Region’s First Heart Rhythm Center Opens at Baptist

PENSACOLA, Fla. (February 28, 2012) – Baptist Health Care and Cardiology Consultants, leaders in quality cardiovascular care in northwest Florida and south Alabama, have opened the region’s first Heart Rhythm Center, the only center of its kind exclusively dedicated to the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of complex heart rhythm disorders – known as arrhythmias.

Located at Baptist Hospital’s main campus, the Baptist Heart Rhythm Center offers the region’s largest, most experienced team of board certified electrophysiologists and heart rhythm care experts, including Drs. Thabet Alsheikh, Sumit Verma and Ian Weisberg of Cardiology Consultants, who have advanced training in cardiology and additional years of fellowship training specific to cardiac electrophysiology. Together, this elite team has performed thousands of innovative heart rhythm procedures and provides patients in our community with access to the world’s leading electrophysiology treatment options that include minimally invasive, highly advanced 3-D mapping systems and imaging techniques.

In addition to using advanced medical technologies to improve health outcomes for patients with arrhythmias, the Heart Rhythm Center team is fully committed to educate the community about heart rhythm disorders and the possible life-threatening situations they cause.

Dr. Alsheikh explains, “Arrhythmias can mean that your heart beats too fast, too slow, or out of rhythm. When the heart does not pump blood normally, there can be a greater risk of blood clots, stroke or sudden cardiac arrest, depending on the type of arrhythmia present.”

The most common type of arrhythmia in the United States, affecting approximately 2.3 million Americans, is atrial fibrillation, sometimes called AFib. “Some patients who have AFib don’t have any symptoms, but when arrhythmia symptoms do occur, a patient may feel like the heart is racing and complain of shortness of breath, dizziness or weakness,” says Dr. Weisberg.

Depending on the type and severity of arrhythmia, the Heart Rhythm Center offers several available treatment options. “Each patient is unique, so we offer a wide array of treatments available that can include drug therapy, implantable devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, and an advanced procedure called catheter ablation,” concludes Dr. Verma.

Those who would like to learn more about arrhythmias and the new Heart Rhythm Center, are encouraged to attend a free “Dinner with the Doc” community seminar from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at Baptist Medical Park – Nine Mile. Dr. Alsheikh will give a presentation titled “Rhythm Disorders of the Heart: Causes, Symptoms & Innovative Treatments.” Reservations are required, call 850.434.4080.

For an appointment, call 850.484.6500 or visit at for further details.

About Baptist Health Care

Baptist Health Care is a community-owned, not-for-profit health care organization committed to improving the quality of life for people and communities in northwest Florida and south Alabama. A 2003 Malcolm Baldrige recipient, Baptist continuously strives to be a national leader in quality and service. Baptist Health Care includes four hospitals, two medical parks, Baptist Manor, Baptist Leadership Group, Andrews Institute for Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, Lakeview Center, Baptist Medical Group and Cardiology Consultants. With more than 6,000 employees and employed physicians, Baptist Health Care is the largest non-governmental employer in northwest Florida. For more information, please visit

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