Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Your Heart and You

A free seminar from Sentara Potomac Hospital

Dr. Summer Abdel-Megeed, a board-certified internal medicine physician, will discuss the medical definition of heart disease and how you can slow its progress by managing your cholesterol, blood pressure, pre-diabetes/diabetes and other risk factors, with particular emphasis on ways women can keep their hearts healthy.

Join us on Thursday, February 9, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., at Westminster at Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive in Lake Ridge. Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beating the Clock

Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital provides fast, lifesaving care to its first heart attack patientMarcel Huard is living a healthier life after being treated at Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital. He credits the team with saving his life.

“I think I’m having a heart attack.”

Those were the seven words Woodbridge resident, Marcel Huard, said when he arrived at Sentara Potomac Hospital’s Irene V. Hylton Emergency Care Center. What happened after that, he says, was a blur.

“After I said that to the front desk person, the next thing I knew I was in a wheelchair with about six or seven people around me being rushed down a hall,” says Marcel. “It was instantaneous and it was like a TV show.”

One morning, the 56-year-old Air Force officer was just getting over a cold and, even though he didn’t feel very well, decided to venture to a local coffee shop. As he drove to the coffee shop he started to question his decision.

“By the time I arrived at the coffee shop I was feeling pretty bad and it wasn’t because of my cold,” says Marcel. “I was having severe pain in my chest and down my left arm.”

At that point, he drove himself to Sentara Potomac Hospital and uttered those seven words. [Editor’s note: if you ever feel chest pain, please stop and call 9-1-1]

“What Mr. Huard was experiencing was indeed a heart attack,” says Dr. Balbir Sidhu, a cardiologist at Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital. “The type of heart attack he had is called a STEMI, which is an acronym for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. When someone has a STEMI, the coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart, is completely blocked by a blood clot.

“When this happens, time is of the essence. We took Mr. Huard into the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the Heart and Vascular Center and performed an interventional procedure to place a stent into the blocked artery. A stent is a small tube that we insert into the artery to open up the blockage and allow blood to flow through to the heart. Without the proper blood flow, a heart virtually dies.”

Before the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital opened in May, patients like Marcel would have had quite a different experience.

“In addition to a team of expert clinicians our new center offers advanced treatment of cardiac and vascular conditions utilizing state of the art technology,” says Tricia Hill, MSN, R.N., senior director of Nursing. “In the past, patients experiencing STEMIs required emergent transfer to an alternate facility. Now, at Sentara Potomac, it is a privilege to provide advanced life saving cardiac and vascular care for our community right here in our community.”

“My doctor told me that I didn’t have any time to waste,” says Marcel. “The time it took from when I walked into the door until the stent was inserted was only about 45 minutes. If I had to be transported to another facility, it may have taken too long. I’m so fortunate that the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center was able to successfully treat me.”

Marcel stayed in the hospital for two days after his procedure and is now back to his normal daily routine.

“My doctor told me that my heart suffered no damage as a result of the blockage,” says Marcel. “I’m glad so many people were ready to go when I got to the hospital.”

The Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital opened in May and offers residents in our community the option of receiving cardiovascular care closer to home, including interventional cardiac catheterization and other procedures to treat heart and vascular diseases.

Click here to see a guided tour of the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Measuring Your Heart Health

A free seminar from Sentara Potomac Hospital

At this free seminar, board-certified cardiologist Dr. Jason Morda will discuss the common and not so common tests that are recommended to determine your risk for cardiac disease. He’ll also provide information on important prevention techniques and the variety of treatment options available to you.

Join us on Tuesday, February 28, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital.

Register online or call (703) 221-2500.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Medicaid Statement From Dave Bernd CEO, Sentara Healthcare

We understand that Medicaid is a significant driver of costs in Virginia’s biennial budget. However, current Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospitals, nursing homes and physicians are having real and tangible effects on access to care and healthcare jobs in Virginia. Current budget proposals will make the crisis worse.

A Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) report says 14 hospital obstetrics units have closed in Virginia since 2003, due in part to historically low Medicaid reimbursements. Another hospital OB department and a 16-bed psychiatric unit are scheduled to close in 2012.

With those realities before us, we are grateful that Governor Bob McDonnell is open to earmarking future state revenues beyond projections for Medicaid. Unfortunately, even if the legislature approves that approach, higher-than-projected revenues are only a hopeful possibility in a stubbornly slow economy and not a solution to the Medicaid crisis.

Current proposals in the FY13-14 biennial budget would lower Medicaid reimbursements for hospitals to 59% of inpatient costs in 2014. Nursing homes currently lose an average of $15 per day on Medicaid recipients, who comprise 80% of some nursing home populations. Providers cannot keep absorbing these growing losses through internal cost-cutting without eventually affecting services.

Losing access to care for Medicaid recipients may have long-term effects on public health and the economy. In the end, Virginia’s poorest, sickest, oldest and most fragile citizens will suffer. However, loss of access to services affects everyone in a community, not just those on Medicaid.

With that in mind, we support a proposal for a study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission on the real effects of current Medicaid funding on access to care and healthcare jobs in Virginia. Virginia ranks 48th among the states in Medicaid reimbursements, even though Virginia’s healthcare system is acknowledged as an extremely efficient user of Medicaid dollars.

We applaud Governor McDonnell for listening to the VHHA and other healthcare leaders about the crisis facing Medicaid in Virginia. We hope the General Assembly will find a way to hold the line on current Medicaid reimbursements in the next biennial budget and not further jeopardize access to care by paying providers across the state even less.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Advances in Cataract Surgery

A free seminar from Sentara Potomac Hospital

Join Dr. Susan Majlessi, a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist, as she discusses new advances in cataract surgery. Cataract is a condition in which the lens of the eye turns cloudy and obstructs the passage of light. Left untreated, cataracts may cause vision problems that interfere with daily activities or blindness.

In the United States, 75 percent of those over the age of 60 show some signs of cataracts as a normal effect of aging. Fortunately, the condition is treatable with surgery.

Learn about your surgical options during this free informative event on Wednesday, February 8, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Spring Hill Clubhouse, 8946 Yellow Daily Place, in Lorton. Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Diabetes & Heart Disease Seminar

A free seminar from Sentara Potomac Hospital

Are you aware of the link between diabetes and heart disease? Did you know that heart attack and stroke strike people with diabetes more than twice as often as people without diabetes?

At this free seminar, board-certified interventional cardiologist, Dr. Kambeez Berenji, will discuss how diabetes affects the cardiovascular system and provide information about heart disease prevention and screenings that can help determine your risk factors.

Join us on Tuesday, February 7, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., in the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital. To register call the Health Connection at (703) 221-2500 or register online.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Special Heart Health Screenings Offerred at Sentara Potomac Hospital

Need to know your heart health numbers?

The American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology both recommend that all adults over the age of 40 have a baseline EKG. Register for Sentara Potomac Hospital's special Heart Screening which includes:

~Complete 12-lead EKG Reading (includes atrial fibrillation screening)
~Cholesterol Test
~Blood Pressure Check and
~A Heart Risk Evaluation

After the screening, participants are sent a pocket-sized card with an image of your baseline EKG on one side and essential emergency information and cardiac history on the other.

Upcoming Screenings:
Saturday, February 25, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Thursday, April 26, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Screenings are by appointment only and are held in the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital and cost $20. Appointments last about 30 minutes.

To schedule your screening, call 703-221-2500. These screenings are very popular and available appointments fill up quickly -- register today!