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Inpatient Cardiology Services at Flagstaff Medical Center

Northern Arizona Healthcare recently partnered with Mountain Heart to provide a bold new approach to cardiac care that’s better for its patients and the communities of Northern Arizona. NAH and Mountain Heart’s providers are leading the way, building a destination cardiology program that will become a special place focused on delivering high-quality, compassionate care to everyone who enters our doors.

As part of this seamless partnership, board certified cardiologists Andrew Atiemo, M.D., Eric Cohen, M.D., Omar Wani, M.D. and I rotate weekly as cardiology hospitalists to provide inpatient cardiology services at Flagstaff Medical Center on a full-time basis, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

As the inpatient cardiologists, their entire focus is addressing patients with cardiovascular illnesses. Being on site means they can more quickly respond to the emergency room; develop a plan of care for patients who are admitted to the hospital, which also means patients admitted to FMC have access to advanced inpatient treatment in the dedicated cardiovascular ICU; and quickly respond to surgery needs.

The inpatient cardiology program provides a continuity of care because patients will typically see the same cardiologist during duration of his or her stay at FMC. The inpatient cardiologist also works with the patient’s primary care physician or cardiologist to coordinate care after leaving the hospital.

Since the program was implemented at FMC in May, the care process for patients has greatly improved. It has minimized response time, which results in shorter lengths of stay; increased the ability to formulate a care plan faster, which means patients feel better quicker. Also, the inpatient cardiologists coordinate a patient’s discharge with the patient’s cardiologist − providing patients a complete plan of care from both inpatient and outpatient − that provides a clear transition to the patient’s outpatient cardiologist. When a patient leaves the hospital, they already have an appointment scheduled with their cardiologist.

From an emergency room standpoint, before a patient is admitted for cardiovascular illnesses, the inpatient cardiologist can make an assessment to see if the patient needs to be admitted. Typically, instead of admitting a patient, the cardiologist can instead develop an acute care plan; and coordinate and ensure a seamless transition to outpatient follow up. Avoiding unnecessary emergency room admittances is not only financially beneficial for patients better for their overall health. FBN

By Kent Winkler, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.

To make an appointment to see an outpatient cardiologist, call 928-773-2023.


Kent Winkler, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I., is a board-certified interventional cardiologist specializing in nuclear medicine, rhythm management, pacemaker implantations, complex coronary intervention and defibrillator implantations. He serves as medical director of Mountain Heart Cardiology and rotates as a cardiology hospitalist at Flagstaff Medical Center.


Northern Arizona Healthcare is creating healthier communities by providing wellness, prevention and medical care through Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center – Sedona Campus, Northern Arizona Healthcare – Camp Verde Campus, Northern Arizona Healthcare Medical Group – Flagstaff, Verde Valley Medical Clinic, the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Northern Arizona Healthcare Orthopedic Surgery Center, EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine, the Bariatric Surgical Weight Loss Clinic, the Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, the Sleep and Pulmonary Center, Guardian Air and Guardian Medical Transport. We also provide comprehensive imaging, laboratory and pharmacy services throughout the region. Many of the services we provide receive major funding through the NAH Foundation, including Fit Kids of Arizona, The Taylor House and Valley View Care.


For more information on Northern Arizona Healthcare programs and services, visit NAHealth.com. “Like” NAH at Facebook.com/NorthernArizonaHealthcare.

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