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For most of her life, Susan Apker has had cardiovascular issues.

“When I was three years old, I had open heart surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect (VSD),” said Apker. “I had a complete heart block during that surgery and have had pacemakers since, so I am consistently seeing a cardiologist.”

Apker has been seeing Dr. Wayne Leimbach, medical director at Oklahoma Heart Institute, for more than 10 years. “When I first started seeing Dr. Leimbach, I was in the beginning stages of heart failure,” said Apker. “In the spring of 2018, he referred me to Dr. Allen Cheng,... Read More »

Heart attacks in younger people are becoming increasingly more common, especially in women. This could likely be due to the increase in the prevalence of the risks factor for heart attack and stroke in young adults, according to Wayne Leimbach, M.D., medical director of Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“This was predicted to happen more than 15 years ago due to the obesity epidemic in our country,” Leimbach said.

Smoking also contributes to the upsurge because there has been an increase in the amount of women who smoke. Additionally, there has been a rise in consumption of fast food... Read More »

Please join us in welcoming Wendell Williams, M.D., our new cardiologist at Oklahoma Heart Institute. He is now seeing patients at our Muskogee clinic. Williams, who is originally from St. Louis, is a third generation doctor and led a cardiology practice in St. Louis for more than 20 years before moving to Jefferson City. For the last six years, Williams has called Muskogee home and he is now looking forward to his future with Oklahoma Heart Institute.

Dr. Williams is a cardiologist who specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and education of congestive heart failure,... Read More »

Jenn Jordan has struggled with her weight since she was a teenager. For more than 25 years, she was consistently trying to figure out what to do to get to a healthy weight for her body.

“I was always the heaviest one in my family, my group of friends or just a group of people in general and it was very frustrating,” said Jordan.

Jordan was very aware that her weight was an issue. “I was always trying to find a program that would work for me,” said Jordan. “When you are carrying this weight around with you all the time, you know it’s a problem.”

Trendy diet plans were... Read More »

Nora Connelly had tried what felt like every diet program on the market. While out shopping with her mother in Utica Square, she ran into an old family friend. Upon seeing her, Connelly was shocked at her appearance.

“When I ran into her, she was half the person that I’ve always known her to be,” said Connelly. “When I asked her what she had done to lose so much weight, she started telling me about the Health Management Resources (HMR) program that is offered through the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute.”

At that point in her life, Connelly knew... Read More »

84-year-old Jack Hoyt, a retired research chemist from southern Kansas, has been a Hillcrest patient for quite some time. Despite living more than 125 miles northwest of Tulsa, both Hoyt and his wife see primary care physicians at Utica Park Clinic. Hoyt’s son, Dr. Brad Hoyt, is an internist with Utica Park Clinic.

Hoyt has had two major heart procedures done at Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“My first procedure was a quadruple bypass in 2008,” said Hoyt. “During the procedure and hospital stay, I received excellent care. Then in July of 2018, I had a routine chest x-ray and was... Read More »

The holiday season can often be summed up in one word: indulgent. Offices are filled with gift baskets full of treats and parties are heavy on the seasonal sweets and hearty dips. While partaking in these dishes isn’t something you are doing on a daily basis, it can set you back in your diet when you are consuming more than usual.

Brook Hinton, health educator with the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute, and Susannah McCabe, registered dietitian with the Center for Diabetes Management at Hillcrest Medical Center, are sharing some helpful control strategies... Read More »

In the spring of 2018, long-time Tulsa resident John Bailey began to notice that he wasn’t feeling like himself. After several months went by and he still wasn’t feeling well, he ended up at Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“My first appointment was with Dr. Frank Gaffney, interventional cardiologist at Oklahoma Heart Institute,” said Bailey. “He discovered that one of my valves had collapsed.”

Following his consultation with Dr. Gaffney, Dr. Michael Phillips, cardiovascular thoracic surgeon at Oklahoma Heart Institute, performed surgery on Bailey. “Dr. Phillips replaced my mitral... Read More »

Information provided by Dr. Wayne Leimbach, medical director at Oklahoma Heart Institute.


There always seems to be questions surrounding vitamins. Are they really beneficial to take and if so, which ones and at what dosage? Recently, fish oil has been the topic of conversation and in fact, the REDUCE-IT trial that Oklahoma Heart Institute was involved in just uncovered some interesting findings.

The REDUCE-IT trial randomized 8,179 cardiovascular (CV) risk patients with known CV disease or high risk patients with diabetes and other CV risk factors who were already on... Read More »

In September of 2017, Missy Storm and her husband were in New Orleans celebrating his birthday. At the time, Missy was struggling with walking long distances, but she thought it had something to do with getting older and being out of shape. Storm had recently retired after a 40-year career in education, but the stress her body was experiencing was different than any she had felt before.

“When we were in New Orleans, I would be walking down the street and every 30 yards or so I would have to stop to catch my breath and let my heart slow down,” said Storm. “During our travels back to... Read More »