Fairbanks is known as the Golden Heart City -- and when it comes to heart health and treatment, the town isn't skipping a beat

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Fairbanks lies in the heart of Alaska - providing services to patients in most aspects of cardiac health. The Porter Heart And Vascular Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is home to the only full-time cardiology clinic from Denali National Park, to the North Slope.
Romel Wrenn is an interventional cardiologist. He says routine evaluations are important in preventing and reversing cardiac diseases.

"Interventional Cardiology is very important in Fairbanks because, well about 7,8,9, years ago there was no-one here to take care of patients having a heart attack, that is to stop the heart attack and preventing it right away, without sending someone to Anchorage.", said Romel Wrenn, Interventional Cardiologist at Porter Heart and Vascular Center.

Wrenn Says when a patient is transported outside of Fairbanks, they can lose a significant amount of heart muscle. If they can receive treatment right away, it can be life-saving.

"We can actually go in and stop the heart attack, and prevent damage.", said Wrenn.

He days, diet and exercise are also crucial components to heart health.

"We're facing an epidemic of obesity, due to eating the wrong foods, so that's a major problem. And - one thing we can, do in terms of preventing disease and reversing disease, is to be placed on an anti-inflammatory diet.", Wrenn expressed.

Wrenn said more more whole foods, leafy greens, beans, and produce.

"It used to be unusual to see someone under the age of 40 with a heart attack, but now, it is not unusual. We have individuals coming in their early 30's, with diabetes, with heart attacks due to all the highly processed foods. Fast foods, too much sugar. Another issue is lack of exercise.", he said.

Wrenn says one's goal should be to never see the cardiologist, but, in an emergency, the staff work together to give patients an understanding of heart health, medications, rehabilitation, and how to provide care that is specific for Fairbanks.