Cody Regional Health could be providing a lot more services in its new cath lab by September-October.
At the April West Park Hospital Board meeting, chief ambulatory officer Andrea McKay announced one interventional cardiologist had formally accepted an offer through Billings Clinic and another had verbally agreed to come on board.
Once those are finalized and state certifications are finished, both are expected to be available to start in the fall.
“Instead of two days a week, the cath lab can go 24-7 except for every other weekend,” board chair Lenox Baker said. “This is a key thing.”
The two doctors will replace three who have come down from Billings to deliver services. To date the cath lab has seen 25 patients for procedures since opening, with six more scheduled Thursday. With three more days to see patients in the fiscal year, chief clinical officer Keith Ungrund said they would likely surpass the 48 procedure estimate.
Having two doctors locally would change next year’s estimate drastically, and Ungrund said staff are reaching out to Powell and other Big Horn Basin hospitals to let them know of the expanded capability for services.
Dr. Thomas Wolford is a general and interventional cardiologist. He completed his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and his internal medicine internship and residency at Barnes Hospital.
He brings a Cardiology Fellowship and Interventional Cardiology Fellowship in Heart Failure/Heart Transplant.
Wolford and his wife, Caryn visited Billings and Cody in February and recently committed to the position. Assuming privileging and Wyoming licensure is obtained timely, McKay said he is anticipated to start in July or August.
Dr. Thomas Edwards, F.A.C.C., is a practicing interventional cardiologist who has served for 15 years in the Heart Center at St. Mark’s in Salt Lake City and most recently at the Wasatch Cardiovascular group in Lehi, Utah.
After graduating from the Oral Roberts University School of Medicine in Oklahoma in 1986, Edwards completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and his cardiology fellowship at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix.
Edwards and his wife, Cynthia, came for a site visit to Cody in March. He verbally accepted the offer and McKay said she anticipates Edwards to begin his practice in Cody by September or October.
The Cody Cardiology Center Cath Lab is located at Cody Regional Health’s West Park Hospital Campus and the physician clinic office is located in the Cathcart Health Center.
The cath lab provides the ability to perform diagnostic cardiac catheterizations to diagnose and treat heart disease. Diagnostic procedures performed will include cardiac catheterizations, pacemaker placements and defibrillator placements.
The lab features the newest X-ray technology systems, allowing a physician to merge different imaging modalities to guide procedures, including new high-end, real-time 3D imaging.
Billings Clinic’s interventional cardiologists have been handling all interventional cardiology services at the cath lab since its establishment. The Billings Clinic Department of Cardiology is the most comprehensive heart and vascular program in the region with an expansive team of general cardiologists, electrophysiologists, interventional cardiologists, as well as cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons.
Ungrund said the Billings hospital handles 10-12 procedures a day in its cath lab. Any new staff hired for Cody’s cath lab who do not have prior experience in the specialty will need to train in Billings for a few days, he said.