573 Person Of The Year 2015
As the 573 Magazine moves towards it’s 10th year in publication we are constantly reminded how wonderful the 573 region truly is. From the most amazing parks and wineries, to our incredible crystal clear streams and blue skies, to the kind and caring people, to the groovy events and
festivals. Yes, we have it all.To commemorate 2015, we decided to find and spotlight a Person Of The Year. We think we
found a very deserving person.In 1996, Antoine Adem escaped religious persecution taking place in Lebanon for a better life in the United States. As a Christian in Lebanon, everyday presented a new chance of harm. Countless were the nights he spent in bomb shelters. Just traveling to school presented snipers from west Beirut with targets. In 1995, while on a pheasant hunting trip to the Bekaa Valley, he was kidnapped and held hostage by the Syrian Intelligence. Luckily he was released and his parents convinced him to find a better life. He found his way to Missouri, gained a great education, started a family, and launched a successful cardiology practice. His latest accolades include bringing a Cath-Lab (at his own personal expense) to the region helping thousands of people live healthier and longer lives.Antoine Adem enjoys spending time with his wife and children, traveling, dining, wine tasting and gardening. But it’s his passion and energy for lifesaving that sets him apart. He also has a charitable foundation that takes care of orphans and disabled children in Lebanon. Admittedly, this is what brings the most peace to his heart.Antoine and his wife, Claudine, met at a church party in St. Louis. Antoine found a way to get her phone number and took her out to dinner a few weeks later. At the time, he was doing his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Missouri Columbia so he had to travel three hours on the weekend to visit Claudine in St. Louis. They were married September 26, 1999.They have 3 children. Carla, is a freshman in high school, Anthony, grade 7 and Gabriella, grade 6. Claudine says, “The children are all very gifted as far as school goes, especially in the area of math. Carla and Anthony have participated in various math competitions and all three children have been recognized in many different ways for their math skills.”Today Claudine is the corporate Treasurer of Midwest Cardiovascular and has held this position since 2010. She manages the day to day operations of both the Festus and Farmington offices. She takes care of employees, salaries, controls the finances and manages any problem that may occur in the office. Claudine enjoys working with her husband and managing the business—there’s a lot to manage.Inside the operating room was much more like a computer lab than any kind of operating room I have ever witnessed. It was like watching an orchestrated production through the inside of the human body in real time. There is no way to really explain what I witnessed. It was simply fascinating. Cardiac catheterization is the procedure where a catheter (a pre-shaped straw-like pipe) is advanced through the skin of the groin or the wrist to access the heart’s blood supply (coronary arteries).Percutaneous intervention is a non-surgical method that opens narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart, brain, kidneys, and extremities. And then at the leading tip of this catheter, several different devices such as a balloon, stent, or cutting device can be deployed.And you watch the entire thing via a specialized x-ray monitor. I’m talking the entire inside of the patient in REAL TIME. WOW!
This technology has been available in the St. Louis area since the early 1980’s. Until today the residents of the counties of St. Francois, Sainte Genevieve, Madison, Washington, and Iron had to travel miles and miles to receive even the basic diagnoses and treatment of heart and vascular blockages.573: Please tell us what it is you do for patients.
I feel that, by bringing the Midwest Heart and Vascular Center services to Farmington, I would have accomplished the most merciful and charitable act for our elderly population: expedited their diagnosis and treatment, and saved them the hassle, cost and inconvenience of driving to St. Louis. They are already burdened with their diseases; the least we can do is alleviate their pain by providing better care closer to home and making it accessible and affordable. (It is well-known that the cost of care is significantly less in the outpatient, private cardiac laboratories when compared to a hospital-based catheterization laboratories.)The presence of a campus such as Midwest Heart and Vascular Center accessible to the population of all the neighboring counties located between Festus and Cape Girardeau is not only a necessity but it is vital to the growing and aging populations of these areas.573: Does a “cardiac cath” always include a stent?
Studies have demonstrated that up to 80% of cardiac catheterizations end up revealing blockages that either are not significant or are better treated with medications and not needing surgeries or
interventions.573: Is it safe to have a “cardiac cath” outside of a hospital?
I have owned and operated free standing catheterization labs in St. Louis since 2010, where we have safely performed more than 5000 cardiac and vascular procedures without the need of being inside a hospital.573: Shortness of breath. What does that have to do with the heart?
For people with shortness of breath and the never ending confusion of heart failure versus lung disease, our center offers right heart characterization and left heart catheterization which allows us to measure the filling pressures of both right and left hearts. This allows a clear cut diagnosis of emphysema versus heart failure versus the other causes of pulmonary hypertension.573: You mentioned that you are an endovascular specialist. What does that mean?
That means I specialize in ‘poor circulation.’ Poor circulation can be related to veins or to arteries. At Midwest Heart and Vascular Center, the vein center deals with all forms of lower extremity swelling, non-healing ulcers, varicose veins, with a non-surgical approach. When it comes to peripheral arterial disease, we were the first in the St. Louis area to treat arterial blockages and hardening of the arteries in a freestanding outpatient facility.573: When we first met, you talked about ‘time is muscle.’ Can you clarify?
When it comes to heart attacks, ‘time is muscle.’ Many patients who are transferred from Farmington and surrounding counties by the time they arrive to the nearest catheterization laboratory to have their heart arteries opened, the heart muscle section compromised is already dead, and they are left to deal with a weak heart (heart failure). This is if they were lucky enough to survive the trip. Due to weather conditions, helicopter flights are not always possible and ambulance drive time is considerable.573: What kind of advice can you give to keep a healthy heart and vascular system?
The best advise I can give is: eat a heart-healthy diet and exercise. Do the exercise you like. Stationary bike, elliptical, treadmill or water aerobics (simply walk in the pool). The most important factor is to get your heart rate up in the 120-130 bpm (220 – age x 70%) and keep it there for 30 min at least 3 times a week.