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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Healthy lessons for a long life It’s not too late to adopt good habits By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer

watching their cholesterol and weight and checking their blood pressure, Nelson said. Grant funding ended in December, but many of the community members involved with the programs will carry on their efforts. Amber Taylor, 29, a local fitness instructor, was one of the fitness professionals who worked with local health officials to provide free exercise groups and events. Taylor’s own story of self-transformation and her desire to lead a healthier lifestyle are inspirations in themselves, Nelson said. Last spring, Taylor went on a trip with some friends. They were headed out for an evening in Chicago, but Taylor couldn’t find anything to wear because she had gained so much weight. She weighed 207 pounds — the heaviest she had ever

DECATUR — Local cardiologists said heart health is a topic everyone should endeavor to understand, and it’s never too early to start. It’s important to develop heart-healthy habits early on, said Dr. Jeanne Marie Kairouz, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants at St. Mary’s Hospital. Awareness needs to begin in childhood. Young children are dependent on their family environments in the process of learning and modeling good behaviors, she said. “It becomes a family effort,” she said. For children, in particular, it’s very important to instill healthy eating habits from the outset, said Kairouz. It’s important to eliminate unnecessary fats, sugars and other unhealthy substances from children’s diets and instill an appreciation of the concept of moderation. In terms of an active lifestyle, “life was meant to be in motion,” Kairouz said. “Children should be moving, children should be exercising.” Dr. Marvin Derrick, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Illinois Heart Specialists at Decatur Memorial Hospital, said people need to recognize that heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer. People are twice as likely to die from heart disease than they are from cancer, Derrick said. “I believe a lot of it has to do with our lifestyle,” he said. “Our children have to lead an active lifestyle, and we need to start feeding them properly right from the get-go,” he said. In adults, the habits of healthy eating and regular exercise remain the foundation of good cardiovascular health, but it can be difficult to exercise and make other healthy lifestyle choices because of a lack of time, Kairouz said. Lifestyle modification plays a large part in treating and preventing heart disease, said Dr. Madhu Jyothinagaram, a cardiologist with Illinois Heart Specialists. “It may be a disease of the elderly, because that’s when it manifests, but the disease process starts in your 20s and 30s.” It’s important for people to learn the basics of their system in young adulthood, maintain awareness about health habits and issues and engage in regular conversations with their physicians about cardiovascular health and risk factors, the doctors said. Starting at age 20, young adults should begin keeping tabs on their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and ask their doctors about other screenings that might be appropriate, the physicians advised. Know your numbers, said Dr. Theodore Addai, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants. “A lot of the times, it’s kind of silent,” he said of high blood pressure. Get those particular risk factors treated into the target range recommended by a physician. Know if you are overweight or obese, the doctors advised. There is no perfect calculation to measure for obesity, said Kairouz, but Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a calculation based on height and weight that can offer some insight.

OBESITY/PAGE 2

HABITS/PAGE 3

Herald & Review photos/Jim Bowling

From left, exercise physiologist Hannah Carlson shares a laugh with Larry Taylor and Jodi Pierceall while checking on Pierceall’s well being during a cardio rehab session at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Don’t be caught off guard Decatur woman knows debilitating effects of cardiovascular disease By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR — Jodi Pierceall was walking from her car into Wal-Mart in May of 2011 when she started feeling a pain she had never experienced before — a deep burn at the top of her chest. “I got this ‘burst’ when I went for my cart,” she said. Pierceall sat down and started sweating, something she attributed to the fear of the unfamiliar sensation. “I sat down there next to the Redbox,” she remembered. “That’s probably when I had the heart attack.”

Women at risk Dr. Anuradha Kolluru, a Decatur Memorial Hospital cardiologist, said awareness is increasing about cardiovascular disease in women, but many still don’t realize the prevalence, symptoms and risk factors of the disease. Campaigns such as the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women have increased awareness. Still, a lot of women don’t know that heart disease can be a problem in females, and some tend to underplay their symptoms, which can even lead physicians to miss the diagnosis, said Dr. Theodore Addai, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular.

