Monday, March 7, 2011

CRMC's Birdwell Receives National Credentials

Heather Birdwell, a cardiovascular technologist in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, has recently earned national credentials in her field from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) to become a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist. Birdwell underwent extensive preparation to prepare for this certification.  Cardiovascular invasive specialists monitor patients and prepare them for cardiac catheterization procedures. They also assist physicians with the cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is guided through the patient’s blood vessels into the heart. This procedure can determine if a blockage exists in the blood vessels of the heart and may also involve balloon angioplasty or stenting to treat blockages of the blood vessels.

Since 1994 The Heart and Vascular Center at Cookeville Regional has provided much needed cardiac and vascular services in the Upper Cumberland. Since its opening, the Center has grown and expanded to include not only comprehensive diagnostic tests and treatments but also interventional procedures such as angioplasty, stent placement, pacemakers, electrophysiology and arrhythmia procedures, implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation and cardiothoracic surgery (including beating heart, minimally invasive heart surgeries as well as heart valve repair and replacement). Some of the most common vascular conditions treated are aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease and peripheral artery disease. Boasting a well trained medical staff specializing in treating heart and vascular conditions, The Heart and Vascular Center at Cookeville Regional is staffed by board certified cardiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiothoracic anesthesiologists who are supported by a team of healthcare professionals who are specifically trained in the field of cardiac and vascular care.

The Heart and Vascular Center has recently been ranked the best performing hospital in Tennessee and among the top 10% of all hospitals nationwide for coronary interventional procedures from HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

CCI is a not-for-profit corporation established for the purpose of administering credentialing examinations as an independent credentialing agency. CCI began credentialing cardiovascular professionals in 1968. CCI is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of cardiovascular professionals including members from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), British Society of Echocardiography (BSE), Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP) and Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU).