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Digital Imaging


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Gunnison Valley Health is committed to decreasing heart disease and related deaths in the Valley. Echocardiography is just one of our services designed to accomplish this.

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is also known as an ultrasound of the heart. This noninvasive test uses sound waves to create moving images of the heart beating and pumping blood. It also takes many different measurements of the heart.

A doctor uses these images and measurements to determine the health of one’s heart. When examining echocardiogram results, a doctor will ensure measurements are normal. The doctor will also check that all heart valves are opening and closing properly. Lastly, the doctor will check that the heart chambers are squeezing properly.

Who can benefit from an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram requires a referral or doctor’s order. This usually comes from a primary care physician (PCP) but can also be from a cardiologist. Common reasons for a doctor to order an echocardiogram are the following:

  • Previous or existing known heart disease
  • Previous heart treatment (medical or surgical)
  • Heart palpitations, rapid pulse or other irregularities
  • Family history of heart disease

Echocardiogram vs other tests

Two other heart tests are oftentimes confused with an echocardiogram: electrocardiogram (EKG) and stress echocardiogram. These tests, in addition to the echocardiogram, are offered here at Gunnison Valley Health and require a doctor’s order. They are noninvasive, yet they each have a unique purpose.

An electrocardiogram is a simpler test that measures the electrical function of the heart by taking a snapshot of what the heart is doing at the time of the test. A stress test, or stress echocardiogram, is a more in-depth test. This test has a treadmill component to raise the heart rate and is used to compare the heart at rest vs the heart under stress. To learn about all of our cardiopulmonary services, click here.

How to schedule an echocardiogram with our team

Once you have received your doctor’s order, ensure your physician sends the order to Gunnison Valley Health's Cardiopulmonary department. After we receive the order, the admissions team will ensure that eligible insurance may cover the cost of the echocardiogram. Once this is complete, a member of the Cardiopulmonary staff will contact you to schedule an appointment.

If you require further information, contact the Gunnison Valley Health Cardiopulmonary department at 970-641-7295.

Our team

Our Cardiopulmonary team at Gunnison Valley Health is dedicated to providing the best care for your heart and providing comprehensive services right here in the Valley..

Stetson Lusk BS, RCS, RVS Cardiovascular Sonographer

Stetson is in charge of the Cardiovascular Ultrasound Diagnostic testing for Gunnison Valley Health. This testing includes: Echocardiograms, Stress Echocardiograms, Exercise Stress Test, Carotid Duplex, Abdominal Aorta, Renal Artery Duplex, Ankle Brachial Index, Upper/Lower Arterials, Upper/Lower Venous Deep Vein Thrombosis, Holter Monitors, Cardiac Event Monitors, and EKGs. All of these tests are performed in Emergency, Inpatient, and Outpatient settings. Stetson also enjoys helping out with our patients in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab.

After completing a Bachelor of Science program from the University of North Georgia, Stetson went on to complete a certificate program at Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he received his clinical training as well as attended classes for ultrasound. Upon completion, Stetson then went on to be registered through Cardiovascular Credentialing International as a Registered Cardiac Sonographer and a Registered Vascular Specialist.

Stetson was born in Georgia and lived there most of his life, but brought his family to Gunnison in April of 2018. When not at work, he enjoys the many different outdoor activities that Gunnison has to offer. He also really likes to eat buffalo wings as often as possible.