How do you know if your heart is in good hands? It's reassuring to know you have a doctor who has been nationally recognized for providing exceptional cardiovascular disease and stroke care. Page ContentForty five Kelsey-Seybold doctors recently received recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) Heart/Stroke Recognition Program for outstanding cardiovascular disease and stroke care, accounting for nearly half of all the Texas doctors recognized by this award.To receive the three-year recognition, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic physicians went through a rigorous assessment that demonstrates that they’ve met the program’s key cardiovascular disease and stroke care measures.“Being a recognized physician means that I’ve actively worked with my patients to identify factors that put them at risk for a heart attack,” said Chief of Family Medicine and NCQA-recognized physician Patrick Carter, M.D. “This means keeping an eye on their blood pressure, getting their cholesterol under control and working with them to help them quit smoking. If we catch it early, we can work with our patients to help control their risk factors which can result in better outcomes.” For patients who have already suffered from a stroke or heart attack, these physicians have shown significant success in helping prevent another episode. Dr. Carter says the recognition is evidence that the doctor has an ongoing relationship with the patient - one of the most important aspects of primary care.“Most people who have risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure don’t feel any symptoms, which makes it more difficult for them to realize how important it is to get these risk factors under control,” said Dr. Carter.Kelsey-Seybold’s Chief of Cardiology Ali Mortazavi, M.D. also received this recognition. He said that the Heart/Stroke Recognition helps provide assurance that doctors are providing high-quality, evidenced-based care for their cardiovascular disease and stroke patients.“We are very proud to provide patient care that is focused on not just an episode of care, but a continuous practice of following these measures,” Dr. Mortazavi said. Dr. Carter says that even though 45 doctors have currently been given this recognition, he expects even more NCQA-certified doctors at Kelsey-Seybold.“Our accountable care organization model and focus on preventive care makes it easier for us to adhere to these rigorous NCQA standards for heart disease and stroke care,” Dr. Carter said.