Saint Luke's expands cardio wellness center services with opening of new Charles & Barbara Duboc Cardio Health & Wellness Center at Saint Luke's Hospital

Jul 03, 2013, 17:01 ET from Saint Luke's Health System

Center increases capacity to serve clients, offers state-of-the-art assessment imaging

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Charles & Barbara Duboc Cardio Health & Wellness Center is ushering in a new era for preventive cardiac care at Saint Luke's Hospital.

Located in suite 2400 in the Medical Plaza III building on the Saint Luke's Hospital campus, the new space builds on the existing center's services designed to optimize cardiac health and assist individuals in managing their risk factors for heart disease. The expanded center more than doubles the square footage of the office previously located at Saint Luke's Cardiovascular Consultants.

"The center's expansion enables us to increase our capacity to see patients, allow for shorter wait times for appointments, and help us reach out to more members of the community with health education," said center Medical Director James O'Keefe, M.D., preventive cardiologist. "We're very grateful to Dr. Duboc for his support. Not only is he an inspiration with his dedication to a heart-healthy life, now his generous donation will allow us to impact more people with our unique services designed to reduce risk of developing heart disease – the nation's number one health threat to men and women."

The more spacious and pleasant surroundings are conducive to private evaluation, screening, and consultation. Plans include the addition of a dedicated cardio-wellness registered dietitian focused on promoting heart health through preventive nutrition counseling. The registered dietitian will specialize in assessing weight, diet, and activity levels and work with clients to develop individualized goals to address weight management needs and effectively maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Starting soon, heart-healthy cooking demonstrations will be offered to the community.

In July, the center began taking appointments for its newest service, an advanced body composition screening for visceral fat assessment. Visceral fat is the deep underlying abdominal tissue that surrounds the organs. As the volume increases, pressure is exerted upon intra-abdominal organs, lungs, and the heart, increasing the patient's potential risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The advanced body scan allows for more accurate assessment of health risks, compared with traditional measures of obesity like Body Mass Index (BMI), because it measures the ratio of fat mass to height squared, instead of body mass (composed of both fat and lean components) to height. The quick, full body scan takes less than 10 minutes, requires no preparation or injections, and uses low-dose X-ray while the client lies on a comfortable padded table.

The program includes comprehensive assessment, planning, and follow-up with preventive cardiologists, nurse practitioners, and health professionals experienced in the care of individuals interested in preventing the onset of heart disease or slowing the progression of it. Testing includes a host of options in traditional and non-traditional lab work, scans, and assessments to guide practitioners in further assessing risk. More than 2,500 patient consultations were performed in 2012, and the center's popular community education forums routinely are offered to standing-room-only audiences. Services are covered by most insurance plans. Corporate heart health presentations are available as well. For more information about the Cardio Wellness program, visit

About the Dubocs

Charles A. Duboc, Ph.D., has served as a Saint Luke's Foundation Trustee and has been a loyal supporter of Saint Luke's medical education, research, and cardiology programs for more than 30 years. A physicist by training, Dr. Duboc's interest in medical advancements and his appreciation for the high-quality care he and his family have received led him to support the hospital. Dr. Duboc established the Charles and Barbara Duboc Preventive Cardiology Fund in memory of his wife. Their generous donations have supported a preventive cardiology clinical scholar program at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and more recently helped make it possible to expand the cardio wellness program. At age 90, Dr. Duboc exemplifies the mission of the center through a healthy lifestyle that includes daily outdoor walks regardless of weather, and a healthful diet that includes a serving of blueberries every day.

About Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, a member of Saint Luke's Health System and a teaching affiliate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is one of the preeminent cardiovascular programs in the country. Its legacy of innovation began more than 25 years ago when it opened as the nation's first heart hospital. Since then, the Heart Institute has earned a world-wide reputation for excellence in the treatment of heart disease, including preventive cardiology, interventional cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, imaging, heart failure, transplant, women's heart disease, electrophysiology, outcomes research, and health economics. With more than 50 full-time board-certified cardiovascular specialists on staff, the Heart Institute offers one of the largest heart failure/heart transplant programs in the country, has the largest experience with transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the Midwest, and is a global teaching site for the newest approaches to opening challenging blocked arteries using minimally invasive techniques.

SOURCE Saint Luke's Health System