Aug. 24, 2004 – Not so long ago in the St. Thomas-St. John district, a visit to a cardiologist meant a trip to St. Croix or Puerto Rico. Now a cardiologist from a renowned mainland heart-care center has joined the staff of Roy L. Schneider Hospital, providing services in a crucial medical specialty.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for Virgin Islanders.
"Hypertension and coronary (heart) disease are big problems in the African-American community," Dr. Roy D. Flood says.
Flood has come to St. Thomas from the Washington Hospital Center, ranked as one of the nation's top heart-care centers by U.S. News & World Report this year.
According to a Schneider Hospital release, Flood is an expert in interventional cardiology, which involves using balloons and metal tubes called stents to reopen closed arteries and re-establish blood flow to the heart to treat and prevent heart attacks.
A 1990 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, he held a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Washington, D.C., hospital where he worked for 14 years. He also served as director of cardiology services and director of the catheter laboratory at Providence Hospital in D.C.
He is a member of the American College of Cardiology and the Association of Black Cardiologists and has written several papers on the identification and treatment of coronary artery disease in African-Americans.
"We are indeed fortunate to have someone of Dr. Flood's caliber and expertise come to our hospital," Rodney E. Miller Sr., Schneider president and chief executive officer, said. "He is a welcome addition to our staff and is just another step in our hospital becoming a world-class health institution."
Flood says he is looking forward to the challenge of expanding cardiac services at the St. Thomas hospital. The procedures he will perform in the Virgin Islands include cardiac catheterization, in which a flexible tube is inserted into an artery to study the functions of the heart muscle, and coronary angioplasty, which uses a balloon-like device to open narrowed or block arteries.
Schneider Hospital "is actually up to speed in many areas in cardiology," Flood said. "We have some ways to go in terms of growth, but in many areas we are already up to snuff in cardiac care, especially in echocardiograms, EKGs, and other stress testing procedures."
Making the move to St. Thomas with Flood are his wife and 7-year-old child, who are both "very excited" about it, he said. "This is a wonderful place, and we are all thrilled about being here."
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