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Dublin-Macon Cardiology: We Made a Commitment to the Patients When we Moved Here that We Would Be Available 24/ | Local headline
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Five years ago, Dr. Manuel A. Vega was looking for a way to spend more

time treating cardiovascular patients. After 20 years as a cardiac specialist in

Atlanta, Dr. Vega found he spent more time stuck in traffic as he traveled

between two medical offices and three hospitals. Surely a smaller community

would allow him more time to practice medicine and improve patients’ health.

A medical recruiter from Fairview Park Hospital came across Dr. Vega’s

resume and made a call that ultimately led to Fairview’s Heart Catherization

and Intervention program and the birth of Dublin-Macon Cardiology, P.C.

Now partnered with Dr. Joseph E. DeJunco, Dr. Vega definitely spends

more time with his patients. On recent visit to the practice at 206A Hospital

Drive in Dublin, patients spent little time in the waiting room.

But patient care is what Dublin-Macon Cardiology is all about.

“We made a commitment to the patients when we moved here that we

would be available 24/7,” said Ingrid Vega, business manager and wife of Dr.

Vega. What the practice brings to the region is ready access to cardiac health

care - something many rural - and especially southern communities are

forced to do without.

However there is no shortage of advanced cardiac technology and

treatment at Dublin-Macon Cardiology. Together, Dr. Vega and Dr. DeJunco

are the physicians that patients see after they have been diagnosed with a

heart condition. Both cardiologists perform heart catherizations and Dr. Vega

also performs interventional cardiology (stents), defibrillator implants,

peripheral angioplasty, pacemaker implants and more.

“Bringing state of the art cardiac care close to home” is Dublin-Macon

Cardiology’s slogan - and that is something Vega sees as an advantage for

local patients.

“It just makes sense that patients see a local physician,” said Vega. “There

is less time missed at work than if they drove to Savannah or Macon to see a

cardiologist. And, if a heart patient ended up in the emergency room, a

doctor from Macon would not be available to come to the ER to see them. We

have the best cardiac care right here and we’re available 24/7.”

Since practicing in Dublin, Dr. Vega was instrumental in Laurens County

being awarded a C-Port registry - a nationwide study launched by the Johns

Hopkins Heart Institute whereby Cardiovascular Patient Outcomes Research

Teams (C-PORT) compare the outcomes of therapeutic angioplasty and stent

procedures in elective patients treated in community-based hospitals.

In an economy where many community-based hospitals are

consolidating their services, Vega believes healthcare in Laurens County is

faring well.

“We are fortunate to have an HCA hospital (Hospital Corporation of

America) here,” said Vega. “HCA supports specialized services at Fairview and

that’s good for the community.”

However, a troubled economy has had an affect on patients’ health

insurance. Vega said she has noticed more patients have lost their healthcare

insurance - a sign of a weakened economy and even more troubling for

patients who must maintain a regimen of healthcare.

“They lose their job and then they lose their health insurance,” said Vega.

“So we try to work with them anyway we can. We try to keep the costs down

and work out a payment plan that works for them. We work with them on

their prescriptions to get them more affordable medications through generic

prescriptions or drug assistance programs. We give them samples when we

get them. It is important that they maintain optimal healthcare. We work with

all our patients regarding their financial situations because their health is the

most important thing.”

The Centers for Disease Control report that heart disease is the leading

cause of death in Georgia, accounting for nearly 30 percent of deaths in the

state. Historically, southern states have a higher percentage of patients with

heart disease due to lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure and

cholesterol, smoking, dietary choices and sedentary lifestyles. In 2006, the

CDC reported that nearly 20 percent of Georgians use tobacco, nearly 25

percent had not exercised in the last 30 days, and nearly 62 percent were

overweight or obese.

To combat those trends, the Georgia Division of Public Health (DPH),

Department of Human Resources (DHR) began receiving funds from the CDC

in 1998 to support a statewide heart disease and stroke prevention program.

At Dublin-Macon Cardiology, education is important - and patients hear

about it from the physicians and their staff.

“We work with our patients to educate them about heart health, and that

includes prevention education,” said Vega. “Our mission is to provide our

patients with the best care close to home and provide ongoing cardiac

healthcare so they can live an optimal life.”

Dublin-Macon Cardiology is located on Hospital Drive behind Fairview

Park Hospital and can be reached at 478-272-3525.

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