Shelley Sauter, director of capital and contracts at Hillcrest Medical Center, felt she was constantly trying new diets and health fads, thinking the next method might be the answer to sustained results. However, she continued coming up short. Sauter was stuck on the first page of her weight loss journey, having to rewrite the same chapter over and over again.

“Through the years, I watched the scale slowly increase, and each pound symbolized a new milestone,” Sauter said. “I kept asking myself, ‘What is the limit?’, but nothing ever changed. Every day was a new day with a new weight... Read More »

Fifteen years ago, Gene Mills, 73, began experiencing his heart beating out of rhythm.

“If I laid in bed it would keep me awake,” said Gene. “I slept in a recliner for years. When my heart would beat out of rhythm, I would become tired and winded quickly. Early on exercise would stop it but later on exercise made it worse.

After appointments with rhythm specialists, in 2005, he received a diagnosis. Mills had an atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.

“The doctor told me that my atrial flutter was dangerous and that I needed to take care of it right away,” Mills shared... Read More »

While the global spread of COVID-19 has made a tremendous impact on everyday lives, Oklahoma Heart Institute’s (OHI) commitment to your health and safety remains unchanged. To continue in our vigilance to protect you and our staff from infection, the following practices have been implemented at all OHI locations.

ENTRANCE: Everyone who enters a Oklahoma Heart Institute facility has their temperature checked. This applies to every physician, staff member, patient, guest and vendor. To prevent the spread of any germs, everyone is provided with an ear-loop mask. All are required to... Read More »

Heart valve disease is one of the most common cardiac issues. Would you believe us if we told you as many as 11 million Americans are currently living with the disease?

Unfortunately, not many people know about heart valve disease. According to a recent study, three out of four Americans know little to nothing about heart valve disease. Let’s change that statistic.

Healthy heart valves keep blood flowing in the right direction while carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body. Heart valve disease is caused when one or more of the valves doesn't open or close properly, which... Read More »

Americans sit an average of 10 hours each day.

Let that sink in.

Extended sitting, whether it be at a desk, behind the wheel or in front of a screen can put serious strain on your heart. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other heart-related problems.

Take a look at your work day or even your typical day off. If you can’t remember when you got up from the chair or couch, then it’s time to get moving.

The best thing you can do to counteract the harms of sitting is to get up every... Read More »

Celebrating the season to be merry with too much alcohol can put your heart health at risk.

Overindulging in alcohol can result in an irregular heartbeat, according to Wayne Leimbach, M.D., medical director of Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“Too much alcohol intake can trigger a holiday heart event,” said Leimbach. “Holiday heart attacks are heart rhythm disturbances often triggered by excessive alcohol intake. Some can be lethal, but more commonly, many can change your holiday plans to a stay at the hospital.”

Leimbach encourages individuals to keep their alcohol intake to... Read More »

It may be the most wonderful time of the year – but not always for your heart.

“The holidays are a time for being with our families and a time of joy for many,” said Wayne Leimbach, M.D., medical director of Oklahoma Heart Institute. “But, because of the stress, fatigue and frequent overindulgence, the holiday season can also trigger heart attacks.”

Studies suggest more cardiac emergencies happen during the winter holiday season (December and January).

There are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of holiday heart attack, according to Leimbach.

“... Read More »

Millions of Americans have diabetes and yet are unaware of their condition. However, that was not the case for Oklahoma native Robert Amey who had two siblings suffer from this condition.

“I’m the oldest of six children and two were diabetic,” Amey said. “I lost both of them.”

Amey’s youngest brother was born with both diabetes and epilepsy; complications eventually resulted in his death as a young man. His other brother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes early in his adulthood.

“He didn't really take care of himself like he should,” said Amey. “One day he took an... Read More »

Deciding to change is hard. It’s even harder to make that decision, stick with it and improve your life.

Oklahoma native Wanda Vogel, 68, knew how hard it can be to change your path. She had the warning of prediabetes and a registered dietitian daughter pushing her to change, but none of that was enough to break the cycle of failed attempts to enact positive change. It wasn’t until a referral to an Oklahoma Heart Institute endocrinologist and a call from the comprehensive diabetes program staff that Vogel decided this was her chance.

“It was the first day they were open and I... Read More »

Sandra Tinker was in her mid-40s when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“It was a surprise, although I knew it ran on both sides of my family,” Tinker said. “I just never thought about it.”

Prior to her diagnosis, Tinker was always tired and had little energy.

“I wanted to sleep all of the time,” Tinker said. “My doctor took a blood sugar test and that’s when I learned I was diabetic.”

Following her diagnosis, Tinker continued to receive care from her primary care provider, until she sought out an endocrinologist in the Tulsa area.

Tinker felt the... Read More »