Helping Heart Patients Closer To Home (GALLERY)

Dr. Howard Van (left) and Dr. Quoc Tran (right) standing in what will be a rehabilitation room for patient. March 22, 2017. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Two doctors are joining together to save lives by detecting and preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Chatham-Kent.

Members of the public were invited to visit the new CK Cardiac Imaging Centre in Chatham on Wednesday.

The idea for the centre started in 2016 when Dr. Quoc Tran and Dr. Howard Van noticed a need for a cardiac diagnostic centre in the area.

Dr. Van worked as a cardiologist at Windsor Regional Hospital at the time, when Dr. Tran approached him with the idea of setting up a centre in Chatham.

“One of the things we want to be able to do together is offer accessibility to the patients [and] provide early detection,” says Van.

The doctors were able to bring in equipment that would help CVD patients, without the hospital wait times or travel inconveniences to a centre in London or Windsor.

“If you ever have any symptoms of CVD, waiting for weeks is not safe,” says Van. “With this centre we’d be able to get the testing done much quicker.”

According to the doctors, Chatham-Kent is seeing an increase in patients with CVD. Although an aging population is a factor of these findings, Dr. Tran says CVD is seen more in people who smoke or are not physically active.

“Chatham-Kent still has the highest rate of smokers and the lowest rate of physical activity [in the province],” says Tran.

The equipment at the diagnostic centre can conduct several different types of tests — all of which do not emit radiation.

At this point there are about seven staff working at the centre, who are all local — something Van and Tran say was very important to them.

The CK Cardiac Imaging Centre is located at the intersection of Sandys St. and McNaughton Ave. in Chatham.