Women’s heart disease risk goes up after menopause, said Dr. Jeanne Marie Kairouz, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular. On average, heart disease in women starts about a decade later than it does in men. Classic symptoms of a heart attack consist of pain and a sensation of pressure in the center of the chest. This can be brought on by physical activity but not always, said Kairouz. It’s important to be aware that not everyone who experiences a heart attack will experience these classic symptoms, she said. Atypical symptoms such as throat discomfort, jaw pain, unusual shortness of breath, or fatigue that is out of proportion to the situation, can occur in anyone, but women are more likely than men to experience them, she said. For any of these symptoms, or if heart trouble is suspected, seek medical attention promptly by calling 911. Don’t ignore any symptoms, said Kolluru. The process by which cardiovascular disease happens is a gradual one, and sometimes early symptoms can be more subtle and easier to miss.

The waiting game Pierceall, now 55, waited three weeks before seeking medical attention. She said she didn’t connect the burning sensation in her throat and chest to a heart attack. She said she thought it could be heartburn, which she had never had before. She took antacids, but the pain was like nothing she had ever felt

Heart attack survivor Jodi Pierceall receives a blood pressure check from Carlson while starting a cardio rehab session on a treadmill next to Taylor. before. Local cardiologists said Pierceall’s experience of initially waiting to seek medical attention for her heart problems is not that uncommon among women. Unfortunately, many women don’t realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States. According to statistics from the American Heart Association, heart disease affects more than 43 million women in the United States and kills one woman every minute. In the past 28 years, more women than men have lost their lives to cardiovascular disease.

When Pierceall eventually ended up in St. Mary’s Hospital emergency room, doctors told her she had had a heart attack sometime within the three weeks she had been experiencing the pain. During a heart catheterization, doctors determined that she needed a triple bypass. “They immediately sent me over to Springfield, to St. John’s,” she said. After her surgery, Pierceall went back to work at the day care job she loved. About seven months after her surgery, she remembered leaning over

WOMEN/PAGE 3

Macon County makes strides in fighting obesity Health Department takes wellness measures into the community

Herald & Review/Jim Bowling

Licensed zumba instructor Amber Taylor leads a fitness class in her garage at her Decatur residence.

By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR — Last year, the Macon County Health Department partnered with the American Heart Association to bring a variety of cardiovascular health programs to the community. Health educator Tayisha Nelson has been largely responsible for implementing grant funding from the association to offer a host of community programs and activities focused on heart health and awareness. Many of the programs worked in conjunction with the health department’s ongoing efforts to promote the overall health of the community. The department organized cooking demonstrations to provide people with tips on methods for healthy cooking using heart healthy ingredients. She contracted with fitness instructors to provide Zumba and other classes. The heart association also

funded a site for its Teaching Gardens program at Garfield Montessori School, which offered students a hands-on lesson about where fruits and vegetables come from. “You can grow something in your garden that’s really healthy for you, that can really benefit you,” Nelson said of the students’ lesson. “They were more apt to eat it and try it.” In addition to these programs, the department offered association-approved hands-only CPR instruction materials to residents. The health department also was active in bringing the Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke campaign into the community, partnering with local churches to provide information to congregations about how to reduce risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Community members were trained to talk to people about exercise, eating healthy,


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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2013

DECATUR, ILLINOIS

HEART 2

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Instructor Amber Taylor, front, is reflected in a garage mirror while leading one of her fitness classes.

