JAY — Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute has reopened its Jay location.


The institute is one of the largest heart programs in Northwest Florida and South Alabama with an experienced physician team. Collectively, the group has introduced almost every innovation in heart care to the area.


“The heart and vascular program has been going (in Jay) since October 2010,” said Dr. Thabet Alsheikh.


There was an interruption in heart and vascular service at the 55-bed hospital in 2018 due to staff shortages, according to Alsheikh. With staffing levels back up the clinic reopened on Feb. 17.


The expansion of the Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute and Cardiology Consultants has extended their service area into cities like Atmore, Brewton and Foley in South Alabama in addition to Jay.


“The need for heart and vascular services is everywhere,” Alsheikh said.


Technological advances and Baptist Health Care’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network have been key factors in bringing these services to communities like Jay.


“The main benefit of the network is the availability to consult with Mayo Clinic specialists,” Alsheikh said.


The goal is to help more patients nationally while they stay close to home.


With the aide of a tool called eConsults, Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute physicians can consult with Mayo Clinic physicians and the patient gets the support of two expert teams for diagnosis and treatment options at their local medical facility.


Using eConsult also allows both teams of physician’s quick access to medical records and the patient can keep their relationship with their local doctors. All the patients’ needs are met at one location.


There is another component of care Alsheikh said may be just as important, raising community awareness about cardiovascular disease and the available treatments.


Baptist Health Care has shown a commitment to community education of various medical issues by focusing on what Alsheikh called “community talks.” Healthcare professionals schedule classes and seminars on a regular basis. The programs are held at various locations in Pensacola, Jay, and Navarre.


For more information and a complete list of classes and upcoming events, go to www.ebaptisthealthcare.org/events. Registration is available through the same website.


Appointments for heart and vascular services can be made by calling 850-484-6500.