Cameron Medical Group has always been dedicated to providing world-class treatment to those residing in and around Angola. To accomplish this, Cameron offers patients a compassionate, forward-thinking, and highly skilled cardiologist with vast experience in cardiac care.
Our goal is to provide exceptional cardiac service and care to our community and surrounding area, making high-quality cardiology specialty services and care more accessible locally.
Meet Dr. Varner
Dr. John Varner DO FACC, has more than two decades of experience with a special interest in Cardiovascular and Heart Rhythm care. Dr. Varner is helping Cameron provide its patients with highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art cardiovascular care. Cameron Medical Group’s addition of Dr. John Varner only solidifies our ongoing commitment to excellence.
Cardiac Care Services We Provide
Dr. Varner along with his team of seasoned healthcare providers offers patients a variety of services that range from stress tests and diagnostic imaging to the typical outpatient clinic visit.
Our team takes a collaborative approach to the management of cardiac conditions, such as heart failure and acute exacerbations, atrial fibrillation/flutter, arrhythmias (bradycardia, tachycardia), syncope, stroke prevention, and chest pain.
When needed, our cardiology care team can perform both inpatient and outpatient procedures including:
- Insertion of loop recorders
- Temporary pacemakers
- Pacemaker and ICD implants (including Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy for heart failure management)
- Generator changes and upgrades
Same-day discharge may be available for outpatient procedures.
State-of-the-Art Heart Care & Diagnostic Testing
The goal of a cardiologist is to prevent the onset of heart issues, manage current heart issues, or discover heart issues early on. To accomplish these goals, Cameron’s cardiology team uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic Tests Include:
- Echocardiogram, TEE
- Stress testing
- Nuclear studies
- Loop recorder insertion
- Tilt table testing
- Defibrillator testing
Conditions Our Cardiology Team Can Diagnose and Treat
Cameron Cardiology addresses every aspect of cardiac care, from educating patients to diagnostic testing and invasive cardiac device procedures.
- Chest Discomfort or Pain (Angina)
- Stable Angina
- Heart Attacks
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart Failure
- Heart Palpitations
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Genetic Heart Disease
- Risk Factor Management
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- High Triglycerides
- Elevated Cholesterol Levels
- Sports Cardiology
- Preventative Cardiology
- Heart Rhythm Disorders
- Valvular Heart Disease
Atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by the buildup of plaque in the walls of arteries. This buildup causes the narrowing of the arteries and restricts blood flow to the organs and tissues of the body. Atherosclerosis is caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise, and other factors.
Chest discomfort or pain (angina) is caused by the narrowing of coronary arteries due to plaque buildup. Angina can range from a mild pressure or squeezing sensation to a severe, crushing feeling. It may come and go in episodes or be present all the time.
Stable angina is chest discomfort or pain that occurs in a predictable way. It’s often triggered by physical exertion, emotional stress, cold temperatures, or large meals. It typically subsides after resting or taking medication.
Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disorder that can lead to the weakening of the heart muscle and enlargement of the heart. It can cause the heart to become less effective in pumping blood throughout the body, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, palpitations, and shortness of breath. Cardiomyopathy is often associated with high blood pressure.
Syncope is a condition in which a person briefly loses consciousness due to decreased blood flow to the brain. It can be caused by various cardiac conditions, such as arrhythmia, heart valve disease, and coronary artery disease. Symptoms of syncope include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and confusion. Treatment for syncope depends on the underlying cause and may involve medications or lifestyle changes.
A heart attack is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is blocked, leading to damage or death of a portion of the heart muscle. Common risk factors for heart attacks include smoking, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and obesity.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common form of heart disease caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. If left untreated, it can lead to a variety of serious and even life-threatening complications such as angina, arrhythmias, heart attack, and stroke.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It can be caused by several different conditions, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, or structural defects of the heart. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in the legs.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is usually caused by a combination of lifestyle factors and genetics. It can put extra strain on the heart by damaging the walls of the arteries, leading to an increased risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
Heart palpitations are a common symptom of many heart conditions, including arrhythmias. They can feel like the heart is racing or skipping beats and may be accompanied by chest pain, dizziness, and/or shortness of breath.
Peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, is caused by the narrowing of the arteries in the legs and feet. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower extremities. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
Genetic heart disease refers to any heart condition that is inherited through genetics. These conditions can vary widely, from structural defects in the heart to arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.
Risk factor management is an important part of preventing and treating heart disease. This includes monitoring and managing any existing risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease in which the walls of the left ventricle thicken, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, and/or palpitations.
Having high levels of triglycerides in the blood can increase your risk for heart disease. Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol intake. Medication may also be prescribed to help lower triglyceride levels.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the bloodstream. When levels become too high, it can increase your risk for heart disease. Treatment usually involves lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, along with medication to help lower cholesterol levels.
Sports cardiology is a specialized field that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions in athletes. This may include assessing risk factors, screening for underlying issues, and providing education to help athletes stay healthy.
Preventive cardiology focuses on preventing heart disease before it occurs. This may include lifestyle changes, regular check-ups, and cardiac screenings to identify any potential issues early.
Heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, are caused by disruption to the normal electrical signals in the heart. Symptoms may include palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath. Treatment may involve medication, lifestyle changes, surgery, or implantable devices such as pacemakers.
Valvular heart disease is caused by damage to the valves of the heart. This can lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs and other complications, including stroke.
Onsite Cardiac Device Clinic & Ambulatory Clinics
Cameron’s onsite Cardiac Device Clinic offers patients cardiac device monitoring both in-person and remotely. Our Ambulatory Clinics provide general cardiology care and cardiac clearance for procedures or surgery, as well as community outreach through screenings and educational initiatives.
The type of cardiovascular care we offer at Cameron is rarely found in rural areas. Cameron Cardiology helps patients prevent cardiovascular-related diseases and improve their heart health. In addition, at Cameron, we have diagnostic tools available to verify or rule out cardiac issues.
The Cameron Cardiology team uses our expertise to treat illnesses and conditions affecting the heart. To make your appointment with one of our highly-skilled, compassionate team members, please contact Cameron today.
Understanding Your Cholesterol Levels
Cameron Cardiology believes that knowing your numbers such as Cholesterol, Ejection Fraction and Blood pressure can help you be aware of your risk factors for heart disease. Cameron Cardiology can help you get, understand, and manage these numbers. Let’s start with a basic definition: Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It’s not inherently “bad.” Your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. But too much cholesterol can pose a problem.
Cholesterol: The Good and The Bad
Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from cells. One is low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. The other is high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. A test measures the amount of each type of cholesterol in your blood.
LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
HDL (Good) Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol can be thought of as the “good” cholesterol because a healthy level may protect against heart attack and stroke.
HDL carries LDL (bad) cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where the LDL is broken down and passed from the body. But HDL cholesterol doesn’t completely eliminate LDL cholesterol. Only one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL.
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. They store excess energy from your diet.
A high triglyceride level combined with high LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (good) cholesterol is linked with fatty buildups within the artery walls, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A condition where the arteries become narrowed and hardened due to buildup of plaque (fats) in the artery wall. Symptoms vary depending on the clogged artery. It can be a slow, lifelong progression and can get worse as you age, requiring medications, testing or interventions. Knowing your risk factors, causes and potential lifestyle modifications can slow the progression.
What is Ejection Fraction?
Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement, expressed as a percentage, of how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction. An ejection fraction of 60 percent means that 60 percent of the total amount of blood in the left ventricle is pushed out with each heartbeat.
This indication of how well your heart is pumping out blood can help to diagnose and track heart failure.
Normal Ejection Fraction
- A normal heart’s ejection fraction may be between 50 and 70 percent.
- You can have a normal ejection fraction measurement and still have heart failure (called HFpEF or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).
- If the heart muscle has become so thick and stiff that the ventricle holds a smaller than usual volume of blood, it might still seem to pump out a normal percentage of the blood that enters it. In reality, though, the total amount of blood pumped isn’t enough to meet your body’s needs.
Low Ejection Fraction
- An ejection fraction measurement under 40 percent may be evidence of heart failure or cardiomyopathy.
