February 11-17 is Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. This is a week where we recognize the contributions of the staff in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute. These staff members work with patients to help reduce the effects of heart disease. To learn more about the cardiac rehabilitation program, we spoke with Tom Guhr, health educator with the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute.

 “Cardiac rehabilitation is a monitored exercise program,” explained Guhr. “There are specific diagnoses that take place in order for a patient to be eligible... Read More »

While living a healthy lifestyle is a major component in keeping a strong, healthy heart, it isn’t the only one. Did you know that a good night’s rest is just as beneficial to your heart health? People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, which is why professionals recommend eight hours of sleep at night.

The heart is directly impacted when you are not getting an adequate amount of sleep. Depending on your specific sleep issue, there are various preventive measures you can take to regulate your sleep schedule. In continuation of our American Heart... Read More »

A few weeks ago, Franklin Wall was at work when he started experiencing chest pains. “I was on my way to a meeting and about half way down the hall, my chest started hurting,” explained Wall. “By the time I got to the meeting, I was still in pain. I sat down and was fidgeting around a little bit, trying to get comfortable, but I couldn’t. The meeting started and as it went on, I started feeling worse. I was sweating quite a bit, so I leaned over on the chair beside me and was slumping down when a guy sitting a couple of chairs over from me asked me if I was alright. I told him no and that... Read More »

Janet Emde spent most of her adult life working in the corporate world. During her career, she traveled the world seeing great things, but doing work that never truly fulfilled her. On the last trip with her former employer, she was sent to India. While she was there, Emde caught a glimpse of the native women dancing in their saris and was inspired to take a chance on something she had never done. “It was like a wave of something came over me,” explained Emde. “All of the sudden, I knew I didn’t want to work at my job anymore. I wanted to go back to my hometown, Fairfax, Oklahoma, start... Read More »

A few months ago, Bill Trentham, a farmer in rural Oklahoma, experienced shortness of breath and immediately knew something wasn’t right. “During the first week of October, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, so I called and got an appointment with Oklahoma Heart Institute cardiologist, Dr. Alan Kaneshige,” said Trentham. “He explained that I had congestive heart failure and immediately referred me to the emergency room. He was kind enough to call ahead for me so I wouldn’t have to wait. I was given a room very quickly and had several folks start working on me. I was in the hospital for seven... Read More »

The holidays are a time of celebration, but for some, it can be very stressful. In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s easy to neglect our own self-care. For those with heart problems, it is an especially sensitive time of year. Research shows that deaths from heart attacks peak during December and January. Possible causes include changes in diet, increased alcohol consumption, cold weather, traveling and family matters.

Don’t let stress get the best of you this holiday season. Keep the following things in mind to stay happy and heart-healthy.

Make a Plan Manage... Read More »

For the first time in 14 years, a new set of blood pressure guidelines have been released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Previously, high blood pressure was defined with a reading of 140/90 or higher. Now, individuals with readings of 130 over 80 are considered to have high blood pressure, putting approximately 46% of adults in the United States in the category of hypertension.

Sounds like a lot of people, right? It is. But even with these overwhelming statistics, the hope is to reduce blood pressure levels nationwide using the new... Read More »

As a patient with diabetes, you are at an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which are contributors to cardiovascular disease. Obesity and weight gain are common factors as well, although they can be controlled by following a healthy meal plan and exercise routine.

Watching your fat intake is a major component of managing both heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats, sugary beverages, sweets, and controlling your carb intake can make all the difference. When you are meal planning, be sure to select... Read More »

We recently installed brand new ContextMedia Digital Wallboards in all of our exam rooms throughout Oklahoma Heart Institute. These wallboards allow our providers to utilize media graphics in a dynamic presentation when they talk to their patients. Providers can now show their patients 3D images of problems they have with their heart and what procedures they will be performing so the patient has a better understanding of their condition. “We are very exciting," shares Oklahoma Heart Institute Medical Director, Dr. Wayne Leimbach. "Our patients have thoroughly enjoyed these so far and it... Read More »

Oklahoma Heart Institute nurse manager Whitney Conley, BSN, RN, speaks humbly of her 21 years in nursing. Driven by always doing what is best for patients, Whitney has grown in her career on that singular focus, earning her team national recognition for excellence in patient care. “This is my mission,” she explains of her first job in health care that developed into her passion and career. “I see nursing as my meaning in life.”

It all began when Whitney graduated high school. “I needed a job,” she admits directly. “I worked at a nursing home after graduating high school and was... Read More »