Edwin is Consultant Cardiologist and Director of Clinical Services at the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (since its inception, in 2004), and has a consultative practice at the Andrews Memorial Hospital. He has more than 30 years of medical practice, most of which he has dedicated to providing patient-centred care as a cardiologist.
Since his return from the US and Canada, Edwin has been at the forefront of recent advances in cardiology in Jamaica and the Caribbean. He was responsible for establishing the cardiology clinic at the Kingston Public Hospital here he served 12 years, the largest referral hospital centre in the English-speaking Caribbean and with a tradition of service of 250 years. He was also a member of the founding team for the Heart Institute of the Caribbean which is the only freestanding Heart Hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean. He has published widely and has a particular interest in heart muscle disease. He continues to foster collaborations locally and internationally to promote research in heart disease in Caribbean people.
Edwin obtained his medical degree from the University of the West Indies, followed by an internship in the Kingston Region Hospitals. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Metropolitan Hospital Center/New York Medical College, a cardiology fellowship at the University of Montreal, and an interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.
Edwin has been elected to fellowship of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP(Edin)). He also serves on the Medical Council of Jamaica.
Wellness Interests for Epanafero
As a cardiologist, Edwin has dedicated his life to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. He often gets up in the middle of the night to perform coronary angioplasty, a life-saving stenting procedure for someone having an acute heart attack. He also sees patients in his practice who have heart failure as a result of coronary disease, and whose life expectancy and quality of life have been adversely affected. Patients like these require many pills to sustain their life, or expensive devices like debrillators to prevent sudden death; and even then, they can be frequently in and out of hospital as they spiral downhill health wise.
Faced with such situations over and over, Edwin has often asked himself, “Does this have to happen, or could there not be a better way?”
Heart disease remains the biggest public health challenge, and according to the World Health Organization is responsible for an estimated 18 million deaths annually worldwide as well as loss of many productive years of life for those affected. In terms of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease is known to lead the pack.
Fortunately, the results of the cohort study conducted in Framingham, Massachusetts (US) revealed the risk factors which predispose someone to a heart attack. These can be clearly identified, and include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and a family history of coronary heart disease. Moreover, these risk factors can be prevented, modified or controlled by medication as well as therapeutic lifestyle changes. Very importantly, this means that a lot of heart disease is in fact preventable.
In Edwin’s view, lifestyle changes must be the foundation of any heart disease prevention program; and this must encompass eating well, being physically active, maintaining an ideal body weight, getting adequate good quality sleep, reducing stress levels and getting regular medical/health checks.
He strongly believes that Epanafero’s approach to wellness – which combines the very best expertise in healthcare and behavioral change – creates a unique opportunity to deliver what is truly needed for someone to achieve that all important goal of good cardiovascular health.
As he points out, “Most of us know what needs to be done, but that is clearly not enough! The challenge of behavior modifications to promote heart health means that a program must engage a person at a deep and very personal level. When the mind and the heart work together, you see profound and long-lasting lifestyle change for good health.”