Orcas Family Health Center to expand cardiology services

Less than a year ago, Bellingham-based North Cascades Cardiology (NCC) initiated an outreach program to serve the residents of the San Juan Islands by having one of their cardiologists see patients in Friday Harbor one day per month. With the success of that clinic, beginning July 18, NCC will now begin serving the residents of Orcas Island.

Dr. Donald McAfee and Dr. Alan Shurman will be seeing patients once a month at the Orcas Family Health Center (OFHC) offices for the next few months. Negotiations are taking place to see if there may be a rotation of the cardiology clinic to other sites on Orcas.

Over 300 Orcas residents are in the NCC patient data base, all are welcome to be seen at these clinics regardless of their primary care affiliation. New patients are also welcome.

Services to be provided include general cardiology consultation, resting echocardiogram to measure the heart function, 24 hour Holter and event monitoring and periodic clinics to evaluate pacemaker and implantable defibrillator function. In the future there is the possibility for vascular untrasounds to evaluate for peripheral arterial disease.

When local physicians were asked for comments David Shinstrom from Orcas Family Health Center and David Russell from Orcas Island Family Medicine responded and were extremely pleased viewing the establishment of these cardiology clinics as a significant benefit to all Orcas Island residents. They note that each month 15 or more patients can avoid the long trip to Bellingham.

Appointments may be made by calling NCC at 888-734-2700. Orcas Family Health Center offices are located at 1286 Mt. Baker Rd., Suite B102.