The 12th Annual Hearts Of Hope ceremony was held by St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart on Wednesday. The Hearts of Hope campaign raises funds for the Cardiovascular Research program at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System. The Cardiovascular Research program provides local access to new treatment options available only through national clinical trials and studies, which aim for better detection, treatment, and prevention of heart disease.
“Hearts of Hope was started by Community Healthcare System with the intent of bringing the stories and testimonials to the community on how prevention, detection, and advances in detection can really save lives," Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center said.
The event this year featured a Heart Health Fair which included vendors from inside and outside the hospital who provided information on services available to improve heart health and prevent heart disease, as well as a physician presentation covering the latest treatments and heart related issues.
"In the area of cardiovascular disease some new technology regarding heart failure patients has allowed them to be monitored remotely for early detection of complications from heart failure. We're doing those procedures now here at St. Mary Medical Center and it's called CardioMEMS,” Ryba said. “So much of that was related to research and cardiovascular care. Those are not only lifesaving but increasing the quality of life for our patients and allowing them to live longer in their own home environment and reduce admissions."
Dr. Hussam Suradi, an Interventional Cardiologist with St. Mary Medical Center, specializes in Structural and Congenital Heart Interventions. Dr. Suradi gave an informative presentation to those in attendance about the advances in cardiovascular procedures and interventions.
“We’re talking about the burden of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Suradi. “It’s an education for our patients about what new technology we have to offer them to treat different aspects of cardiovascular disease including valve disease, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and patients with poor heart function. It was a quick overview of what we have in 2016 and what we’ll have for the future as well.”
“Things have changed dramatically,” Suradi said. “We’re doing more and more less invasive procedures to treat similar conditions that used to be treated with open heart surgery. Many of these patients were once declined any kind of treatment because they were older and sicker so now we have these newer options and alternatives that we can offer these patients. The results have been amazing. Patient’s quality of life has been improving and their survival has improved as well.”
"[Dr. Suradi] does a tremendous amount of structural heart work that no one else is currently employing so it's really a blessing that he's here in the region for us trying to advance as much care locally for patients as we can," Ryba said.
Rounding out the event was a tree lighting ceremony that featured one of Dr. Suradi’s patients, Jane Gordon, who shared her personal battle with heart disease and lit the heart-decorated tree with lights that shine in honor of those whose lives have been affected by cardiovascular disease.
“I feel so good,” said Gordon. “I’m doing a lot of things that I couldn’t do for years. I was so happy! I’m not short of breath anymore. I don’t even need oxygen. [Dr. Suradi] truly was my saving grace.”
The late afternoon ceremony also included entertainment from the Wolffgang Choir of Hobart High School.
To find out more about Community Healthcare System, visit their website at: https://www.comhs.org/