New services at the Heart Program for Women

April 16 2014
BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is excited to announce that as of April 14, the Heart Program for Women will be enhancing its service offering to patients

BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is excited to announce that as of April 14, the Heart Program for Women will be enhancing its service offering to patients.

A Cardiologist from the Leslie Diamond Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. Tara Sedlak, will be practicing alongside Natasha Prodan-Bhalla, the Nurse Practitioner for the program. This will allow the Program to provide a broader service offering to women at-risk for heart disease, who have symptoms of heart disease, and those who are living with heart disease.

Currently the focus at BC Women’s is on risk reduction and lifestyle counseling, while the focus at Vancouver General is on diagnostics and therapeutics. Merging these services together will not only mean increasing access to holistic care for patients, but an opportunity to support research, education, and training in women’s heart health.

Women’s heart health is as important as ever, as it remains the leading cause of death in women across Canada, with one woman dying every minute from heart disease. It’s important for women to be aware of potential risk factors, especially at the age of menopause, as chances of heart disease increase four times after menopause.

The program will help women identify personal risk factors, develop goals, and create a personalized plan to manage their heart health.

“Women need to pay close attention to their bodies, because we can sometimes attribute the major risk factors of heart disease to things like stress or being overtired,” states Natasha Prodan-Bhalla, nurse practitioner for the Heart Program for Women. “A big focus of the Program will be on educating women on what the risk factors are, and provide them with the knowledge and tools to lead healthier lives.”

Dr. Tara Sedlak is seeing patients who have microvascular coronary dysfunction (MCD). Coronary MCD presents differently from traditional coronary heart disease (CHD), is difficult to diagnose, and poses a stronger risk to women than men.

In addition to adding a cardiologist to the program, the enhanced service offering will also help the Heart Program for Women better understand how heart disease affects women differently, and research better ways to diagnose, treat, and predict health outcomes for patients with diseases like coronary MCD.

“Bringing together prevention, clinical services, education, and research will help us become stronger practitioners in these areas, and provide a woman’s centered approach to heart health,” says Dr. Tara Sedlak, cardiologist with Vancouver General Hospital. “Our hope is to not only help women with prevention and treatment of heart disease, but spread awareness of this important issue in the community.”

Information on the Heart Program for Women:

The clinics will take place on Mondays, effective April 14, 2014, in the Women’s Health Centre from 0800-1700
Self referrals to the nurse practitioner for women who have two or more risk factors for heart disease are welcome.

A physician/nurse practitioner referral is required for more complicated patients who need to be seen directly by the cardiologist.

For more information or to book an appointment, please visit the website or call 604-875-3137.