On July 24, 2014, the first cardiac stent procedure was performed at Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville. The milestone event was made possible through a partnership between CMC and one of its sister hospitals in Knoxville, Parkwest Medical Center.
Scott Amis, 72 and avid golfer from Fairfield Glade atop the Cumberland Plateau, had experienced a sharp pain in his calf while doing calisthenics. The pain lingered for months and his internal medicine physician, Mark Lee, MD, discovered that Amis’ blood to his legs wasn’t circulating properly. Lee referred Amis to Crossville cardiologist Vianney Villaruz, MD, who after several tests, ordered a heart catheterization at CMC. When the results showed a 75 percent blockage in the right coronary artery, Amis thought he would have to drive an hour east to Parkwest for the prescribed stent procedure.
What Amis didn’t know is that members of the Parkwest cardiology team had been working behind the scenes to train Cumberland’s staff in low-risk cardiac angioplasty. What’s more, Dr. Villaruz had identified Amis as the perfect candidate to be CMC’s first heart stent recipient. “I spent about two months looking for the right patient,” says Villaruz. “It’s kind of like recruiting patients for a clinical trial, for a study – you have a feel for who’s right. Mr. Amis was motivated and we had a good rapport.”
A week later, Dr. Villaruz worked in conjunction with Robert Martyn, MD, an interventional cardiologist from Parkwest Medical Center, to perform the stent. “It went like clockwork. I couldn’t have been more pleased,” said Amis, who was back on the golf course just days after his discharge from Cumberland Medical Center. Today, Amis is grateful not only for Parkwest’s and Covenant Health’s help, but also for Cumberland’s willingness to serve its community. “I’m so glad that I went,” he said. “I think it is a great idea to partner with Covenant Health. Having our community hospital able to reach out to larger hospitals like Parkwest helps the residents in our community greatly. Cumberland County has a large retirement population, and it’s easier for us to travel to downtown Crossville for our care than to Knoxville or Cookeville.”