OBESITY Continued from Page 1 been. Even simple and fun tasks would leave her out of breath. “I never would have thought, ever, that I ever would make it to 200 pounds,” she said. When she got back to Decatur, Taylor decided to start a healthy eating plan and to begin a workout routine. In her first week working out at the Decatur Family YMCA, Taylor met up with friends and they started doing Zumba, a Latin-dance exercise program, together. “I didn’t really like it at the beginning,” she said of the effort required to beginning a new routine. That same group started to hold each other accountable for healthy eating, and they began doing Insanity, another fitness program, in one of the empty workout rooms at the Y. People saw what they were doing and asked to join the group, which was not an official class offered at the Y. Eventually, the group grew to more than 30, many of whom lost 30 pounds or more, Taylor said. Taylor, a former dance teacher, started getting more involved in Zumba, and after one local event, an instructor approached her to ask if she would like to get certified to teach. Because of financial constraints, Taylor initially said no, but the instructor was so taken with her passion for the program that she paid for Taylor to get certified. Now, on weekdays, Taylor teaches workout classes at the YMCA, the Decatur Indoor Sports Center and her home, where she has converted her garage into a workout studio. Since starting her workout and healthy eating regimen, Taylor, a mother of three, has lost more than 60 pounds. She teaches an average of four high-impact workout classes a day. “I was still active, but I was just constantly gaining,” she said of the time before. Some of the people in Taylor’s family are overweight and have high blood pressure,

Taylor advertises her fitness sessions with a sign in her driveway in front of the garage where they take place. diabetes and heart disease, she said. Maintaining her weight and health are important for Taylor. “I’m going into my 30s,” she said. “I don’t want to be the statistic.” Taylor said she is living proof that it’s never too late to make a positive change. She hopes to get her personal trainer certification and continue to influence the health of the community in a meaningful way. “Even if you get to the point where you get so high in weight, it’s never too late to get on track,” she said. Nelson said the department's programs have provided her with the positive experience of seeing people's awareness of heart health and their commitment to healthy habits change. In a national health rankings study, Macon County placed last in the state for healthy behaviors and has consistently been ranked as the county with the highest rate of obesity for several years running. “You keep doing what you do, and they can see you change,” she remembered telling a woman who was making personal health changes. “That can help motivate someone else to change.” A lot of people know they need to do better and eat in a healthier way, but they don't know how, said Nelson. Having positive role models and community resources can make a real difference. “Now she's really on this roll with helping to motivate people to change their lives through fitness, and diet and exercise and all that stuff,” Nelson said of Taylor. The health department also runs a diabetes self-man-

Taylor, right, dances with Shumyria Neal to “Jailhouse Rock” during a workout in Taylor’s garage.

Recognize the signs Don’t ignore the signs or symptoms of a heart attack, doctors warn. “Be aware of whatever you may be experiencing, and if it is something that is unusual for you to be experiencing and/or starts to fall into a pattern … don’t hesitate to have that evaluated,” said Dr. Jeanne Marie Kairouz of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants. Any chest pain or unusual discomfort needs to be taken seriously, said Dr. Marvin Derrick of Illinois Heart Specialists. Because of the prevalence of heart disease, there

is a very real chance that a heart attack could be happening. “If you think someone is having a heart attack, I have three numbers for you — 911,” Derrick said. Don’t try to transport someone to the hospital. Get paramedics on the scene, as treatment can begin in the field, he said. “Time is heart muscle,” he said. “If you’re having episodes of discomfort in your chest, you’ve got to go in and see someone about it.” — ANNIE GETSINGER

agement program, which also deals with a lot o the risk factors related to heart disease. Nelson has also worked with the department to start a Teens Against Tobacco Use chapter. The group focuses on empowering young people to teach other youth and adults about smoking and the negative effects the habit can have on one's health. The Macon County Health Department is also on the committee to help plan the American Heart Association's upcoming Heart Walk in the spring, said department Director of Health Promotion and Public Relations Brandi Binkley Heart disease has been an important objective in the department's public health needs assessment and planning process. The recent grant funding from the American Heart Association was the second initiative on which the organizations have partnered in the past five years. The first was a program that focused on educating the public about the signs and symptoms of a stroke. In addition to the American Heart Association grants, the health department also is involved in a range of programming to help improve the overall health of the community. The department has partnered with agencies and organizations that target heart disease and other community health initiatives, taking the message to schools, churches and workplaces. “Change happens with individuals. When you can get individuals motivated to do something, then that can affect their families and even their communities,” Nelson said. agetsinger@herald-review.com|421-6968

