UPMC Heart and Vascular Instutute (HVI); UPMC Passavant McCandless; North Hills Monthly; editorial; selects;

At UPMC Passavant, the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers a wide range of best-practice care, from basic diagnostic tests to advanced cardiac imaging and cutting-edge surgical procedures. Suresh Mulukutla, MD, an interventional cardiologist and chair of Cardiology at UPMC Passavant, is excited about the continued expansion of cardiovascular care and technology for patients in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh and beyond.

New programs and partnerships with other medical specialties are already launching to provide even more personalized care, closer to home.

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Dedicated Women’s Cardiology Program

One such initiative is the Magee-Womens Heart Program, a dedicated women’s cardiology program. “This is an important endeavor because women have unique cardiovascular risk factors that are often overlooked,” says Dr. Mulukutla who sees patients in Coraopolis, the North Hills, and Oakland. “This is an opportunity to further provide comprehensive care for women.”

Women often seek cardiovascular care during their childbearing years and then later in their post-menopausal years, but tend to skip it between the ages of 40 and 60. That’s a bad idea because risk factors for heart disease start to accumulate in that age range, according to Dr. Mulukutla.

“We are trying to bridge the gap between these two extremes so that we can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease,” he says.

UPMC Passavant also recently unveiled the UPMC Center for Inherited Heart Disease, a clinic focused on inherited arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms — passed down from generation to generation. Some genetic disorders can put patients at risk for serious cardiac conditions, such as ventricular tachycardia. The program offers comprehensive evaluations for patients and their families from both cardiologists and genetic counselors, as well as close follow-up care.

New Cardio-oncology Program

The cardio-oncology program, in partnership with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, will launch in 2021 to serve patients who have developed heart issues related to their cancer diagnosis. These issues may have resulted from the medications, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments they received to treat their cancer. Cardio-oncology patients require close cardiac follow-up care and imaging, in addition to a team that works together to address all aspects of their care and treatment.

As HVI programs continue to expand, it will bring in more experts, such as heart failure specialists to care for patients with congestive heart failure, and more imaging capabilities, such as cardiac MRI. Our world-class team in cardiology, cardiac surgery, and vascular surgery also looks forward to expanding our offerings in key areas including:

  • Advanced interventions for managing atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Minimally invasive valve replacement therapies
  • Treating all forms of vascular disease

Leveraging the Power of Data

Suresh Mulukutla, MD, cardiologist and Chair of Cardiology at UPMC Passavant

Suresh Mulukutla, MD, cardiologist and Chair of Cardiology at UPMC Passavant

UPMC has invested in integrating data across its 40 hospitals, which has allowed HVI to identify new opportunities to enhance patient care through specialized programs. As director of analytics for HVI-cardiology, Dr. Mulukutla and his team leverage a vast amount of data to make constant improvements to the high-quality care they provide.

“That kind of data is powerful and significant compared to other hospitals across the United States,” says Dr. Mulukutla. “We can examine what’s going on at a granular level, make changes based on the data, and continue to follow how people are doing and how care is being delivered. It provides constant learning and improvement opportunities. I don’t think you can do that unless you have the data that allows you to understand the current state, implement interventions to improve outcomes, and measure the impact of those initiatives.”

In the last 20 years, cardiac care and services at UPMC Passavant have grown from essential cardiac care to a center for advanced care and services, with a full team of multidisciplinary experts and a roadmap of continued expansion.

“That has been part of UPMC’s commitment to our communities – so that patients don’t have to travel hours away, or even into the city, to obtain world-class care,” says Dr. Mulukutla.

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About Heart and Vascular Institute

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.