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June 2, 2016, Morristown, NJ – The Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center has commenced a first-in-kind cardiology program for all athletes—whether they be professionals, collegiate, high school, or older competitors, and “weekend warrior” recreational athletes.
“The heart muscle adapts to rigorous exercise and cardiovascular training over time, changing the way it can appear on results from common tests doctors use to assess it,” said Matthew Martinez, MD, an international expert in sports cardiology who leads the Sports Cardiology Program at Morristown Medical Center. “These physiologic changes may appear to be abnormal and put the athlete at risk, when in fact, their hearts may have simply responded normally to intense training.”
While getting regular exercise is considered part of a healthy lifestyle, athletes can be at risk for cardiac events and sudden cardiac death while they are exercising, making it important to screen for conditions that put them at risk.
“The ‘red flags’ that appear in histories, tests done to identify risks, or physical examinations performed in pre-participation screening can be subtle or easily overlooked," said Linda D. Gillam, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FASE, Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine for Atlantic Health System. “This program ensures we have a highly specialized medical team evaluating athletes and performing and interpreting imaging and other tests. This serves as a wonderful resource for our community and its health care providers and ensures the most comprehensive cardiac care for athletes of all levels and ages.”
In addition to more common assessment tools like electrocardiograms (EKGs), and 2D echocardiograms, The Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center offers state-of-the-art imaging through advanced 3D echocardiography and strain imaging as well as cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help assess more complex cases. The Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center is one of the highest volume and best-established cardiology programs in the tri-state area.
The Sports Cardiology Program will work collaboratively with adult primary care physicians and cardiologists as well as pediatric specialists at Goryeb Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Matthew W. Martinez, program director, is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), where he was noted as an emerging faculty member in 2009. He serves as section editor for the ACC’s Cardiosource Sports Cardiology and will serve as Chair of the Sports and Exercise cardiology section for the ACC. He is the cardiologist for Major League Soccer and serves as a cardiology second opinion physician for the NFL and NHL.
He will be joined in this program by Jeffrey Lander, MD, FACC, and Michael C. Weinrauch, MD, FACC, who will serve as associate directors of the program.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment or screening prior to participation in sports, call 973-971-5899.
About Morristown Medical Center
Morristown Medical Center, located in Morristown, NJ, is a nationally-ranked regional medical center and a recognized leader in cardiovascular medicine, orthopedics and nursing. The hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top hospital nationwide for cardiology and heart surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology. Morristown Medical Center also ranked as a “Best Regional Hospital” for neurology and neurosurgery, as well as gastroenterology & GI Surgery, gynecology, nephrology and urology. Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital in New Jersey, placing its cardiac program in the top two percent in the country. The Atlantic Orthopedic Institute at Morristown Medical Center does the highest volume of joint and spine surgeries in New Jersey. In 2014, the hospital was re-designated a Magnet Hospital for Excellence in Nursing Service, the highest level of recognition by American Nurses Credentialing Center for facilities that provide acute care services, a distinction awarded to less than five percent of U.S. hospitals. Morristown Medical Center is certified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, and designated a Level II Trauma Center by the state of New Jersey. Morristown Medical Center is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey.