Salem-area independent cardiologists collaborate to improve heart care

The Salem Health Heart & Vascular Institute is pleased to announce that Cascade Cardiology and The Doctors Clinic have joined the Institute.

“With the addition of Cascade Cardiology, all the independent cardiac groups in Salem are part of the Institute and working together to identify ways to improve care for the people in our community,” said Lori James-Nielsen, heart and vascular services director at Salem Health.

“We believe that the Salem Health Heart & Vascular Institute is a unique example of a successful model of close collaboration between a major hospital and independent physicians in the community,” said Dr. Maziar Azadpour, a cardiologist with Cascade Cardiology. “We are all in support of this effort and see it as a role model for care delivery in other specialties and in other communities as well.”

“We’ve already developed one of the top heart and vascular programs in the state,” said Cheryl Nester Wolfe, RN, chief operating officer for Salem Health. “Collaborating within the Salem Health Heart & Vascular Institute means these specialists have the data they need to leverage their combined expertise. We don’t just want to meet a standard — we are setting the standard, regionally and nationally.”

The Salem Health Heart & Vascular Institute, a groundbreaking collaboration which began in late 2011, was designed to further enhance heart and vascular treatment. The Institute’s cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons and primary-care physicians work with Salem Hospital staff to collect and evaluate data, and to accelerate care delivery improvements based on their findings.

Cascade Cardiology and The Doctors’ Clinic join five other medical groups in the Institute. Those include Salem CardioVascular Associates, Salem Clinic, Salem Heart Center, The Oregon Clinic and Willamette Vascular Specialists.

“The Doctors’ Clinic is happy to be collaborating with the Heart & Vascular Institute to improve the health of people in the community with cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Robert Davies, The Doctors’ Clinic. The Doctors’ Clinic is comprised of family practice and internal medicine physicians, and a general surgeon who will help bring a needed focus to community-based care.

“The Doctors’ Clinic will focus on transition of care for our heart and vascular patients, especially people with heart failure and other chronic conditions,” said James-Nielsen. “We all recognize that heart care happens beyond the walls of the hospital and for many patients, having appropriate care in the community, and avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations, is the goal.” 

Salem Hospital has the second-largest open-heart surgery program in Oregon and is among the top participants in a national clinical trial for carotid stenting, which increases blood flow in an artery to the brain.

Successful efforts of the Institute so far include improving patient satisfaction and consistently beating the national standard of 90 minutes from the time a patient enters the emergency department to the time he or she is receiving a cardiac stent. Among other projects, the Institute is now working on a plan to reduce the time to cardiac stent down to 60 minutes.

Salem Health is comprised of Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Visit us at; “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at