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Celebrate heart health this February

By: Hannah Blick, hannah.blick@gazette.com
February 2, 2016 Updated: February 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm
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Look for Heart Health features on gazette.com/heart throughout American Heart Month, sponsored by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.

We care about your heart; that’s why The Gazette is teaming up with Penrose-St. Francis Health Services to bring you stories of local heart health throughout February.

“We love to share our successes, because we know it motivates people in the community to keep their heart health in check,” said Robyn Stein, Director of Heart and Vascular System of Care for Centura Health’s South State Operating Group. Penrose-St. Francis is part of the Centura Health Heart and Vascular Network, the region’s leading provider of cardiovascular care.

“It’s important for people to understand how heart disease affects our community – it continues to be the No. 1 killer in the states,” Stein said. “Sharing these stories is a way we can spread the message of wellness and lifestyle change options that lead to health.”

Penrose-St. Francis houses one of the largest cardiac surgery centers in the state. “We have a lot of technology and human-resource power in house,” Stein said. “This means we can take care of our people right here with the highest level of services available.”

Not having to travel during a heart attack or other complications is crucial to survival for heart disease patients. “The emergency cases have a special impact on all of us,” Stein said. “We know many of those people would have died had they not received care here in Colorado Springs.”

The healthcare industry has made major advancements in managing cardiovascular disease in last 20 years. “It used to be, people would come to the hospital and have a heart attack and there was nothing we could do,” Stein said. “Now, we can stop it and often reverse the damage through minimally invasive procedures.”

Stein and her team of nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons and cardiologists are proud of not only their ability to save lives, but the success they’ve had coordinating complex and quality care for heart disease patients. “When we can save someone’s life and then truly help them on the road to recovery, it’s very rewarding work.”

For many cardiac health professionals, the significance of their role extends beyond the professional gratification. “Working on someone’s heart is a unique experience,” Stein said. “We see how it affects the whole person, even spiritually. There’s definitely a special bond we develop with these patients.”

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