Q & A with Nicoleta Daraban, MD, FACC

Medical Director and Chief of Cardiology, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group–Cardiology
Medical Director, Diagnostic Center, Saratoga Hospital

How has Saratoga Hospital Medical Group–Cardiology evolved in the last ten years?

Dr. Theodoros Laddis was the original visionary for the practice and established the Saratoga Hospital Cardiology group in 2014.

It felt like a leap of faith at the time, but I was excited to join forces with him and build a practice starting from the ground up. Initially, we provided only basic services, with one  diagnostic cath and mostly hospital based noninvasive cardiac testing.

Many times we had to transfer patients to Albany for invasive procedures.

At the time, Saratoga Hospital was not providing emergent cardiac care services such as acute MI/STEMI (emergency invasive procedure to open blocked coronary arteries) or coronary intervention programs.

As we continued to grow, we began to enhance our cardiac services. We built a coronary intervention program as the hospital upgraded our Cath Lab to add an additional procedural room. We  began performing STEMI procedures.

Our diagnostic lab received accreditation for the full scope of diagnostic non-invasive procedures, including vascular ultrasounds, echocardiography, and stress testing.

This year, we plan to introduce CT angiography and PET scanning of the coronary arteries.

What types of services are available to cardiac patients at Saratoga Hospital?

We are extremely proud of the quality of services we provide, and are continuously working on improving technology and patient access to quality care.

We want to provide diagnosis and treatment of most cardiac conditions locally and in a timely manner.

Our goal is to provide “boutique cardiology” to our patients—high quality cardiology services that are easily accessible. Being part of the Albany Med Health System is a great support for our local medical practice. We keep our dedication to the patients in our community, and also share the benefits of being part of the Albany Med Health System through expansion of services and medical resources.

Can you speak to the importance of prevention and good care for cardiac wellness?

Any good medical care should start with prevention. Preventative cardiology has been growing over the past 20 years. When I began my training, prevention meant being aware of the importance of nutrition and exercise. Today, more and more discussions focus on weight management and helping the patient be proactive in their approach to nutrition, weight management, and physical activity—the cornerstones of good medical care. We are able to help coordinate that care through interaction with our partners in bariatrics, primary care, and other providers we refer the patients to for their continuum of care.

How and why did you make the decision to pursue cardiology?

The decision came later during my student years in Romania. It was the idea of combining science with direct patient care in a field that was and continues to be very dynamic that primarily appealed to me. I wanted to focus on helping the patient, and in cardiology you have a balance of science and practical solutions to help and heal.

What is your favorite part about what you do?

I don’t get bored—things are always interesting! I love interacting with and helping patients. And as a medical leader in cardiology, I also love a challenge. Only about 10 percent of cardiologists are women, but a generational shift is starting to occur, and we are starting to see more and more women in medical leadership positions. I am so fortunate that Saratoga Hospital has been so supportive during my career here— and that I have found my niche.