Published on February 27, 2012

Q&A: Heart care

with cardiologist Dr. Joseph Conroy

Joseph ConroyJoseph T. Conroy, DO, FACC, is an expert on heart disease prevention and an inspiring heart health coach.

Heart disease is a subject that hits close to home for Mercy Fitzgerald’s Dr. Conroy, board-certified cardiologist and lipidologist.

Q. What’s your role at Mercy Fitzgerald?

I’m a cardiologist with specialized training in cholesterol management, cardiovascular risk assessment and intervention. I educate my patients about disease prevention and care for patients who suffer from heart disease.

Q. What motivates your work?

It’s a subject that hits close to home. My mother has heart disease and underwent coronary bypass surgery. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States and disproportionately affects African-Americans. Recent trends show increased cardiovascular deaths among women ages 35–54.

Q. What’s the good news about my heart?

The majority of heart disease risk factors are preventable, and help is available. Mercy Fitzgerald offers heart health education, exercise programs and support groups in its Wellness Center, as well as diabetes education and Home Health services. At Mercy, we are fully equipped to pinpoint your risk, teach lifestyle modification and successfully treat these dangerous conditions when they occur.

Q. How do you motivate your patients?

I encourage personal accountability. I send my patients out the door with a goal, a copy of their lab results and a follow-up appointment. I’m not afraid to bring up obesity, tobacco use and other sensitive subjects. If you are honest about risk, your patients respect you and are more motivated about achieving their goals.