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Matthew C. Bunte, MD

Proactive Healthcare: Saint Luke’s Cardiologist Pushes for Change 


Modern medicine has made incredible strides, yet misaligned incentives impede the development of a truly proactive healthcare system. To address this issue, Matthew C. Bunte, MD, a leading Interventional Cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Health System, is spearheading a regional initiative. Bunte aims to transform healthcare delivery by shifting to an "ecosystem of proactive providers" that prioritizes preventing illness, not just treating it.  

Mitigating Risk, Improving Outcomes  

Bunte, a specialist in peripheral artery disease (PAD), advocates for a proactive approach. He emphasizes preventing PAD through healthy lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, healthy diet, and exercise. These strategies can also help prevent coronary artery disease and stroke. However, Bunte recognizes that socioeconomic disadvantage can hinder healthy habits and access to care, impacting PAD outcomes.   

“My research here in Kansas City seeks to identify the disadvantage of a socioeconomic situation as an influencer even after you get other issues addressed, such as diabetes and kidney disease,” Bunte said.  

Peripheral Artery Disease: A Silent Threat Needs Awareness  

PAD is a serious condition, yet many remain unaware of its potential for limb loss. Bunte emphasizes this critical gap in awareness: "There are too many people who are woefully unaware," he said. "Community awareness is key to seeking earlier care. Many specialists, even within cardiology, don't realize the strong link between PAD and future heart attacks and strokes," he reiterated. Recognizing this link is crucial, not just for preventing limb loss but also for overall cardiovascular health.  

Bunte advocates for increased public awareness campaigns, similar to the "Go Red" campaign for heart disease, to educate people about PAD and the importance of early intervention. PAD also presents a gender disparity, with men tending to seek care sooner than women.   

Collaboration Drives Progress  

Bunte emphasizes that systemic change in healthcare requires collaboration. “The barriers BioNexus KC has helped us pass are invaluable; no single stakeholder can do it alone. Hospitals need insurance, providers need specialists, and up and down the stream. I appreciate living in Kansas City because there is an alignment across the industry and a genuine investment in bringing all stakeholders together.”   

This collaborative spirit led to BioCare, a program incentivizing best practices and preventive care to improve health outcomes.  Bunte's focus on collaboration highlights the transformative power of a unified healthcare system, empowering individuals and communities to pursue proactive care. 

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