From the Auburn Citizen, 8/15/17

As a heart doctor, Jamal Ahmed has seen the difficulty some patients have making it to their appointments. New York’s epicenters of heart specialists tend to be in larger cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and New York City, all of which can be quite the trek for some patients in rural areas of the state.

The Heart Group of Syracuse, a central New York practice founded in 2011 by Ahmed and his colleague Traian Anghel, is working to make travel to appointments easier by opening up satellite offices. The latest one opened up this month in Skaneateles, joining other locations in East Syracuse, Fulton and Watertown. The heart group also has access to all five Syracuse hospitals, not just Upstate University Hospital.

Finding that there were many patients from the Auburn, Skaneateles and Marcellus area traveling into Syracuse, Ahmed and his colleague felt opening up a new office in the area, one fully functional for just about anything heart-related except for surgery, would be beneficial.

 “Our idea, the whole reason for us to open these satellite offices, is to cut their travel time to come and meet with us,” Ahmed said. “We are focused on the fact that we don’t want to lose contact with our patients.”

Besides the more convenient location, Ahmed said the office cuts down as many barriers between the doctors and patients. While there are exceptions such as when doctors are out on vacation, most of the time patients see the same doctor every time they visit. It doesn’t make them have to start “the conversation all over again with a new doctor,” Ahmed added.

The office, too, does not use an answering service. Patients can call their doctors directly at just about any time of the day.

Ahmed, who went to medical school in Peshawar, Pakistan, specializes in electrophysiology, or the electrical activity of the heart. He studied internal medicine at the University of Connecticut, completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Southern Alabama and a cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at George Washington University.

Anghel also specializes in electrophysiology. He went to medical school in Bucharest, Romania, before studying internal medicine at SUNY Syracuse. He completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at Georgetown University.

Ahmed said a new doctor is joining their team, Mohamed Munshi, who specializes in interventional cardiology, a branch that involves procedures such as angioplasty and stenting. Munshi went to medical school at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. He also studied internal medicine, completed a cardiology fellowship and his interventional cardiology fellowship there.

 For now, the Skaneateles office is just revving up, but Ahmed said it will be open five days per week and by appointment. While the heart group is not looking to expand into any more new territories at this time, Ahmed said it may expand by adding more doctors in the future. He’s happy to see this latest office open, however.

An approximately two-year project in the making, he remembers Feb. 13 vividly when he came to look at the space on 1551 E. Genessee St. to start plans for the office layout. It was the day his daughter was born, and he drove back to Syracuse in a blizzard.

While it’s taken a while to realize the new location, Ahmed is pleased with how it’s turned out.

“It took a while, but we wanted to do it right,” he said.