Tag Archives: Cardiac Rehabilitation

Hello #HeartMonth

BW ARA labcoatThe OhioHealth Women’s Heart & Vascular Program CME event on Saturday 1/30 was a fabulous kick off to February ~ Heart Month ~ which includes #WearRedGoRed for Women Friday February 5 and the Go Red for Women Luncheon here in Columbus on Thursday February 25 to benefit the American Heart Association.

We appreciate the American Heart Association support for the conference (see registration table photo below) with Red Dress pins, wristbands, and great Know & Go cards for participants.

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The morning event at the McConnell Heart Health Center brought together health care professionals interested in learning about Women’s Heart & Vascular Health; from Heart & Vascular physicians with keynote presentation from Dr. Ana Barac discussing CardioOncology.

Dr. Mary Alton gave a great opening lecture on Women & Heart Disease, including Yentl syndrome.  She covered cardiac testing for women ~ or how can we choose the best way to learn about a woman’s heart function.

Dr. Barac presented current research in how to protect women’s hearts during chemotherapy for cancer; as well as the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and other risk factors that weaken a woman’s heart function when going through cancer treatments.

IMG_6674The OhioHealth Women’s Heart & Vascular Pregnancy Predicts Risk Program ~ why was this started & what’s a risk from pregnancy? was introduced by Dr. Laurie Amburgey, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and discussed by Dr. Ashley Chambers, Internal Medicine. Both providers discussed the fact that a woman’s heart risk with pregnancy issues like pre-eclampsia doesn’t stop with delivery of the baby. Dr. Chambers told us about the OhioHealth program to be sure women have appropriate risk factor management in the years after having a pregnancy that predicts Heart Risk.

Dr. Joddi Neff with Riverside Radiology and Interventional Associates gave a great “Ask the Expert” session on Vascular Medicine – (a big topic that could have its own conference) and focused on risk of blood clots with hormone therapy, and management of venous diseases for women.

Faculty & Course Director Clockwise from bottom left: Dr. Alton, Dr. Nicholson, Dr. Amin, Dr. Rock-Willoughby, Dr. Chambers, Dr. Amburgey, Dr. Neff-Massullo, Dr. Barac, Dr. Albers

Women’s Heart & Vascular CME Faculty 
Clockwise from bottom left: Dr. Alton, Dr. Nicholson, Dr. Amin, Dr. Rock-Willoughby, Dr. Chambers, Dr. Amburgey, Dr. Neff-Massullo, Dr. Barac, Dr. Albers (Course Director)

Dr. David Nicholson and Dr. Jayme Rock-Willoughby with OhioHealth presented the session “From ER to CR” highlighting the “Nose to Navel” goal for early EKG for women with symptoms occurring in that anatomical range, and the Women’s Cardiac Rehab programming launched at the McConnell Heart Health Center in 2015 ~ an effort to get more women through Cardiac Rehab.

Dr. Anish Amin, a Heart Rhythm Specialist closed with an excellent talk on Women’s risk for stroke with atrial fibrillation (a heart arrhythmia).

More to come with take home points for patients from the morning sessions.




Lexie Sines, with OhioHealth CME

Heart Health Doctors go to Washington DC

BW ARA labcoatThe American College of Cardiology (ACC) is home to nearly 50,000 cardiovascular care team members including your Heart Health Doctors. I spent 3 days last week in Washington DC with ~ 400 other ACC members who took time away from their patients and practices to visit Capitol Hill together on October 20 and educate our legislators about heart health.

  • HeartHealthDocs goal is education to gain knowledge and maximize heart disease PREVENTION. James Madison’s words can apply to knowledge used to defend against heart disease and optimize heart health:

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Photo above: Library of Congress, Madison building inscription.

Last week I learned more about how our government works; and had the opportunity to talk heart health and present the ACC message to 4 legislators from Ohio: Senator Sherrod Brown’s Legislative Fellow LaTasha Lee, PhD, MPH, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty’s Senior Legislative Assistant Donnica Hawes-Saunders, JD, Congressman Patrick J. Tiberi’s Legislative Correspondent Abigail Finn, and Congressman Steve Stivers’ Legislative Assistant Taryn Dorfman.

The ACC advocacy priorities are inspiring by necessity; despite a 50% decline in heart and vascular related deaths over the last 40 years, heart disease remains the #1 killer in the US (and the world), accounting for 1 in 4 deaths in America (ACC).


ACC strives to create a value driven health care system, ensure patient access to care and cardiovascular practice stability, promote the use of clinical data to improve care, foster research and innovation in cardiovascular care, and improve population health and prevent cardiovascular disease.

The specific ask for our representatives is 4-fold:

  1. Support legislation to expand patient access to CARDIAC REHAB – by maximizing cardiovascular care team members’ work and programs.
  2. Promote the usability of electronic health records; to maximize your cardiovascular specialists’ time and energy focused on patients’ cardiac health, not on the computer.
  3. Support new funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration ~ where funding levels have remained flat for the past 12 years.
  4. Work with medical specialty societies to develop alternative payment models for effective and efficient patient care.

Read more about the importance of Cardiac Rehab here, only through research will we find ways to manage heart disease and promote heart health; without usable workflow, our cardiovascular care team members are limited both in access for patients and range of services offered.

The trip was full- great education and inspiration. October 20 was a remarkably successful legislative day for heart health not just for Americans in general, but also for those of us walking the hill. I logged > 18,000 steps on my pedometer on Tuesday.

Photo is at the 7 am start for the day on Capitol Hill – 


A great prescription

BW ARA labcoatWe have written and posted about the heart health benefits of exercise at HeartHealthDocs – including programs like Cardiac Rehabilitation (Rehab)

heart to start book. In the book Heart to Start, Dr. James Beckerman, a cardiologist who lives in Portland, Oregon, writes a detailed prescription for anyone to use to start living heart healthy. The gut-check forward “What’s your legacy?” written by David Watkins is followed by patient examples, vignettes, and Beckerman’s own personal reasons for the book. The Warm Up, Work Out, Cool Down sections echo a training session, and take the reader through the paces – the what, why, how, for fitness assessment and growth toward heart & circulation health.

The chapter Cardiac Reboot asks “Got Rehab?” and points out the current reality that if you (the patient) don’t bring up cardiac rehab, “it is possible no one else will.” This relates to the low numbers (20-30%) of eligible patients being referred to cardiac rehab, and of those only 40% actually completing this effective treatment regimen.

Beckerman goes on to provide readers a toolkit for being active, while showing how an active lifestyle can be habit forming – and be maintained for years (ie. how not to get injured). The book will get you to your 5K and its finish & beyond, and will teach how nutrition, training, and balance (ie. strength conditioning in addition to walking/running) work together.

Dr. Beckerman gives powerful examples of what motivates him – for the book, and for his practice which includes the PlaySmart heart screening program. The proceeds from the sale of his book will support free heart screenings for kids.  The book will help anyone learn about and apply practical, inspiring information for exercise and heart health. A great way to multitask.