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St. Luke's Cardiology

A Heart for Compassion and World-class cardiovascular care

When you or a loved one has a heart issue, you want a doctor with the knowledge, experience, and skill to give you the finest possible heart care.

130 Forest Glen Road, Suite B • Columbus, NC 28722
Office: 828-894-5627 • Fax: 828-894-5879

Evans Kemp, MD

John Hutto, MD

St. Luke's Cardiology at Foothills Medical Associates is under the direction of Dr. Evans Kemp, who says, "We're at your side at every step of your healing journey, from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and maintenance, providing peace of mind that you are receiving world-class care."

Dr. Kemp is a nationally recognized clinical cardiologist that came to us from Nashville, TN. He is the former co-director of Ascension St. Thomas Heart, where he led a group of 70 cardiologists. In addition, Dr. Kemp was the Medical Director of Cardiac Rehab for Ascension St. Thomas West in Nashville and the Medical Director for the Cardiac Hospitalist program. He has over 30 years of experience helping create one of the leading cardiovascular programs in the South. Dr. Kemp is certified by The American Board of Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease.

Five-star invasive cardiologist Dr. John Hutto, Sr. has joined the practice with Dr. Kemp. Dr. Hutto provides long-term maintenance and monitoring of implantable cardiac devices, including pacemakers, defibrillators, and loop recorders. Dr. Hutto received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and is certified by The American Board of Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease.

Clinical Cardiology

Generally, Clinical Cardiology is the first exposure to specialized inpatient and outpatient heart care. We now offer world-class cardiac care and clinical therapies through Dr. Evans Kemp at St. Luke's Cardiology. We provide best-in-class tests to help make an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Dr. Kemp sees patients with common heart issues, such as angina, artery problems, valvular heart disease, and heart failure. He also treats patients with more complex heart conditions.

General Invasive Cardiology

A general invasive cardiologist deeply understands your heart's electrical system, which follows a common pathway in your heart and is responsible for an orderly and efficient rhythm. Dr. Hutto diagnoses and treats electrical issues in your heart and seeks to understand why your heart has an irregular rhythm and why electrical signals are conducting through abnormal pathways.

With Dr. Hutto on staff, St. Luke's has launched a device clinic where local patients can have their implants monitored and serviced without the need to travel to distant clinics. The St. Luke's Device Clinic provides care for heart rhythm disorders where Dr. Hutto follows up with the patient's pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or biventricular device. He performs a comprehensive device function evaluation and diagnostic review to ensure the device is programmed to provide optimum functionality. Dr. Hutto will soon perform cardiac device insertion at St. Luke's Hospital.

Dr. Hutto received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and is certified by The American Board of Internal Medicine - Cardiovascular Disease.

World-class Computed Tomography

Dr. Kemp and Dr. Hutto use many treatment options, including lifestyle modifications, medications, and procedures. And they also work closely with cardiovascular surgeons should complex surgery be required.

Heart Care in Polk County

At St. Luke's Cardiology, we provide compassionate and personalized care. Dr. Kemp and Dr. Hutto listen to you to ensure they fully understand your case before developing the comprehensive course of treatment that is right for you. Both doctors will guide your healing journey from screenings and preventive heart care to complex heart and vascular surgery.

• Diagnose and treat heart attacks
• Manage congestive heart failure
• Stroke preventions
• Structural heart imaging
• Valvular heart disease
• Congenital heart disease
• Coronary artery disease
• Preventative cardiology.
• Restore normal heart rhythm
• Treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol

Screening Services

Calcium Score Test

Heart Attack Symptoms Differ

A heart attack doesn't always present with severe chest pain. Symptoms vary, as do the severity of symptoms. For example, 25% of people have no symptoms, while others have sudden cardiac arrest. Moreover, women often have subtle warning signs when they have a heart attack. And symptoms often vary based on gender, as women often have subtle warning signs, whereas men tend to experience chest pain before a heart attack.

Common symptoms in both men and women:

• Chest discomfort, pressure, or pain
• Difficulty breathing independent of activity
• Lightheadedness
• New feelings of fatigue
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat
• Sudden arm (most often in the left arm), jaw, neck, and back pain

If you believe you are having a heart attack, go directly to our Emergency Department or call 911.

