Dr. Perry Frankel

Sean Adams/WCBS 880

Stories From Main Street: Long Island Cardiologist Making 'Heart' Calls

March 18, 2019 - 10:47 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — One cardiologist from Long Island is taking house calls to a whole new level.

“We basically bring in the cardiologists to the patient,” said Dr. Perry Frankel.

In this week’s Stories from Main Street, Frankel tells WCBS 880’s Sean Adams how he’s managed to convert a mobile home into a medical office.

“It drove me crazy when 80 percent of people that have a stroke never get a warning sign and three quarters of them don't know they have a carotid blockage,” Frankel explains. “American Heart Association – big study in 2016 –  almost half of America, 45 percent of people in America, when there’s a doctor on every block, have a heart attack, don't know it, have tripled the risk of dying.”

So, he took matters into his own hands by bringing the doctor to the people.

“We get a lot of people that are afraid, don't go near doctors, which a much higher percentage than you think,” he says.

Adams was able to catch up with him as he was set up outside of City Hall in Yonkers, catering to municipal workers and unions. He reports that the mobile home is fully equipped with curtains, cubicles, a reclining bike for a stress test and plenty of diagnostic equipment.

“We can look at the carotid arteries. We can do a sonogram of the heart. We can do a stress echo –  first bus that I know in the country that can do that. We can check for abdominal aortic aneurysms. We can check for blockages in the legs, if people of diabetes,” Frankel says.

Dr. Perry Frankel's cardiology bus
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

The cardiologist says he frequently finds undiagnosed potential killers.

“We had a police officer, a lieutenant in Mount Vernon, 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, looked like the picture health. He had diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol – we did a sonogram of his heart, his heart was pumping a third of normal,” the doctor explains.

He says he does often run into reluctance from patients, but showing them how much he cares helps them to open up.

“A lot of them don't want to do it at first, said there’s nothing wrong with me. Once you speak to them and they know you care, they tone down, border defenses come away,” he explains.

And on the weekends, the mobile cardiac unit provides pro bono visits.

“I grew up in East New York and then Canarsie. So on weekends, we work for communities, we go to communities of need,” Frankel says. “And when we see people in the communities, with or without insurance, nobody gets turned down.”

Dr. Frankel hits the road throughout New York and Florida but has plans to expand his services.

He says: “I want to take this national, I want to have other doctors work with me  and bring it out to the community. Make house calls to the masses, except we’re making heart calls to the masses.”