Taking cardiac health to heart
Valentine’s Day is Giving Hearts Day
Finding the confidence to return to normal life and a daily exercise routine can be a difficult journey for someone who recently experienced a cardiac episode. First Care Health Center’s (FCHC) Cardiac Rehab program is there to help.
Patients who have undergone heart procedures including cardiac bypass surgery, cardiac stents, valve repair or a heart attack are often referred to the rehab program by their healthcare professional, as well as patients with congestive heart failure. According to Linda Seim, RN, director of the cardiac rehab program at FCHC, during each session the patient is connected to monitoring equipment in order to observe the effect of exercise on their heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure. They also receive education on proper diet, stress management, handling medication and smoking cessation for those who haven’t yet kicked the habit.
“We have a lot of referrals,” Seim commented. “We emphasis to people who have the opportunity to do cardiac rehab, they should do it. It allows them to do an exercise program under supervision so they know that their heart is tolerating it well. It gives them the confidence to continuing exercising and living heart healthy when they return to normal life.”
Experiencing extreme physical fatigue while working outdoors last summer, Lynette Langerud went to FCHC where she was referred to Sanford Health. Too exhausted to complete a stress test, an angiogram revealed 90 percent blockage in four arteries. The diagnosis was hard for the Edinburg woman to believe because she had no previous heart problems and no pain accompanied the fatigue.
“At the time I had heard ‘you will feel this terrible pain,’ but I didn’t have that,” Langerud said. “It was a new experience that I would never want to have again. I certainly encourage anyone who experiences anything out of the ordinary to get attention right away.”
After having quadruple bypass surgery in Fargo, Langerud was thankful to get a second chance at life. She participated in the cardiac rehab program at FCHC and found it very beneficial.
“I got back to Park River for therapy and they did such a wonderful job,” Langerud said. “It was such an encouragement to have Linda and her staff to keep me going in the right direction and not give up on me.”
Following 26 cardiac rehab sessions, she continues to exercise regularly and attends Bone Builders at the Edinburg Community Center twice a week.
Valentines Day is
Giving Hearts Day
FCHC’s Cardiac Rehab program will receive much needed updated educational materials as well as an upgraded monitoring system and new exercise equipment in the near future thanks to Giving Hearts Day which will be held on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. The theme for this year is Give From Your Heart on Valentine’s Day.
Giving Hearts Day is a 24-hour online fundraising event created by Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF). The event allows people to make online donations to non-profit organizations through the impactgiveback.org website. The foundation matches all donations of $10 or more (up to $4,000) made through the website that one day only, beginning at midnight and continuing throughout the day until 11:59 p.m. Additionally, First United Bank has pledged to match up to $7,500, raising the total to $11,500 in matching funds.
“We are so fortunate that First United Bank has decided to get on board this year,” Ruth Jelinek, marketing/development coordinator at First Care said.
This is the sixth year First Care has been chosen by DMF to participate in the fundraiser. In addition to the matching funds, FCHC also has the chance to earn additional incentive grant funds from DMF for being the non-profit to raise the most money through on-line donations, receiving a donation from a donor living the furthest distance in the United States, receiving donations from the most donors and receiving donations from the most states.