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Aurora Health Care offers enhanced cardiovascular services, rehabilitation areas in Washington County

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Aurora Health Care now offers enhanced cardiovascular services, from newly remodeled cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation areas with expert staff to experienced physicians and surgeons in Washington County.

"Cardiovascular services is just one area we are enhancing and expanding for our patients in Washington County," said Michael Marshall, MD, regional medical director for Aurora Health Care. "We have created comprehensive care for patients with our integrated care model, which ensures their care is seamless, whether they are seen at one of our clinics or our medical center.

"The cardiology services, stress testing and cardiac patient support groups at our various clinic sites complement our newly remodeled Aurora Medical Center in Washington County, and will enable us to serve more patients at the highest level of care."

Remodeled rehabilitation areas

"We have so much to offer cardiac and pulmonary patients, especially with the addition of some new, top of the line equipment and remodeled spaces," said Pam Feucht, RN, supervisor of inpatient and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services at Aurora's medical center in Hartford.

"In cardiac rehabilitation, we work with outpatients who have just been through surgeries or procedures involving the heart. A nurse and an exercise specialist work with small groups of patients three times a week. We monitor their heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturations, and we pay attention to how they feel when they're exercising at various levels. We also are in close contact with their cardiologist, surgeon or primary physician, depending on the procedure and diagnosis," Feucht said

"Our pulmonary rehabilitation program is unique in that there is not another one in Washington County. We serve patients with chronic lung disease to teach them proper breathing techniques, how changes in the weather can affect their breathing, and how they can recognize signs of upper respiratory infections. We work with patient families to educate them as well, and review each patient's progress every week," Feucht said.

Patients are important part of team

"We want our patients to safely and appropriately achieve their goals. They are most the important member of the team, so we review their goals weekly to make sure they are an active part of the team and that there are no unrealistic expectations set for the patient. We also are in close contact with their pulmonologist or primary physician, depending on diagnosis," Feucht said. "Once they've achieved their goal, we encourage patients to join our medically based fitness center, which also has been remodeled."

Community fitness center

"An added benefit for the community is that the fitness center in the hospital is open to the public for a monthly fee. Whether or not you have health issues, it's a benefit to work out in a medically based supervised fitness center. Our staff, who all have four-year degrees in exercise science, are always in the gym to check heart rate, blood pressure, and to speak with people about any concerns they may have," Feucht said.

For more information about the fitness center or rehabilitation program, call 262-670-7233.

A full complement of services

In addition to the newly remodeled rehabilitation areas, Aurora Medical Center in Washington County has an experienced vascular services team to address specific patient needs. It includes Laith Alsayegh, MD, vascular medicine specialist; Martin Crain, MD, interventional radiologist; and Thomas Derrig, MD, vascular surgeon. All three work with patients' primary care physicians, specialists and cardiologists for an enhanced level of care and the best outcomes.

Breakthrough technology

Patients also have benefit of the only 64-slice CT in Washington County at the Aurora Health Center in Hartford. This breakthrough technology allows physicians to view even the smallest arteries in the brain, heart and peripheral vascular system, and offers a number of advantages over traditional angiography. They include:

  • It's faster. The exam is15 to 30 minutes rather than four to five hours.
  • There's no recovery time. Patients can leave as soon as their exam is completed.
  • There are fewer risks, since an arterial puncture is not required.
  • It's less expensive.

Added benefits

Patient education is important to providers and patients at Aurora Health Care. In 2008, new programming will be launched that targets wellness and disease management for patients interested in learning more about cardiac health.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Sue Pierman (414-647-6432)

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