By Karen Gorby
President and CNO, Angel Medical Center
We most often associate February with Valentine’s Day, but there’s something else that’s special about this month. It’s American Heart Month, and during this time, the American Heart Association, healthcare facilities and other organizations work to raise awareness about one of America’s most serious health challenges: heart disease. Angel Medical Center (AMC) prioritizes cardiac services, providing education to our community and patients about what we can do together to prevent the nation’s leading cause of death for both men and women. We offer cutting-edge treatment, cardiac rehabilitation services and education about how family history and lifestyle factors – like diet and exercise – affect heart health.
A dramatic patient story from this past summer illustrates the excellent care we offer to heart attack patients. A Raleigh resident who had a heart attack while visiting his family here was brought to our emergency department and was subsequently examined, diagnosed and on his way to Mission Hospital in Asheville via a MAMA helicopter all within thirty minutes. Amazingly, he’d received a cardiac catheterization and a stent (a small metal tube that keeps the heart’s artery open) before his family even arrived at Mission Hospital! This patient is now thriving, thanks to his family’s quick thinking and the medical expertise and compassionate care provided by AMC and Mission Hospital.
Our community is growing as a retirement center, and the number of us who are 55 or older is increasing. In our ongoing effort to match AMC’s services with community needs, we’ve carefully considered the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity as we plan our new facility.
Not only can patients be treated for heart attack symptoms and, if necessary, flown via MAMA helicopter for further treatment and lifesaving procedures at Mission Hospital, but AMC offers a multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation team to help community members and patients lower their chances of experiencing – or repeating – a heart attack. Our dietician, nurse, exercise physiologist and psychologist form this important care team. Together, they help recovering patients regain physical stamina, emotional strength and overall confidence about returning to their pre-heart attack activity levels. Our heart-focused technology, like cardiac monitors, allows us to monitor our patients in the safest and most advanced way during their rehabilitation.
Please come out to participate, support a participant or just learn about heart health and remember all we have in place at AMC to develop and support strong hearts and heart health.
Karen S. Gorby, RN, MSN, MBA, CENP, FACHE, is the President/Chief Nursing Officer of Angel Medical Center. Gorby is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). For nearly three decades, she has served hospitals and health systems in Ohio before assuming her role at Angel Medical Center. Gorby received her MSN from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine, and her MBA from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.