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Experts in Matters of the Heart

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Your heart and its network of veins, arteries and capillaries work hard to help you live the life you choose. That’s why providing the best care for your heart and vascular health — from proactive preventive care to a critical emergency response — is what the experts at AdventHealth Medical Group Cardiology help you do.

“No concern is too small, from my standpoint, when it comes to your heart,” said Spencer Maddox, MD, a cardiologist with the group. “I am confident in our team here. We are going to be able to take care of whatever the issue.”

Dr. Maddox is one of 10 fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians to join the AdventHealth network during the summer of 2023 to provide comprehensive cardiology services to Northwest Georgia residents at three clinics in Rome and Calhoun.

“Most of the things we see are very treatable,” said Andrew McCue, MD, an invasive cardiologist who practices with Dr. Maddox at the Calhoun clinic.

Along with cardiac electrophysiologist Robert Styperek, MD, FHRS, FACC, in Rome and cardiologists Charles F. Jackson III, MD; J. Christopher Merritt, MD, FACC; G. Hunter Myers, MD, FACC; Himanshu Patel, MD; Kipp Slicker, DO, FACC; G. Justin Tanner, MD; and J. Michael Ware, MD, FACC, two nurse practitioners, two certified physician assistants and a certified acute care nurse practitioner in Rome, the group combines their expertise with modern-day medicines and cutting-edge technologies to diagnose and treat patients facing diseases of the heart or arteries.

Dr. Tanner Quote

“The most common condition we see is coronary artery disease, blockages in the arteries of the heart, and we also see congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation (AFib),” Dr. Tanner said.

The group also manages the care of patients admitted to AdventHealth Redmond, AdventHealth Gordon and AdventHealth Murray who are experiencing a heart attack or who need other treatment related to a cardiac event.

Since 2002, Dr. Styperek has cared for patients with heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms as the sole cardiac electrophysiologist in Rome.

“There was no electrophysiology program when I started the program here, and we have grown it since then,” he said.

As a self-described “electrician of the heart” who focuses on diagnosing and treating problems with the heart’s electrical system, Dr. Styperek aims to restore a normal heartbeat for patients by implanting devices like pacemakers or defibrillators, or through other therapies and interventions. He also provides follow-up monitoring of the implanted devices to ensure they continue functioning as intended.

“There is not a hospital within 50 miles that offers the services offered here,” Dr. Patel said of AdventHealth Redmond. “I don’t think most parts of rural America have access to this level of care.”

AdventHealth Redmond’s reputation for providing industry-leading cardiovascular care was one of the reasons Dr. Tanner, an Adairsville native, returned to Northwest Georgia in 2021 to practice interventional cardiology.

“This is the community I grew up in,” he said. “I love it. My end goal was to get back home. I wanted to provide for the same people that provided for me when I was growing up.”

Many of the group’s practitioners brought their specialized skills and expertise to Northwest Georgia because they had a similar desire to grow their practices in a close-knit community with professional support to practice innovative and advanced heart health care.

They saw additional opportunities for growth in joining AdventHealth’s physician network last summer.

“This has been known as ‘the hospital for heart disease’ and where you go when you have a heart problem,” Dr. Tanner said of AdventHealth Redmond. “Patients seek that out because they know this hospital continually strives to be better.”

AdventHealth Redmond is certified by The Joint Commission in Heart Failure Care and Acute Myocardial Infarction and has been recognized by the Georgia Hospital Association and American Heart Association for providing outstanding cardiovascular care.

Residents in Gordon and Murray counties also benefit from access to quality cardiology services in the region.

“We offer a full breadth of services,” Dr. Maddox said of the Calhoun practice. “We do cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, nuclear imaging, cardiac MRIs and other procedures.”

The group also has a congestive heart failure clinic to provide ongoing education and support for managing patients’ conditions, led by Dr. Patel.

Cardiologists AH Redmond
AH Redmond Doctors

AH Gordon Cardiologists

Experts of the Heart Image

"We make weekly visits to educate the patients and get their medicines optimized to help minimize their mortality and readmissions to the hospital,” Dr. Patel said. “We discuss lifestyle changes and medications and how that can benefit them.”

The more patients understand and the more they and their families are active participants in their plan of care, the more likely they can live their best life, the providers agreed.

“We treat a wide range of pathologies and get to develop long-term relationships with patients,” Dr. McCue said. “Things like congestive heart failure are progressive and patients get worse over time, but with adequate care and medications, we can improve quality of life and quantity of life as much as possible.”

Dr. Styperek said many heart patients would forego care if they had to leave their counties for diagnostic testing, surgery or follow-up care.

“They don’t have to travel to Atlanta to get something done because they can do it here,” he said.

The group said their presence in multiple locations also ensures patients receive care quickly and efficiently, especially when dealing with an emergency where travel time can mean the difference between life and death or future quality of life.

Dr. Maddox Quote

“Some of these problems need to be dealt with right away and the fact that AdventHealth is here means these problems can be addressed almost immediately,” Dr. Styperek said.

Dr. Maddox said the demand for the latest technologies and advancements in treating heart disease will only continue to grow as the population ages and more residents move to Northwest Georgia.

“People want to know they’re getting the best care possible,” he said. “A lot of times they associate that with Atlanta and Chattanooga and we’re trying to bring the most up-to-date care and up-to-date practices to our community so they don’t have to go to those places. They can get that care right here in town.”

Patient health also benefits from continuity of care as the group collaborates with other physicians and service providers within the AdventHealth network, the providers said.

“Working in concert with other doctors in the area helps us not just treat their heart disease, but also their diabetes or high cholesterol,” Dr. Maddox said.

“Treating the whole patient and addressing those basic concepts of health really helps those patients in the long term,” Dr. Styperek added.

The providers said they are excited to continue growing their coronary programs across Northwest Georgia with support from AdventHealth’s leadership and the community.

“AdventHealth has shown they are invested in us and want positive long-term outcomes in making the community a better place for people to be living long lives and living healthier lives,” Dr. Tanner said. “Everybody in leadership and everyone in the hospital, from other doctors and nurses to techs to pharmacy, wants what’s best for the community.”

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