MONTGOMERY, Ohio — Christ Hospital has opened the first center in the Greater Cincinnati area that specializes in women’s heart health.
Dr. Odayme Quesada, medical director of the Women’s Heart Center, helped create the facility in an effort to combat heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A facility that specializes in heart disease in women is imperative, Quesada said, because women can show different symptoms than men. Women don’t always have the common chest pain, Quesada said. Sometimes they have atypical symptoms such as gastric pain and pain in both arms.
"Women's heart disease is not the same as men. We need a specialized center to be able to care for these women appropriately,” Quesada said.
Christ Hospital recruited Quesada from Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, where she was trained by a world-renowned expert in women's cardiovascular disease.
Now, Quesada has brought that training to Greater Cincinnati, along with a grant for more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health for a clinical study on the link between high blood pressure during pregnancy and heart disease later in life.
"We are missing and we're behind on research on women's cardiovascular health and disease. So a lot of the diseases that I specialize in are not well understood,” Quesada said.
The Women’s Heart Center also offers advanced imaging technology, specialized testing and an array of specialized cardiologists.
Quesada said patients who aren’t local have made the drive to come see her; she said she hopes she can help elevate the voices of those who often go unheard.
"I'm Latina, and I'm a female cardiologist, so that's already very rare … not only do we need women at the table where decisions are made, we need minorities at the table where decisions are made,” Quesada said.
Quesada sees patients out of the Montgomery outpatient center. They plan to open another clinic in Fort Wright, Kentucky next year.