Cardiology Enhancements Benefit Community

Joseph Helak, MD

The Cardiology Center of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is excited to welcome back former Boone cardiologist, Joseph Helak, MD to practice at The Cardiology Center.  Dr. Helak practiced in Boone previously from 2004 to 2011 before leaving for a position in Detroit, Michigan.  Dr. Helak’s desire to return to North Carolina and serve the residents of the High Country became a reality in October when he re-joined his former colleague Peter Ashline, MD and the newest cardiologists to the Center, Drs. Hordes and Vignola, along with the Advanced Practice Nurses and other Cardiology Center staff to provide a full-complement of cardiology care at The Cardiology Center.

In addition to the return of Dr. Helak, the cardiology service line of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System announces the institution of advanced, state of the art cardiology services for patients with coronary artery disease. The services include both diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, which previously were only available only at larger medical facilities.

Paul Vignola, MD

Advanced cardiac testing, available at Watauga Medical Center, can clearly determine which patients are best treated with medical therapy and which are clearly best served by coronary angioplasty and stenting. Coronary angioplasty and stents, previously only available at medical centers outside of Boone, will now be offered at Watauga Medical Center.

The program will be under the direction of Dr. Paul Vignola. Dr. Vignola did his medical training at Yale University and his cardiology training at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital.  More recently, Dr. Vignola has served as Chief of Cardiology, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Director of Interventional Cardiology at Miami’s prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center.

“I am truly excited to be able to bring the latest in advanced diagnostic testing and treatment with coronary stenting to this mountain community that I have grown to love. In the past so many of our neighbors were sent off the mountain to be properly diagnosed and treated. Now they can get the best care available anywhere right here at home” Dr Vignola said during a recent interview.

The enhanced cardiology services are scheduled to start at Watauga Medical Center on October 31st, 2012.  For information, call (828) 264-9664.

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