Residents of Greene County and the Lake Oconee area now have greater access to cardiac care. Cardiologist John Layher, MD, a co-founder of Oconee Heart and Vascular Center in Athens, is practicing full-time at the local OHVC office, located at 1110 Commerce Drive, Suite 108, Greensboro.
The expansion is the result of an ongoing partnership between St. Mary’s Medical Group and St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital to bring specialty services to the region.
OHVC, which is part of St. Mary’s Medical Group, is a full-service cardiac practice that offers a complete continuum of care for the heart and blood vessels. Services include cardiac wellness, blood pressure management, diagnostics, medication prescription and management, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation and follow-up, heart failure care, arrhythmia care, inpatient consultations, and more.
“We are very excited about this collaborative effort with St. Mary’s Medical Group and Dr. Layher to expand the cardiology services we are able to provide at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital,” said GSH President Tanya Adcock. “Our partnership is bringing a tremendously higher level of technology and expert cardiac care to our community.”
EKG studies, cardiac CT, echocardiography and nuclear medicine studies are currently performed at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, with plans for pacemaker and defibrillator implantations to begin in the coming months. High-tech services such as cardiac MRI, device implantation, electrophysiology, and cardiac catheterization are available at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.
Dr. Layher also is available to consult with physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital about patients with cardiac issues, enabling many patients to receive the care they need locally, rather than having to go to a hospital in a distant city.
“This expansion of our services in Greene County brings quality cardiology care closer to patients in our area,” Dr. Layher said. “Being here full-time means patients can receive the care they need with less travel and less time away from work or family. That’s very important for all patients, but especially for patients living with heart failure or other cardiac conditions that can impact quality or length of life if not monitored closely and controlled effectively.”
“The mission of St. Mary’s Health Care System is to be a transforming, healing presence in the communities we serve, and the expansion of St. Mary’s Medical Group cardiology services in the Good Samaritan area is an example of how we are constantly working as a network to bring improved access to care for patients in rural communities,” said Brittainy Horne, Vice President of Strategy and Ambulatory Services for St. Mary’s Health Care System.
Dr. Layher is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and holds numerous subspecialty certifications, including nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, cardiac CT imaging, and pacemaker and defibrillator placement.
He is a founding physician of OHVC, which was formed in 2008. The practice now includes 10 physicians and has offices in Athens, Watkinsville, Lavonia and Monroe as well as Greensboro. OHVC’s interventional cardiologists provide 24/7 coverage of St. Mary’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, including emergency heart attack care with balloon angiography and stent implantation.
Dr. Layher received his bachelors’ and masters’ degrees from Indiana State University. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1991 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Layher completed his internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University in 1994. He went on to complete his fellowship training in cardiology at Indiana University School of Medicine’s Krannert Institute of Cardiology in 1997 and came to practice in Northeast Georgia soon after.
He is a certified cardiac device specialist and a member of the Heart Rhythm Society. Dr. Layher is also a member of the Society of Cardiovascular CT, The American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is an assistant clinical professor of medicine and the Cardiology Subspecialty Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, a joint effort of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System.
For more information, visit www.oconeeheart.com or call 706.389.3440. As part of St. Mary’s Medical Group, OHVC accepts most major forms of insurance and Medicare. New patients are being accepted.