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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2013

DIAGNOSTIC AIDS

Technology opens new doors Stent and imaging advances among new cardiac tools By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR — There have been many developments in heart care over the past several decades, local physicians said. New technologies have revolutionized care, and existing technologies have advanced and become more refined. The range of tests and screenings available has provided different ways to assess the heart and various risk factors for cardiovascular disease and allow physicians to better tailor their recommendations for preventive care and treatment, the doctors said. Dr. Christopher Cadman, a cardiac electrophysiologist with Illinois Heart Specialists at Decatur Memorial Hospital, will discuss his specialty, which deals with rhythm abnormalities of the heart, at an upcoming heart-health event at DMH. Cadman said doctors who treat arrhythmias often work together with physicians who treat cardiovascular disease — comparing the respective specialties to electricians and plumbers. Cadman said that approximately one out of every four people will have an episode of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia, at some point in life. There are many different types of rhythm abnormalities and many different causes, Cadman said, urging people to learn a little bit about these conditions as part of heart health awareness and see a physician if they experience symptoms such as a very noticeable decline in energy or frequent, sustained periods during which they feel as if they are having irregular heartbeats. Dr. Theodore Addai, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants at St. Mary’s Hospital, said coronary calcium score, a noninvasive, fairly inexpensive imaging test of the heart to see if there is calcium buildup in the coronary arteries, can be helpful. One disadvantage of the test is it can’t show how extensive the blockage is, but it does let people know they have this risk factor. A next step would be to assess the severity, he said. The best way to understand which screenings, tests, treatments and therapies might be best is to consult with a physician, as treatment and care are individualized and based on many different factors, local cardiologists said. Dr. Madhu Jyothinagaram, a cardiologist with Illinois Heart Specialists, said DMH

HABITS Continued from Page 1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a handy calculator on the web at www.cdc.gov/healthy weight/assessing/bmi/adult_ bmi/english_bmi_calculator/ bmi_calculator.html. Adults also should be aware of measurements such as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio. An abnormally large waist could contribute to higher risks for medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, Kairouz said. Many of the risk factors for heart disease are modifiable. People can stop smoking, lose weight, eat healthier foods, exercise and engage in a multitude of healthy habits to reduce their risks. “Smokers should stop,” said Addai. “If you don’t smoke, don’t start.” On average, the doctors recommended people engage in about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis. “Any amount of exercise is better than none,” Addai said. Having a family history of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses does come into play in many cases, Kairouz said. It is important to know if any family members have had high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and diabetes as well as heart disease and to share this information with one’s physician.

Herald & Review photos/Jim Bowling

Decatur Memorial Hospital cardiologist Madhu Jyothinagaram shares the cardiac PET/CT scan process, a technology recently acquired by the hospital that allows cardiologists to monitor blood flow and make blockage assessments in the heart. BELOW: a cardiac scan. recently acquired the technology to offer cardiac PET/CT scanning, a noninvasive imaging test used to detect heart disease. Coronary angiography, a test done during cardiac catheterization, is a more invasive way of assessing heart disease, but is the most accurate test available, Jyothinagaram said, adding that there are many situations in which it is indicated as the best diagnostic tool to use. As far as noninvasive options go, cardiac PET/CT scanning is around 90 to 95 percent accurate in detecting blockages — more accurate than the technology the hospital was using prior to its introduction at DMH, and there are many patients for whom this is a good option, Jyothinagaram said. The ability to do this type of testing came about with the hospital’s installation of a cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator that is used to produce the isotopes needed for the test. The isotope used has a half-life of about 10 minutes, Jyothinagaram, said, and it must be produced close to the patient having the imaging test. Having the technology available has helped the hospital offer a greater degree of accuracy in noninvasive imaging to detect heart disease — especially in certain types of patients such as women and people who are obese, Jyothinagaram said. Dr. Luis Caceres of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants said another noninvasive imaging test of the heart called a cardiac CTA, or computed tomography angiogram, has been another important advancement in assessing patients’ heart disease.

