atrial fibrillation with a persistent rapid heartbeat, Cooley said. The two-step procedure also involved an atrioventricular node ablation, in which the junction between the upper and lower chambers of the heart is cauterized to prevent the rapid beating. Because the atria and the ventricles are no longer connected, a permanent pacemaker is required.

The entire operation took approximately 90 minutes and was performed at Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Though it has yet to become widely implemented, physiological pacing is not a new science. Cooley said it’s just a matter of more cardiac electrophysiologists taking the time to adopt the technology and perfect the skill.

“The tools that we used for pacing were rather rudimentary in the beginning, but they’ve gotten better,” he said. “Physiologic pacemakers can be successfully implanted in well over 90% of people.”

Cooley said the cutting-edge medicine practiced at Heart of Dixie Cardiology is only one aspect of quality care that Revere Health offers to the Southern Utah community.

Digital rendering of the new Revere Health St. George Campus | Image courtesy of Revere Health, St. George News

Nearly two years ago, they broke ground on a 68,000-square foot multispecialty health center located at 2825 E. Mall Drive in St. George. The facility is scheduled to open its doors on Dec. 14.

The Revere Health St. George Campus will offer family medicine, urgent care, orthopedics, internal medicine, cardiology, outpatient imaging, physical therapy and more under one roof, bringing together providers that have been scattered throughout the area.

Cooley said Heart of Dixie Cardiology will be able to expand and centralize their services while providing an enhanced patient experience. Many of the routine aspects of cardiology, including lab work, diagnostic testing and rehabilitation, can now be performed in the same building.

Along with convenience, Cooley said the new facility will help make care more affordable for patients in the local community.

“Value-based care is a primary goal for Revere Health,” he said. “Giving high-quality care to every patient that we encounter at a lowered cost is an important in today’s healthcare environment.”

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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  • Revere Health Heart of Dixie Cardiology | Address: 1380 E. Medical Center Drive #4100, St. George | Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Telephone: 435-251-2900Website.

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