Good News - February 2023

COVER STORY 28 FEBRUARY 2023 Good News • South Florida Edition Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 650,000 people each year. Since February is American Heart Month, we’re featuring one man’s journey to heart health at Holy Cross, Broward’s only Catholic hospital, serving our community for 67 years and a leader in the prevention and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases. When Doug Wilkins, a 70+ year-old longtime active athlete in overall good health, began having chest pains, he took himself to the emergency department at Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale, where they ran a stress test. The test revealed that he had major blockages in three arteries and ended up having triple bypass surgery in September 2019. He participated in cardiac rehab at Holy Cross and in less than four months, graduated from that program. “I noticed a difference immediately after surgery,” he said. “I was feeling a lot better and that feeling continued as I participated in cardiac rehab. I didn’t realize how bad I was feeling until my heart was fixed.” Today, Doug is active, enjoying life while choosing to make lifestyle modifications. He quit smoking and is watching his sodium intake. He and his wife also work out at the Zachariah FamilyWellness Pavilion at Holy Cross. “Our team of 24/7 on-call Interventional cardiologists stands ready to perform emergency cardiac procedures,” said Holy Cross Health interventional cardiologist Joshua M. Purow, MD. “Our outstanding cardiovascular team, utilizing state-of-the-art technology, can treat any heart and vascular condition, especially in an emergency.” Doug’s success story is one of many to be celebrated in February for National Heart Month. The JimMoran Heart and Vascular Center at Holy Cross Health specializes in the education, prevention, detection, and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases and has a long, illustrious history of treating heart patients with the highest quality care Why does that matter? When it comes to affairs of the heart, time is of the essence. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the U.S. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease. “Early detection of heart disorders saves lives,” said Holy Cross Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Alexander Justicz, MD. “Don’t ignore the signs. You know your body better than anyone. If you think there is something wrong, see your physician.” Award-winning heart & vascular care Most recently, U.S. News &World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, named Holy Cross Health as a 2022-2023 High Performing hospital for eight conditions, including Heart Attack and Heart Failure, in recognition of care that was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes. This is the highest award a hospital can earn for these ratings, which are designed to assist patients and doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures. The extensive quality of care patients receive at Holy Cross is reflected by the certification the non-profit hospital’s cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program received by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines. AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. Holy Cross Health also has received the American Heart Association’s Get with The Guidelines-Heart Failure GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award for the hospital’s commitment to managing heart failure in patients. “This award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded in the latest scientific evidence,” said Holy Cross cardiologist Mikhailia Lake, MD. “The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.” Early detection of life-threatening heart disorders is possible through the use of Echocardiography procedures. Holy Cross is accredited in Echocardiography in the areas of Adult Transthoracic by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, which is only granted to facilities that provide quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review. The accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of Echocardiography. “The recognitions and certifications we receive are a testament to the incredibly knowledgeable, caring and compassionate healthcare staff at Holy Cross,” said structural heart disease specialist Alexander Llanos, MD. “They are a transforming healing presence, improving the health of those in our community each and every day.” Clinical cardiac research Holy Cross Health is also a leader in clinical cardiac research. “Through participation in trial studies, we continue to expand our efforts in offering innovative research studies to ensure the best possible longterm outcomes for patients in Heart Month Focuses on Affairs of the Heart Mikhailia Lake, MD, Cardiologist, Director of the Women’s Cardiac Program at Holy Cross Health L to R: Alexander Llanos, MD; Joshua Larned, MD; Elias Collado, MD; Felipe Albuquerque, MD. Photo credit: Justus Martin Photo courtesy: Holy Cross