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Cotton O’Neil Heart Center

A Cotton O'Neil cardiologist shaking hands with a patient

More than 92 million American adults are living with some form of heart disease or the aftereffects of stroke. If you’re among them, you have access to top-class care here in Topeka. The Cotton O’Neil Heart Center is well-equipped to treat patients with heart conditions.

The heart center provides a full menu of diagnostics, treatments, and procedures for cardiovascular disease. We also tie our services back to the patient’s lifestyle by offering education and support to stop smoking, start exercising, and eat in a healthier way.

Our goal is to help patients overcome or manage their heart condition, rather than returning to the hospital.

We work with patients and the entire health care team to develop treatment plans that consider the full picture of the patient’s health and lifestyle needs.

Conditions We Treat

Cotton O’Neil Heart Center is equipped to treat many different heart conditions. Some of our most commonly treated conditions include:

Our Treatment & Services

In addition to general cardiovascular care, the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center is home to several specialty clinics. Unless required by insurance, patients do not need a referral to come to any of these clinics.

  • AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) Clinic

    The AMI Clinic sees heart attack patients within seven days after they are discharged from the hospital. Patients meet with an Advanced Practice Provider, who works closely with the cardiologist to ensure that patients are on the correct pathness to health and wellness.

    We review medications and compliance, refer patients to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program, and help with the emotional aspect of recovery. The goal is to keep patients out of the hospital by providing guidance and support during the transition back home after a heart attack.

  • Aneurysm Clinic

    At the Aneurysm Clinic, each patient receives a full workup that could include cardiovascular imaging and stress testing. We treat patients with traditional surgery and also with minimally invasive procedures designed to speed healing time. For patients who don’t need immediate treatment, we continue to monitor their cardiovascular health.
  • Anticoagulation Clinic

    The specialists at the Anticoagulation Clinic see patients placed on blood thinners – such as Warfarin (Coumadin). They monitor the patient’s blood thickness. The nurses at the clinic are able to make medication adjustments.
  • EP Device Clinic

    We follow patients with implanted devices (such as pacemakers and defibrillators) by checking and receiving information via a computer system, in the clinic, or from the convenience of their own home.

    Our specialists also place temporary monitors (Holter monitors) to measure heart activity over a 24- to 48-hour period.

  • Heart Failure Clinic

    At the Heart Failure Clinic, our goal is to keep patients out of the hospital by giving them the tools they need to improve heart function and quality of life.

    We focus on patient education and empowerment. We offer cardiac rehabilitation, education on nutrition and exercise, and access to a multidisciplinary team.

    Our patients receive care from a multidisciplinary team that includes a physician who is specifically trained in heart failure.

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease Clinic

    Peripheral arterial disease specialists monitor patients to help improve quality of life and prevent amputation.

    At our clinic, we offer several treatment options:

    • Angioplasty
    • Stent placement
    • Endarterectomy
    • Bypass grafting
    • Thrombolytic therapy
  • Valve Clinic

    At the Valve Clinic, our main focus is treating diseases of the aorta and aortic stenosis.

    We specialize in the minimally invasive Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), giving patients an alternative to major open-heart surgery.

    For patients who aren’t eligible for TAVR, we are also able to provide alternative treatments such as valvuloplasties or open-heart surgery valve repair.

  • Vein Clinic

    The Vein Clinic physicians work with patients who have Chronic Venous Insufficiency in their legs.

    When close monitoring and prescription medications aren’t enough, patients can receive therapies to close or shrink the blood vessels (vein ablation and sclerotherapy), for medical or cosmetic reasons.

Technology at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center

The Cotton O’Neil Heart Center is home to:

  • Three cardiac suites, including two brand-new suites with state-of-the-art imaging equipment such as Visi-Stent, which allows us to examine heart stents more closely.
  • 3D heart mapping equipment
  • An EP lab for ablation that reduces radiation exposure
  • Our new hybrid room. This room is a cross between a catheterization suite and an operating room.
  • Two electrophysiology suites

Cardiac Electrophysiology

The Cotton O’Neil Heart Center’s electrophysiologists are able to treat irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) with catheter ablations or cardiac devices (e.g. pacemakers, defibrillators).

Phone: (785) 270-4000

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program staff guide discharged cardiac patients through recovery, work with them to build up their strength and fitness through exercise, and educate them in healthier lifestyle choices.

Awards & Recognition

  • We received the ACTION Registry® Platinum Performance Achievement Award. This is awarded for high care standards for the treatment of heart attack patients.
  • We are a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. Blue Cross Blue Shield has recognized us for quality care and improved patient outcomes, such as lower complication rates after certain cardiac procedures.
  • We are on the American Heart Association’s:
    • Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Heart Failure ® Gold Plus Target Heart Failure Honor Roll
    • AHA Mission Lifeline ® NSTEMI – Silver for consistently meeting quality standards.
    • Mission Lifeline ® STEMI Receiving Center – Gold for consistently meeting quality standards.

Meet Our Cardiologists and Providers

At the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, patients see both a cardiologist and an Advanced Practice Provider. The Advanced Practice Provider manages patients with individualized care plans by collaborating with the cardiologist.

Bashar A. Ababneh


Bashar S. Amr

General Cardiology

Jaime E. Barberena


Kevin L. Bernd

General Cardiologist

James P. Birkbeck

General Cardiologist

Chen Hoe Chow

Heart Failure Specialist

Matt Dittmer

Licensed Specialist Social Worker
Social Worker

Thomas J. Doyle

General Cardiologist

Craig F. Gernon

General Cardiologist

Alan F. Helmbold


Jack A. Jones

Interventionalist; Watchman Device

Donney W. Kastner

General Cardiologist

Gilbert Katz


John S. Plowden

Pediatric Cardiology

Zia U. Rahman


Seshu C. Rao


Steven E. Seals


Rashmi Thapa


Steven C. Watkins


Next Steps For Patients

Make an Appointment

  • To make an appointment at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, call (785) 270-4000.

See a Primary Care Provider

  • Call (785) 270-4440 to schedule an appointment with your Stormont Vail primary care provider.
  • Not a Stormont Vail patient? Call (785) 270-4440 to set up your first appointment with one of our primary care providers.

Check With Your Insurance

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to learn about coverage. Click here for a list of Kansas Insurance Company phone numbers and websites.


You can stay connected to Stormont Vail through our online portal, MyChart. The portal lets you schedule an E-Visit or appointment, renew prescriptions, view your medical records and test results, and contact your care team.

MyChart Login Learn More About MyChart

Next Steps For Referring Providers

  • If you are a Stormont Vail provider, you can send a referral through the referral work queue on EPIC.
  • If you are not a Stormont Vail provider, call (785) 270-4000 to refer your patient.