Now’s the time to get heart-healthy; Dixie Regional to offer free seminar

Dr. Blake Gardner shows the Watchman device used in left atrial appendage closure, a new heart procedure being done at Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In recognition of National Heart Health Awareness Month, Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center is hosting a free heart health education seminar Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The public is invited to the Intermountain SelectHealth Auditorium, 1424 E. Foremaster Drive, to learn from heart experts about how you can keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, the leading killer of both men and women.

According to a press release from Dixie Regional, anyone may be at risk for developing heart disease, but people can take steps to reduce their risk by maintaining healthy habits, knowing their numbers (blood pressure, glucose and body weight) and learning more about heart health.

“This seminar will give our community a chance to learn from some of our cardiovascular experts at Dixie Regional, and discover ways to improve heart health and live the healthiest life possible,” Arne Olsen, a vascular surgeon at Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center, said in the press release.

Olsen will speak on new and advanced techniques in vascular surgery available at Dixie Regional. Vascular surgery works with the blood vessels outside of the heart to help treat vascular diseases. Olsen works in conjunction with cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to help keep the heart and all the blood vessels healthy.

This year, Dixie Regional’s structural heart program director, Blake Gardner, will speak about a new, minimally invasive heart procedure at Dixie Regional called the left atrial appendage closure. This procedure will help patients who are at risk for stroke and cannot take long-term blood thinners.

“The structural heart world is growing, and we need to be able to offer this procedure to the community,” Gardner said in the press release. “Not everyone will qualify, but it can still help a large portion of our local population.”

Tom Burkart, who specializes in electrophysiology at Dixie Regional, will speak about electrophysiology procedures and atrial fibrillation.

“The last 30 years have seen rapid advancements in the diagnosis, risk assessment and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms),” Burkhart said. “New ablation technology creates a precise mapping of the heart to identify the origin of the arrhythmia by using targeted radio frequency energy therapy or freezing technology to treat the cause as opposed to long-term drug therapy.”

The event will start with a special unveiling of artwork created by Utah artists for the “Go Red with heART Tour” coordinated by Intermountain and the American Heart Association.

Each original artwork represents the theme of women and heart disease. This tour started at Intermountain Medical Center and has toured multiple Intermountain hospitals across Utah since Jan. 14. Dixie Regional Medical Center is the final stop of these art pieces, which will be on display in the hospital until March 4.

For more information about the Heart Health Seminar or the Go Red with heART Tour, call 435-251-2159.

Event details

  • What: Heart Health Seminar.
  • When: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Intermountain SelectHealth Auditorium, 1424 E. Foremaster Drive.
  • Cost: Free.

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