St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka Welcomes New Interventional Cardiologist

January 31, 2019 Providence News Team

St. Joseph Health Medical Group, the physician practice affiliate of St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County, is proud to introduce interventional cardiologist David Lemons, DO to Humboldt County.

Dr. Lemons comes to the North Coast from Cox Medical Center in Branson, MO. Lemons completed his residency, however, in the Pacific Northwest at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvalis, Oregon. It was the similar climate and regional beauty of the North Coast, along with modern facilities at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, which drew Dr. Lemons to Humboldt County.

“The combination of a great professional opportunity at a technologically advanced rural hospital, along with an abundance of outdoor opportunities, made choosing Humboldt County the right choice for my family and me,” said Dr. Lemons. “My wife and I love running, hiking and fishing with our son. Humboldt offers all that we were looking for in an area to raise a family.”

While at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Lemons earned fellowships in internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. The training he received included learning an innovative technique for cardiac catheterization that results in higher patient satisfaction – called a trans-radial catheterization.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine the heart for possible disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries. Typically, a hollow tube, called a catheter, is inserted into the femoral artery in the leg and is guided to the heart by the physician. The procedure Dr. Lemons was trained on inserts the catheter through the wrist, via the radial artery and is then guided to the heart. This trans-radial catheterization technique offers many benefits to the patient compared to the traditional trans-femoral approach. It’s the first time being offered in Humboldt County.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of all the cardiac catheterizations I do are via the wrist,” explained Lemons. “This method is becoming more common because it’s just as effective as a trans-femoral approach. There’s less discomfort, reduced complications, and patient recovery time is much shorter. Going through the leg often times requires lying still for up to 6 six hours during the procedure and spending the night in the hospital. Through the wrist, many patients go home the same day.”

While not uncommon, the trans-radial approach requires advanced technical training and skills to perform. Additionally, medical centers and hospitals have to be equipped with the necessary facilities and staff to support the procedure.

St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County chief executive, Roberta Luskin-Hawk, says the hospitals’ commitment to feature this type of innovation is indicative of St. Joseph’s efforts to bring high-quality, specialized care to the community

“Our devotion to provide the necessary medical resources needed to keep our community healthy is what drives us every day,” said Luskin-Hawk, MD. “Dr. Lemons’ is a clear reflection of the type of physician we want here caring for our families, friends and neighbors.”

Lemons is one of a growing list of new physicians recently recruited to Humboldt County by St. Joseph Health. Since the beginning of 2018, 10 physicians have signed on to care for the community. Specialists recently hired include primary care, anesthesiology, ear nose and throat, oncology, emergency medicine, general surgery, cardiology and neurosurgery.

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