Laurisa M
/ Categories: Health and Wellness

Wholehearted Care

Care teams from Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals work with surgeons from Missouri Baptist Medical Center on a complicated heart condition.

When Robert Malon, 74, of O’Fallon, Mo., was experiencing drainage and congestion in his chest, he went to see his BJC primary care physician. Though Robert was not experiencing any chest pain, she ordered a stress test and echocardiogram be completed. His results came back normal, but Robert’s symptoms persisted. His doctor referred him to Mark Lewen, DO, a BJC Medical Group cardiologist at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, who performed an EKG.

“The results showed I had a previous heart attack, probably a long time ago,” says Robert. “I had no idea.”

A follow-up cardiac catheterization revealed a 90% blockage in three major arteries — coronary artery disease. Robert had been experiencing angina, which is a condition where reduced blood flow to the heart causes chest pressure.

The cardiologists at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals have the capabilities to diagnose and treat a range of heart conditions. “By offering a full array of cardiac services in St. Charles County, patients enjoy greater convenience,” says Michael Missler, DO, a BJC Medical Group interventional cardiologist. “And if patients need more advanced intervention, we can easily coordinate that care within the BJC network.  We also work collaboratively with primary care physicians to ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Robert needed to be immediately transported via ambulance to Missouri Baptist Medical Center, whose surgeons routinely partner with BJC Medical Group cardiologists to perform advanced heart surgery. Joshua Baker, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Missouri Baptist, was informed of Robert’s case and ready to meet with
him and his family when they arrived.

The St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) plays an important role in these interfacility transfers in addition to providing life-saving emergency response. “Interfacility transfer is a specialty of ours,” says Josh McGaughey, lieutenant for the interfacility transfer division at SCCAD. “During transit, we consider
ourselves an extension of the hospital. Great care is initiated there, and we pride ourselves on continuing that level of care.”

“As a family member of a critically ill patient, the BJC system has it all,” says Jodi Malon, Robert’s wife. “I can’t
imagine being outside of this system. The care was seamless from the primary care doctor through the end.”

Heart care patients receive complete care, including care after surgery. Convenient cardiac rehabilitation
— a specialized gym where nurses help design workouts and monitor progress — is available at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.

After recovering from open heart surgery, Robert received his follow-up care in St. Charles County. Always active before, Robert had to relearn how to exercise and eat for his newly healthy heart. Many patients continue coming to the rehab center after their ordered care ends because they find comfort with being monitored
by the nurses.

Now, Robert is enjoying time with his wife, Jodi, and his children and grandchildren. He’s also able to do the activities he wasn’t able to do before, like restoring vintage cars. “I’m back,” says Robert. “Because of the
good results I had, from the initial diagnosis to the surgery and follow-up care, I’m able to do what I enjoy, and that’s stay active.”

The BJC HealthCare family of hospitals allows patients, like Robert, to access a higher level of comprehensive, coordinated heart care without relying on him or his family to do all of the logistic work. Whether in an emergency situation or through a referral, our heart care team works together to provide seamless care so you can focus on getting well.

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