‘Any amount of exercise is better than none.’ Dr. Theodore Addai, a cardiologist Family history is most significant if the heart disease has occurred in male relatives before age 55 and female relatives before age 65, Jyothinagaram said. Dr. Luis Caceres, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, said the focus should be on instilling healthy habits in young people and working to make communities more conducive to heart-healthy activities. “Prevention is really the key,” he said. Knowledge is a huge part of the battle, Kairouz said. It’s important to give people the education and information necessary to lead the healthiest lifestyles they can. Once people understand what puts them at risk for heart disease, they have the power to take a step and change it. Derrick recommended that people go to the bookstore or look online for information about heart-healthy foods and habits. The American Heart Association is a good place to start and a trusted source of information, he said. “We only have one life to live,” he said. agetsinger@herald-review.com|421-6968

Caceres said there have been significant strides in the treatment of heart disease, particularly in the development of stents, tiny, springlike devices that are deployed in blocked arteries. Some are now being developed with medication, and Prairie is participating in a clinical trial related to a biodegradable stent. Dr. Marvin Derrick, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Illinois Heart Specialists, said the use of stents has progressed dramatically. The number of bypass operations

being performed — previously the No. 1 elective operation in the United States — has dropped off, but there are still patients for whom bypass surgery is necessary for the best outcome, he said. Great strides also have been made in the development of new medications to treat heart disease, Caceres said. “In cardiology, in particular, technology keeps developing with giant steps,” he said. agetsinger@herald-review.com|421-6968

DECATUR, ILLINOIS

WOMEN

HEART 3

to talk to a little boy one day. “When I stood up, I got this throbbing right here,” she said, gesturing to a spot between her collarbones. Pierceall ended up back in the hospital, where doctors inserted four stents. “And as a parting gift they gave me a pacemaker,” she said. Pierceall had done everything required of her — all the lifestyle changes related to diet and exercise — but still, the bypass failed. After that, she couldn’t work anymore. Seven months later, in July 2012, she felt a pain similar to the one that had landed her in the hospital a second time. The four stents had failed. Doctors inserted seven more. “I know I’m overweight and I have diabetes,” Pierceall said of some of the factors contributing to her heart disease, but she feels discouraged that some of the lifestyle factors she has changed have not done more to prevent these heart troubles. Pierceall said her doctors have told her that a strong family history is working against her in this case.

a supervised program to help people with heart disease recuperate after heart attacks, surgeries and procedures and stay on track. Some of the other people in the program also continue to struggle with the effects of the disease despite eating correctly and exercising, Pierceall said. There is a real sense of camaraderie among the early morning group, which meets three times a week at the hospital. “They’re all doing the same that I’m doing,” Pierceall said. “We’re just in different stages.” Pierceall said she is among the youngest in the group. “None of us have the same story,” she said. Pierceall said she works hard to maintain a hearthealthy diet and to exercise by walking and participating in the rehab program. She works in conjunction with her physicians to determine the safest and best programs to follow when it comes to eating and exercise. She said her personal changes have even influenced people she knows to adopt healthier habits. “It does affect everybody,” she said. “It really, truly does. You’ve just got to get the right information.”