My Chart

To access patients' private online healthcare information 24/7, St. Luke's Cardiology offers a secure, convenient patient portal, The portal allows patients to view lab results, medications, medical records, secure messaging, and other helpful features. Through My Chart, patients are encouraged to partner with St. Luke's Cardiology to ensure every possible resource is available throughout treatment.

Fees and Insurance

We offer several options for payment of professional services. We accept checks, cash, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. We participate in several managed care plans, Medicare and Medicaid. For insurance plans in which we participate, we will file your claim. You will be responsible for only the co-pay, co-insurance, and deductible during your visit. Unless you've made prior arrangements, fees for services rendered are due upon services rendered. If necessary, we offer payment plans.

Appointment Information

St. Luke's Cardiology sees patients by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 828-894-5627. Office hours are Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. - noon. Please remember to bring insurance information and any appropriate referrals.

What We Treat

Arrhythmia is a condition where the heart beats irregularly. The heart can beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), skip beats, or have extra beats. Often, arrhythmias can be treated with medication and blood thinners to correct your heart rhythm because irregular heartbeats may prevent blood from leaving the heart. When blood pools inside the heart, conditions are right for blood clots to form.

With atherosclerosis, plaque deposits inside the arteries. And this buildup can block blood from flowing freely. In some cases, cholesterol causes the arterial walls to become thickened. Our cardiologists may prescribe statins to help reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Other types of medication can also help. In addition, lifestyle changes such as no smoking, a healthier diet, and exercise may help improve your condition.

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an irregular heartbeat where the heart's top two chambers, called atria, get interrupted electrical signals. With less regular and forceful beats, blood can pool inside the heart and clot. The potential for stroke-causing clots is the most significant concern for patients with A-fib. At St. Luke's, our cardiologists will likely start treating you with medications to stabilize your heart tempo and blood thinners to prevent clots.

Cardiomyopathy is where the heart muscle becomes less flexible and weakened. Weakened heart muscles can lead to poor blood flow, often congesting the arms, legs, ankles, and feet. Drs Kemp and Hutto may prescribe blood thinners, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers to prevent this type of blood congestion.

Coronary artery disease is the most common cardiac issue and occurs when the arteries inside the heart become blocked. When the arteries become blocked, it's harder for blood to flow, and pressure builds. In the most severe cases, a heart attack can occur. Initial treatment may include medications for high blood pressure and prescriptions to reduce plaque buildup. More invasive procedures may be necessary if medication and lifestyle changes do not produce the desired results.

Chest pain is a symptom of an underlying condition. And when the underlying condition is a heart condition, the pain is called angina. Treatment for angina depends on the cause. For example, acute sudden onset of chest pain can be a symptom of a heart attack. However, medication can treat chronic or stable chest pain. If you have chest pain, you must seek immediate care and consult with our St. Luke's cardiologists to diagnose the source of your pain.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance essential for protecting nerves. When there is too much of certain kinds of cholesterol, it can build up inside blood vessels and cause atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. At St. Luke's Cardiology, we have several drugs at our disposal, including statins, which are highly effective in reducing cholesterol in the blood.

With high blood pressure, your heart must work harder to push blood throughout your body. It also indicates that your blood vessels may have blockages that increase the pressure. At St. Luke's Cardiology, we may use a mix of hypertension medications to control high blood pressure.

Approximately one in four adults was born with this defect. The malformation occurs when a hole in the heart that a baby uses in the womb doesn't close after the baby is born. Most of the time, patent foramen ovale has no symptoms and is harmless. But for some people, PFO may cause blood clots to form in the legs, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Dr. Kemp and Dr. Hutto may prescribe blood thinners and, in some cases, may order more invasive procedures to close the hole.

PVD is a condition that can occur when the arteries in your arms and legs become blocked with plaque. When these vessels become blocked, it's harder for blood to flow, and pressure begins to build. We may use blood pressure medications combined with plaque-reducing drugs to lower plaque buildup inside blood vessels.

Heart valves open and close, allowing blood to flow from one chamber of the heart to another. With defective or diseased valves, blood can pool in the heart. While medications cannot repair the heart, we can use drugs to control symptoms and sometimes prevent dangerous cardiac events. More invasive procedures may be required to rectify the issue for patients with unresolved valve disorder with medication alone.