Dr. Erick Avelar Designated a Fellow in Echocardiography

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Erick Avelar, MD, a cardiologist with Oconee Heart and Vascular Center, has been designated a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography.

The Fellow designation recognizes those members who have fulfilled both the training and performance requirements that are necessary for certification through the national Board of Echocardiography. Attainment of this standard of practice recognizes that Dr. Avelar is committed to continued excellence in the field of echocardiography, as it applies to diagnosis and management of cardiovascular conditions.

Echocardiography uses sound waves to create images of the heart in motion. A painless test, it can detect the size and shape of the heart, and Doppler Echo can reveal how well the heart's values are working and how effective the heart is at pumping blood. Echo tests also can help doctors assess tissue damage from a heart attack, find blood clots, detect fluid buildup around the heart, and more.

"Echocardiography is a vital tool in the diagnosis and management of a number of cardiovascular conditions, including heart failure," Dr. Avelar said. "The proper interpretation of echocardiography studies can lead to more accurate diagnosis and assessment, which in turn results in better management of the patient's condition to maximize their independence and quality of life."

"Patients must be able to have faith in the knowledge and skills of their physicians, especially when dealing with potentially life-altering conditions such as heart attack and heart failure," said Brittainy Horne, St. Mary's Vice President of Strategy and Ambulatory Services, which includes St. Mary's Medical Group and Oconee Heart & Vascular Center. "We are proud of Dr. Avelar for achieving the highest level of recognition in echocardiography."

Dr. Avelar also holds Level III training in cardiac imaging. He earned Level III certification through Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Echocardiography is part of St. Mary's comprehensive continuum of cardiac services, including emergency and non-emergency balloon angioplasty and stent implantation, electrophysiology, defibrillator and pacemaker implantation and follow-up, diagnostic imaging (including MRI, CT and nuclear medicine, in addition to echo), stress testing, cardiac rehabilitation and specialist physician care for lifelong medical management. St. Mary's is an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and is a Joint Commission certified Heart Failure Center.