If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Making heart health a priority

Heart health is about more than just your heart. Blood pressure, cholesterol, family history and other factors all play important roles in keeping your heart strong. If you have questions about your heart health but aren’t quite sure where to begin, start with a heart health assessment and learn more about any risks you may have for heart-related conditions. Your journey to a stronger heart starts here.


According the American Heart Association, nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease; it is the leading cause of death for both men and women in our state and our country. That’s why Saint Mary’s is here for you, and here for your heart.

What causes heart disease? Who is most at risk?

Heart disease refers to problems inhibiting the heart’s ability to properly function and circulate blood through the body. Many of these problems are related to atherosclerosis – the process of a substance called plaque building up in the walls of the arteries.

Plaque buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. This increases the risk of a blood clot forming, which can stop blood flow and potentially cause a heart attack, stroke or even cardiac arrest.

Heart Disease Risk Factors

When it comes to identifying the risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association identifies six major factors:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity

Knowing – and avoiding – top risk factors for heart disease is vital to preventing heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions.


Early Heart Attack Care Education

When a heart attack happens, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a part of the heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, this part of the heart muscle begins to die. That’s why Saint Mary’s is committed to EHAC — Early Heart Attack Care Education. EHAC education teaches you the signs and symptoms of a heart attack so you can potentially save a life — even if it’s yours.

Click on the additional resources below to learn more about Early Heart Attack Care.

EHAC Flyer

Saint Mary’s EHAC Brochure in English



Saint Mary’s EHAC Brochure in Spanish

Hands-Only CPR


Saint Mary’s Cardiology Services

Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, so it requires state-of-the-art treatment and compassionate care when something goes wrong. Saint Mary’s services include cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) and cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) technologies and techniques.

Saint Mary’s has four full-time, board-certified cardiologists on staff. These physicians bring a depth of experience that is unparalleled in our area. Our team is noted for rapid response times in performing angioplasty treatment, a key to saving heart muscle after a heart attack. This team includes Dr. Dai-Yuan Wang , Dr. Sastry Prayaga, Dr. Shuja Rasool, and Dr. Thomas Reinsvold, along with other professionals who specialize in cardiovascular services. Our cardiologists offices are at Cardiology Associates of North Central Arkansas, 2205 W. Main St., Russellville. Call 479-968-4311 for an appointment.

The arsenal of technologies Saint Mary’s team has at hand include two state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization labs for diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures, as well as the region’s first 128-Slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner for diagnostic imaging technology in non-invasive and interventional cardiology procedures like coronary angiography. An ever-expanding number of diagnostics and procedures are performed to help our patients keep their hearts healthier.

No one in the Arkansas River Valley puts more into caring for your heart than Saint Mary’s. From engaging and mobilizing an exceptional team of cardiologists, to providing cutting-edge techniques and technologies for treating heart disease, Saint Mary’s has invested deeply in providing advanced heart care for our patients.

Get Heart Care in Minutes, Not Miles

Should you experience chest pain and/or symptoms of a heart attack, we encourage you to call 911 immediately. When you do, you will be transported to Saint Mary’s Emergency Department (ER) by ambulance for a chest pain evaluation, if you live nearby. Saint Mary’s will begin the work before you arrive, thanks to our advanced Pulsara communication system with Pope County Emergency Services. It’s care in minutes, not miles!

Chest Pain Evaluation Unit

Saint Mary’s chest pain evaluation unit is designed to provide patients who are experiencing chest pain with a rapid diagnosis and treatment when needed.

When you have chest pain, you are not necessarily experiencing a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. But because a sudden heart event is potentially life-threatening, our cardiologists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and technicians start assessing and evaluating your chest pain the moment arrive at Saint Mary’s ER. In fact, because this evaluation is so critical to saving heart muscle, an EKG may be performed en route to the hospital by the emergency medical services (EMS) team to expedite the evaluation.

Along with the EKG, your chest pain evaluation at Saint Mary’s may also include other diagnostic tools such as blood tests, chest x-ray, and CT scan. Our care team will also ask a series of questions about your pain and other risk factors you may have.

A chest pain evaluation can move at a fast pace. Depending on your test results, your cardiologist may be able to determine quickly whether or not your pain was caused by a heart attack or other cardiac event, and if follow-up testing and treatment is needed.

Cardiovascular Treatments and Technologies

Saint Mary’s Regional Health System uses much of the world’s most advanced technology in the evaluation and treatment of patients with heart disease. Our cardiac diagnostic and treatment services include:

Click to learn more about Saint Mary’s interventional cardiology services from Dr. Sastry Prayaga.

Saint Mary’s Cardiopulmonary Services

Cardiopulmonary Services help patients with heart and lung disease recover quicker and return to full and productive lives. Our services include:

  • Breathing treatments
  • Pulmonary function fests
  • Arterial blood gases
  • Continuous positive airway pressure
  • Bi-level positive airway pressure
  • Life-support ventilation

For some cardiopulmonary treatments, you may be referred to Dr. Carl Schoenberger, a pulmonology specialist who works closely with the cardiology team.

Nutritional and Other Services

For more information about improving your lifestyle, contact your primary caregiver about a referral for nutritional services available through Saint Mary’s Outpatient Therapy Center, and as needed, an appointment with Cardiology Associates of North Central Arkansas.  Along with good nutrition, consider the fitness opportunities available at Saint Mary’s Wellness Fitness Center.

Learn More…

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