Debbie Jones has lived all across the United States. The California native met her husband, Chuck, in Houston, Texas, before relocating to Georgia for Chuck’s job. Now, they call Dahlonega home and love its beautiful views, small-town atmosphere and friendly community — and the high-quality heart care for women just down the road is an added bonus.
Debbie began her heart failure journey long before moving to Georgia. She’s seen many cardiologists, but she said none have compared to those she’s seen and the care she’s received from heart failure specialists Ugo Egolum, MD and Shalabh Chandra, MD and other physicians at Georgia Heart Institute.
“Dr. Egolum, Dr. Chandra and all the Georgia Heart Institute doctors are the best,” said Debbie. “All of them are caring, compassionate, patient and take the time to educate me and explain the ‘why’ behind their directions.”
She also says the attention they’ve received during each visit or phone call is unmatched. Debbie can hardly believe she has access to the technology and physicians of Georgia Heart Institute so close by.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better place to go for heart care,” said Debbie. “Just 20 miles down the road, we have access to some of the best cardiologists in the country. I am certainly lucky to have world-class care close to home – we both are – and we want to see that expand.”
That’s why the Joneses recently made a generous donation to the Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation that will drive cardiac care improvements through Georgia Heart Institute’s Women’s Heart Center. They see the need for quality heart care for women in the region and know its importance firsthand.
“Since every little bit counts in medical innovation, it is an honor to give to such a worthy cause,” said Debbie. “I believe it will help many others living with heart failure, now and in the future. That is the ultimate goal – to help others.”
Habib Samady, MD, president of Georgia Heart Institute, said that cardiovascular care for women needs to be more specialized, which is why the Women’s Heart Center is a focus for his team and donations like the one from the Joneses are so important.
“One thing that sets Georgia Heart Institute apart for women is testing for coronary microvascular disease (CMD),” Dr. Samady said. “Since coronary arteries are so small, it is difficult to diagnose CMD with traditional imaging techniques, so it often gets overlooked or misdiagnosed in women. We have invested in the technology and expertise necessary to diagnose and treat CMD effectively. We are part of a select group in the nation with these tools.”