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Dr. Erick Avelar earns Fellow designation from American Society of Echocardiography

Athens, Ga. – Erick Avelar, MD, a cardiologist with Oconee Heart and Vascular Center, has been designated a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography (FASE).

Dr. Erick Avelar with a cardiac echo image

The Fellow designation recognizes those members who have fulfilled both the training and performance requirements that are necessary for certification through the national Board of Echocardiography. Attainment of this standard of practice recognizes that Dr. Avelar is committed to continued excellence in the field of echocardiography, as it applies to diagnosis and management of cardiovascular conditions.

Echocardiography uses sound waves to create images of the heart in motion. A painless test, it can detect the size and shape of the heart, and Doppler Echo can reveal how well the heart’s values are working and how effective the heart is at pumping blood. Echo tests also can help doctors assess tissue damage from a heart attack, find blood clots, detect fluid buildup around the heart, and more.

“Echocardiography is a vital tool in the diagnosis and management of a number of cardiovascular conditions, including heart failure,” Dr. Avelar said. “The proper interpretation of echocardiography studies can lead to more accurate diagnosis and assessment, which in turn results in better management of the patient’s condition to maximize their independence and quality of life.”

“Patients must be able to have faith in the knowledge and skills of their physicians, especially when dealing with potentially life-altering conditions such as heart attack and heart failure,” said Brittainy Horne, St. Mary’s Vice President of Strategy and Ambulatory Services, which includes St. Mary’s Medical Group and Oconee Heart & Vascular Center. “We are proud of Dr. Avelar for achieving the highest level of recognition in echocardiography.”

Dr. Avelar also holds Level III training in cardiac imaging. He earned Level III certification through Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Continuum of cardiac care

Echocardiography is part of St. Mary’s comprehensive continuum of cardiac services, including emergency and non-emergency balloon angioplasty and stent implantation, electrophysiology, defibrillator and pacemaker implantation and follow-up, diagnostic imaging (including MRI, CT and nuclear medicine, in addition to echo), stress testing, cardiac rehabilitation and specialist physician care for lifelong medical management. St. Mary’s is an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and is a Joint Commission certified Heart Failure Center.

Oconee Heart & Vascular Center is part of St. Mary’s Medical Group. It provides comprehensive heart and blood vessel care with offices in Athens, Greensboro, Lavonia, Monroe and Watkinsville. New patients are being accepted. As part of St. Mary’s, OHVC accepts most major insurance plans and Medicare. For information, call 706.389.3440 or visit

As the largest global organization for cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is the leader and advocate, setting practice standards and guidelines. Comprised of over 17,000 physicians, sonographers, nurses and scientists, ASE is a strong voice providing guidance, expertise and education to its members. The society has a commitment to improving the practice of ultrasound and imaging of the heart and cardiovascular system for better patient outcomes. Full text of ASE’s guidelines is available at For more information about ASE, visit or ASE’s public information site,

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