GAINESVILLE, GA – Heather Bagwell Westmoreland, MD, a cardiologist with Northeast Georgia Heart Center, has been named medical director of cardiovascular MRI at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC). In this position, Dr. Westmoreland will be responsible for the medical direction of the cardiac MRI department, which provides cardiac MRI services for both inpatients and outpatients at NGMC.
Cardiovascular MRI uses magnetic resonance technology to produce high quality images of the heart and blood vessels. Using MRI, physicians can obtain clearer and more detailed images of the heart and vascular system from many different angles and create moving images of the heart in its “real time” beating cycle, allowing for better evaluation of cardiovascular anatomy as compared to other imaging techniques.
“Because of its advanced image quality, MRI provides an extensive amount of detailed data, especially about the heart’s performance level,” says Dr. Westmoreland. “Since the images show not only the structure, but also the function of the heart muscle, valves and vessels in one test rather than several, MRI is increasingly used to assist physicians in administering the most effective treatments and assessing the patient’s recovery after treatment.
“Cardiac MRI is most useful when evaluating patients for cardiomyopathy, heart failure, arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease and valvular disease.”
Dr. Westmoreland has a bachelor’s degree in biology from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga., and a medical degree, with distinction, from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon. She completed her internal medicine residency at Duke University School of Medicine and a general cardiology fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta. She also served as Chief Cardiology Fellow at Emory University from 2009 to 2010 and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.