Dr. Thomas Helton Joins Wellmont CVA Heart Institute as Highly Skilled Interventional Cardiologist

May 31, 2017 | Kingsport

Thomas Helton, D.O., who was trained at the Cleveland Clinic and has provided high-quality care in the region since 2015, has joined the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute as an interventional cardiologist.

Dr. Helton specializes in diagnosing and treating coronary, peripheral vascular and structural heart conditions using his advanced training in minimally invasive and catheter-based procedures. These include transcatheter aortic valve replacement, carotid artery stenting, renal and lower extremity arterial stenting and repair, as well as complex coronary artery interventions and treatment for structural heart disease.

He will perform cases at Holston Valley Medical Center and see patients at The Heart Center, 2050 Meadowview Parkway.

“We’re thrilled Dr. Helton is bringing his impressive skills to the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute and continuing to provide exceptional cardiovascular care in our region,” said Jerry Blackwell, M.D., the heart institute’s president. “His extensive knowledge and expertise in performing complex interventional procedures will enhance the high-quality care our patients have come to expect from us. He’s been an asset to our area and will continue to positively impact patients’ lives as a member of our practice.”

Dr. Helton comes to the heart institute from Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, where he serves as chief of cardiology and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory. He developed the federal hospital’s percutaneous coronary intervention program to open blocked coronary arteries and restore blood flow to the heart muscle without open-heart surgery. He also started the transradial cardiac catheterization program at Veterans Affairs Medical Center and was an integral part of team the developed the transcatheter-based aortic valve replacement program in Johnson City.

In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Helton is an assistant clinical professor at East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine and serves on the adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Pikeville, Kentucky, College of Osteopathic Medicine, his alma mater.

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Helton completed an internal medicine residency and fellowships in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular medicine, all at the Cleveland Clinic.

He came to Tennessee after serving as an interventional cardiologist for Pikeville Medical Center, where he performed the center’s first transcatheter-based patent foramen ovale closure for stroke prevention.

“The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute and the hospitals it serves have excellent reputations for delivering world-class care, and I am excited to collaborate with the cardiovascular physicians who serve there,” Dr. Helton said. “Sharing best practices with some of the best minds in the profession will be stimulating and lead to further growth of one of the strongest cardiovascular programs in the nation. That is extremely attractive to me and helpful to our patients.”

Dr. Helton is joining a practice and hospital that provides leading-edge procedures and has attained acclaim for its expert care. He will play an important role in helping them continue to advance the quality of care with a number of specialized procedures that have distinguished the program.

For example, transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a much less invasive procedure than open-heart surgery and provides an innovative solution for patients who have severe aortic stenosis. This procedure provides patients who have this condition and are a high risk for open-heart surgery with an alternative that extends their lives.

Plus, Holston Valley was named No. 1 in the country for 2016 and 2017 in medical excellence for interventional carotid care by CareChex®, an information service of Quantros Inc.

Dr. Helton is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology and by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography in vascular interpretation.

Appointments with Dr. Helton are available by referral from another physician. For more information about the heart institute, please call 423-230-5000 or visit www.wellmont.org/MyHeart.