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Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is frequently characterized by a fluttering sensation in the chest. It is a type of irregular, often rapid heartbeat resulting from the atria beating out of sync with the ventricles. While AFib itself isn't immediately life-threatening, it can elevate your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.

David Sandler, M.D.

David Sandler, M.D. is an electrophysiologist at Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI). He shares risk factors for AFib, what issues the irregular beat can cause and how to avoid AFib. Mike Roberson, a patient with OHI, reflects on his... Read More »

Lauren E. Stegemann, APRN-CNS, is an advanced practice provider in Oklahoma Heart Institute’s cardiac interventional unit. The Tulsa native has worked at OHI since 2010, when she completed nursing school. She started in the cardiac catheterization lab, and then moved into her current role in the interventional unit in 2017 after receiving her advanced practice degree.

“I always enjoyed the sciences, and I was exposed to interventional cardiology growing up, so my current position was a natural outcome of that.” Stegemann said. 

Working with hospitalized patients and... Read More »

After more than 25 years in cardiology, Georgianne Tokarchik, APRN-CNS, continues her passion in her chosen field. The Tulsa native serves as coordinator of the Valve and Structural Heart Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI). Tokarchik's interest in medicine sparked early in her life, when she discovered her love of service to others.

“I was always drawn to wanting to help people and loved how I could do that through nursing,” said Tokarchik. “I went into cardiology because the heart is an amazing organ. I especially love the unique and ever-changing field of structural heart... Read More »

In January of 2022, after her doctor brought up concerns about heart problems and breast cancer related to her weight, Virginia Strate started on a journey to lose 50 pounds.

“I have struggled with weight and my weight has gone up and down since childhood. I noticed it had become harder to lose and my plateau weight had gotten higher and higher,” said Strate. “I heard about the program at Oklahoma Heart and I researched it and decided to contact them.”

Slowly but surely, Strate started to lose weight by following the diet and exercise guidance provided by the program.

... Read More »

When young nurses, interns and residents need questions answered on the fourth floor of Oklahoma Heart Institute, they will often turn to one person: “Mama Di.”

Diana Haley, 68, started working at Hillcrest Hospital in 1974 as a nurse’s aide while enrolled in the Hillcrest School of Nursing. After graduation, she became a registered nurse, focusing on cardiology. Outside of six years of managing the cardiac catheterization lab, she has been a mainstay in the Heart Telemetry Unit at Oklahoma Heart Institute.

During her 47 years of nursing, Haley has seen many changes around... Read More »

(March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI) would like to thank our physicians for the dedication and passion they show for their patients. In honor of National Doctors’ Day, we spotlighted cardiologist, Daniel Kupsky, M.D.)

Dr. Daniel Kupsky, non-invasive cardiologist and computerized tomography (CT) imaging medical director joined OHI in October of 2022. After working in Texas, Minnesota, Michigan and California, he decided to move closer to family by settling in Tulsa. 

Dr. Kupsky's education includes a medical degree from the University of Texas at Houston... Read More »

The Oklahoma Heart Institute structural heart and advanced heart failure teams recently performed the first AccuCinch left ventricular restoration procedure in Tulsa. This innovative procedure, which is being evaluated in the CORCINCH-HF research trial, has the potential to help patients with congestive heart failure by implanting a device in patients with an enlarged left ventricle, helping shrink the size of the left ventricle, reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and potentially increase life expectancy.

Kamran Muhammad, M.D. and David Meggo, M.D. from OHI spoke to KOTV -... Read More »

There are seven ways you can improve your heart health and decrease your risk of heart-related illnesses and complications, no matter your age or lifestyle. Christopher Allen, M.D., interventional cardiologist at Oklahoma Heart Institute, shares these tips.

1. Stop or decrease smoking

Risk factors from smoking include heart disease, chest pains, heart attack, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, damaged heart tissue and heart failure. Your risk for cardiovascular disease and disorders decreases substantially when you stop smoking.

“If you are a smoker, you should stop.... Read More »

Amy Rea is being called a walking miracle. After an hour in cardiac arrest, her pulse returned thanks to a tireless, determined and dedicated team of professionals at Hillcrest Hospital South performing non-stop CPR.

After she collapsed at work, first responders brought her to Hillcrest, where she went into cardiac arrest. Ankit Chothani, M.D., an interventional and peripheral endovascular cardiology specialist, treated her for a suspected pulmonary embolism while several other staff gave her chest compressions for about an hour to revive her.

Click here and watch the video... Read More »

Alcohol can significantly affect multiple organs in the body and disrupt some normal patterns in sleep and blood pressure. Alcohol’s effects on blood can also affect the heart.

Frank Gaffney, M.D., is a noninvasive cardiologist with the Oklahoma Heart Institute, and director of cardiology at Bailey Medical Center. He shares three ways that lowering or eliminating alcohol consumption can change the body:

1. Lowers blood pressure

“If you are a regular alcohol consumer, your blood pressure has a tendency to trend up,” said Dr. Gaffney. “Getting off of alcohol changes that... Read More »