Lipid Services

The Physician Partners - Metabolic Health Center offers consultation to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in the management of complex lipid disorders. It is not designed to substitute for the primary care physician or cardiologist, but to assist in the diagnosis and management of difficult patients. Consultation will be by referral only.


  • Lipid disorder consultation, including diagnosis and management
  • Advanced lipid testing as indicated
  • Cardiovascular risk stratification
  • Combination lipid lowering medications, including non-statin alternatives
  • Therapeutic lifestyle changes
  • Patient education
  • Nutrition counseling

Frequently Asked Questions

What are lipids?

Lipids are fatty substances that circulate in the blood stream, serving specific functions. Cholesterol and Triglycerides are the two main forms of Lipids that we test for in the blood to make sure they are not circulating in excess. When Cholesterol is found in excess in the circulation, it can cause plaques in blood vessels and contribute to hardening of the arteries, a process called Atherosclerosis, which can result in heart attacks or Strokes. When Triglycerides accumulate in excess, this can also lead to other complications including severe bruising (inflammation) of the pancreas, which can be potentially fatal.

How are Lipids transported in the blood?

They are carried around in the blood in spherical containers called “Lipoproteins” which then deliver them to various destinations as needed. When these containers become excessive in number, they can cause significant damage to artery walls and other organs.

What about “good” HDL and “bad” LDL cholesterol particles?

This designation of “good and bad cholesterol” particles arises from the direction in which these carrier particles deliver their goods in relation to the Liver: When the lipid particles are travelling away from the liver (toward various organs), they have the potential to accumulate in the artery walls & form plaque, hence the term “bad.” When the particles travel back toward the liver, they help with either breaking down the cholesterol or recycling it and hence the term “good..”

Who are Lipidologists?

A Lipidologist is a physician who has received special training in the diagnosis & management of Lipid disorders, assessment of heart attack/stroke risk and appropriate intervention. These physicians have passed a rigorous board exam, with special certification, attesting to their expertise in this field.

What services do we offer at the Lipid Center?

At the Lipid Center, we offer a highly comprehensive consultation that involves a detailed interview, special labs/imaging studies in appropriate patients, followed by thorough discussions regarding management and also a dedicated visit with our Dietitians. By the end of the visit, we will have arrived at a comprehensive plan using a tailored approach that fits the unique needs of our individual patients.

We also offer extensive education to our patients regarding the latest concepts lipid science, advancements in this field and also help clarify misconceptions in this field. We go the extra mile to ensure that the information we impart is science based.

What is our approach to patient care?

We have a highly evidence based, Individualized approach to our patient care, with the ultimate objective of significantly lowering the risks of heart attack and stroke in our patient population.

We understand that one size does not fit all and we strongly believe in robust physician-patient discussions, before arriving at treatment decisions. We encourage our patients to be actively engaged in their care, so we can be effective partners in their journey toward excellent health.



Information for Patients

Lipid Center Team


Nancy T. Smith, MS, RD, CDE, CLS
Registered Dietitian and Certified Lipid Specialist