Dec 27, 2021 Talking About Heart Health

What an interventional cardiologist tells his patients.

Communication—both within the medical team and with patients—is key to success for a cardiology program, according to Bruce Haik, MD, who has recently taken on the roles of Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC).

Bruce Haik, MD
Bruce Haik, MD

“My background as a senior interventional cardiologist has prepared me for this new role,” says Dr. Haik, who has been at the medical center for more than 20 years and is also a member of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. “I view the cath lab as a high-volume, high-visibility unit that works together as a team, always putting patients’ interests first,” he explains. “It’s important to create that same collaborative mentality across all sections of the cardiology department.”

The newly restructured Division of Cardiology at CBMC includes Cardiac Catheterization, Electrophysiology, Imaging and the Coronary Care Unit. Physician collaboration will be enhanced, as members of the entire cardiovascular staff and both vascular and cardiovascular surgical leads work even more closely together. “Sometimes the best treatment plans require the skill sets of both the heart surgeons and the cardiologists,” Dr. Haik says.

In addition, Dr. Haik is enhancing internal communication between physicians and nurses so that they can communicate better with each other and with patients and families. “This not only provides comfort, but also reduces the anxiety levels of both patients and their families,” he says.

A Proactive Approach

Increasing patient education is also a major goal for Dr. Haik and his team.

“What I really want patients to know is that there are a lot of newer proactive preventive measures that can be done when it comes to cardiovascular health. Talk to a primary care physician about your specific coronary risk factors in order to determine if the many screening tests available are appropriate for you,” he says.

“Heart disease can be a silent killer and may go undetected for years until an acute cardiac event occurs,” he explains. “Utilizing certain sophisticated screening tests like coronary calcium scoring and CT angiograms in the right setting, along with aggressive risk factor modification, are important measures to mitigate your risks.”

If a cardiac procedure is needed, patients should know that cutting-edge surgical and nonsurgical treatments are readily available at CBMC, including optimal image-guided PCI as well as catheter-based valve therapies. “In addition, our surgeons and cardiologists work as a Heart Team in recommending the right treatment for each individual patient,” he says.

“We really want people to be proactive about their cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Haik. “We can offer new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches designed to get you back to a full, active lifestyle and the quality of life everyone wants.”

Whoever your heart beats for, our hearts beat for you. Connect with a top cardiovascular specialist at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.