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Release Date: 02/10/2015

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island today announced the establishment of a new women’s cardiovascular program from Care New England Cardiovascular Care. Women’s Heart Health of Women & Infants, located at 90 Plain Street in Providence, is designed to meet the cardiac needs of women, while helping them to take the right steps in preventing all aspects of heart disease.

It has long been recognized that symptoms of heart disease in women can be dramatically different from those associated with men – and their treatment is sometimes different as well. The new service capitalizes on the experience Women & Infants brings to gender-specific medicine and the expertise of two female cardiologists affiliated with Care New England Cardiovascular Care and that program’s clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The new Women & Infants service is an expansion of the Care New England program which has already existing sites at Kent Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, while affording patients the opportunity to receive this very advanced clinical cardiology care in Rhode Island without having to leave the area.

Women’s Heart Health of Women & Infants will be co-directed by Heather Hurlburt, MD, FACC, and Alice Kim, MD, FACC. Dr. Hurlburt, who also serves as director of non-invasive imaging at Kent Hospital, is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology. She has special expertise in cardiac imaging and women's heart health and completed training in advanced imaging modalities, including cardiac CT and trans-esophageal echocardiography. Dr. Hurlburt is a member of the cardiovascular division at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Kim is director of Care New England's Advanced Valvular Heart Disease Clinic and a cardiologist on staff at Memorial, Kent and Brigham and Women’s hospitals. She is board certified in cardiovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and vascular interpretation. Dr. Kim specializes in the management of complex valvular heart disease, noninvasive cardiology and consultative medicine. She is a part of the advanced valve clinical team at Brigham and Women's structural heart disease clinic, working closely with interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.

“More than eight million women die from heart disease worldwide annually, while it continues to be the number one killer of women,” said Chester M. Hedgepeth, MD, PhD, executive chief of cardiology for Care New England. “Most women are unaware that symptoms of heart disease can be different when compared to men. We are proud to have developed a women’s heart health program that is comprehensive and builds on our current advanced cardiac service offerings.”

“As New England’s premier hospital for women,” said Mark Marcantano, president and chief operating officer, Women & Infants Hospital, “Women & Infants is committed to providing the women of our region with the services needed to help maintain health through their lifetime. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. We are pleased to begin offering a high quality, patient-centered, heart health program that not only helps to treat heart disease, but also educates women in our community about the most effective ways to achieve optimal heart health.”

Services offered by the Women’s Heart Health program include stress testing, personalized cardiovascular risk assessment, advanced cardiac imaging, cardiac catheterization, cardiac arrhythmia, vascular and venous ablation, advanced valvular heart disease, advanced heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension/adult congenital heart disease services, as well as weight loss, smoking cessation and nutritional counseling. Inpatient services are provided at Kent, Memorial and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.

For a full listing of all services or more information go to Women’s Heart Health of Women & Infants, or Care New England Cardiovascular Care. To make an appointment, please call 401.681.4996.

In addition, please join us on Saturday, February 21, noon – 3 p.m., at the Warwick Mall for the second annual Day of Dance to educate the public on a variety of important heart health issues. It will feature demonstrations and participation of ballroom and line dancing, as well as Zumba. Screenings and information about heart disease, stroke and other important health issues, including Ask the Doctor opportunities, will be offered by cardiologists from Care New England Cardiovascular Care and other CNE physicians.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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