- An EF from 41 to 49 percent may be considered “borderline.” It does not always indicate that a person is developing heart failure. Instead, it may indicate damage, perhaps from a previous heart attack.
- In severe cases, ejection fraction can be very low.
Learn ways to improve your low ejection fraction.
A Quick Guide to Blood Pressure Levels
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently too high. Let’s take a look at how you can easily determine if your blood pressure is at a normal level:
- Normal: upper number is less than 120 and lower is number is less than 80
- Elevated: upper number is 120-129 and lower number is less than 80
- High (Hypertension): upper number is 130-139 or lower number is 80-89
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Cardiologist?
A: A cardiologist is a licensed physician who specializes in cardiology services to diagnose and treat diseases affecting the heart and cardiovascular system.
Q: What is a Stress Test?
A: A stress test is a cardiology services testing method used to examine your heart during physical activity to help determine blood flow problems within the heart, coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmias. In some situations, a medication may be given to mimic the effects of physical exercise.
Q: What is Nitroglycerin Used For?
A: Nitroglycerin is used to treat chest pain or pressure when there is reduced blood flow to the heart. This drug dilates the arteries of the heart, improving blood flow which reduces how hard the heart has to work, thus potentially relieving symptoms.
Q: What is an Echocardiogram?
A: The test uses sound waves that help to reconstruct the heart valves and the heart itself. This helps to analyze how your heart functions and can give insight into the size of certain areas of your heart. When combined with a stress test, it provides great information about how your heart functions under stress.
Q: What is an Arrhythmia?
A: Arrhythmia is any abnormal heart beat. This can be too fast, too slow, or any irregular heartbeat. Palpitations and acute awareness of your heartbeat are the most common symptoms that people experience.
Q: What is a Heart Murmur?
A: A murmur is, simply, the ability to hear the passing of blood through the valves of your heart. While not all murmurs are serious or life-threatening, you should have any and all murmurs examined by a cardiologist.
Q: How Can I Reduce My Risk of Heart Disease?
A: You can help to reduce your risk of heart disease through a variety of ways, including:
- Cutting back on salt
- Eating foods rich in carbohydrates
- Eating vegetables, whole grains, and fruit
- Try to remove trans and saturated fats
- Eat protein
Meet Our Cardio Care Team
John A. Varner, DO, FACC
John A. Varner, DO, FACC, is an experienced board-certified cardiologist. Before joining Cameron Medical Group, Dr. Varner served 12 years at Munson Medical Center in Northern Michigan and recently served over two years at Lutheran Medical Group in Fort Wayne. Dr. Varner completed his undergraduate degree at Alma College and his graduate degree at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa. He completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at Botsford General Hospital. Dr. Varner was drawn to medicine from an early age due to the impact a physician can have on a community and his desire to help others within his community. When Dr. Varner is not seeing patients, he can be found spending time with his wife, children and four dogs. Dr. Varner currently sees patients as Cameron Cardiology in the Medical Office Building.
Heather Connelly, RN, BSN
Heather Connelly, RN, BSN, is the director of Cameron Cardiology and Medical-Surgical Services. With over 20 years of cardiac experience, Heather brings vital knowledge to Cameron Cardiology. Heather has leadership experience in ambulatory, procedural and diagnostic service with an emphasis in electrophysiology, atrial fibrillation, and cardiac rhythm management. Heather was drawn to medicine at an early age. In college, she gravitated towards anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. She felt like nursing was always the right fit for her. When out of the office Heather can be found enjoying outdoor activities with her husband, two kids, and their German Shepard. Her favorite thing about Cameron is the culture, everyone is warm and caring, and everyone is genuinely happy to be here and shows in their work.
Chris Fraze, RT (R)
Chris Fraze, RT (R), is the Cameron Cardiology and Device Clinic Coordinator. Chris has nearly 30 years of experience in interventional cardiology. Chris’s passion for medicine is demonstrated in his ability to help others while working as a team to provide safe, quality care. When not in the office, you can find Chris working out, boating, or spending time with his wife, daughters, and the family dog. His favorite thing about Cameron is the people – everyone is so caring, nice, and always willing to help anyone they encounter.