Take charge of health

Something to live for

Continued from Page 1

Pierceall is not alone in her plight. Approximately 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for the disease. Kolluru said it is important for women to understand their risk factors and to develop a commitment to living healthy lifestyles to reduce risks. Fighting obesity, engaging in regular exercise, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use and maintaining a healthy diet are all things women can do to reduce their heart disease risk. Indeed, one bright spot in Pierceall’s fight against cardiovascular disease has been her participation in cardiac rehabilitation at St. Mary’s,

The

When Pierceall entered the hospital for her first bypass surgery, she was frightened that she was going to die. So she made a list of things she wanted to accomplish while she still had the time — a bucket list. Today, despite her health setbacks, she said she continues to work toward the items on that list and her own personal health goals. She has a lot to live for, and her children Zach, 23, and Abbi, 25, and husband of 28 years, David, give her a lot to live for. “I don’t even have grandbabies yet,” Pierceall said. agetsinger@herald-review.com| 421-6968

Secret Garden

Strength Courage Hope

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4 HEART

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2013

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DECATUR, ILLINOIS

Change eating habits, one bite at a time By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR — Maintaining a hearthealthy diet is an important part of the fight against cardiovascular disease. Local physicians and the American Heart Association offered their recommendations for small changes the average person can make to lead a healthier lifestyle when it comes to eating. Changing one’s eating habits might seem like a daunting task, but making even a few changes can make a real difference in a person’s overall health. “It seems like every month there is a new diet, there is a new fad,” said Dr. Madhu Jyothinagaram, a cardiologist with Illinois Heart Specialists at Decatur Memorial Hospital. As with many other aspects of health, moderation is an important part of healthy eating, Jyothinagaram said. Avoid eating processed foods, simple sugars and simple carbohydrates on a daily basis, limiting consumption to

once every couple weeks or so, he advised. Try to eat whole foods, choosing fruits, vegetables and grains as close to their natural state as possible. Meat is good for you, Jyothinagaram said. Choose lean proteins such as chicken or fish, and eat red meat in moderation. According to the American Heart Association, an average adult consuming 2,000 calories a day should aim for at least 4½ cups of fruits and veggies each day, at least three 1-ounce servings of fiber-rich whole grains and less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. In addition, the association recommended at least two 3½ ounce servings of fish and four servings of nuts, legumes and seeds each week. A person also should aim for no more than two servings of processed meats and fewer than 450 calories in sugary beverages on a weekly basis, the association advised.

Lots of vegetables and fruits in addition to whole grains, lean protein, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds all contribute to a healthy diet, experts say.

Fatty foods, as a general rule, are bad for the heart and should be avoided and eaten only occasionally, said Dr. Luis Caceres, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants at St. Mary’s Hospital. He recommended lean meats such as chicken, turkey and fish as healthier options than red meat, which tends to contain more fat. Fats coming from vegetable sources rather than animal sources tend to be healthier as far as the prevention of heart disease is concerned, Caceres said. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and whole grains is an important part of a heart-healthy diet, said Dr. Theodore Addai, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants. He also advised to bake and grill foods rather than frying them. Obesity rates are increasing in young people, resulting in earlier onset diabetes and increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease among children, teens and young adults. “In the younger ages, it’s the parents who have to get the kids to eat right,” Addai said. “I think it’s important even before we become adults.” Dr. Jeanne Marie Kairouz, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, said there are some foods people can introduce into their diets to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. Soluble fibers such as oatmeal and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in walnuts, almonds and fatty fish such as salmon, can work in the body to naturally modify their cholesterol in a beneficial way. Overall, aim to reduce the amounts of sugars, salt and saturated fats, the doctors recommended. The American Heart Association has information for healthy cooking, shopping and dining out in its online nutrition center at www.heart.org. agetsinger@herald-review.com|421-6968

Modern Tuna-Pasta Casserole 4 ounces dried whole wheat rotini Cooking spray 1 16-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables (carrot, broccoli, cauliflower), thawed 2 5.5-ounce cans low-sodium chunk light tuna, packed in water, flaked 1 10.75-ounce can low-fat low sodium condensed cream of chicken soup ½ cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed before chopped ½ cup fat-free half-and-half 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning blend ¾ cup low sodium whole grain crackers, lightly crushed ¼ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese Prepare the pasta using the

H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR — St. Mary’s Hospital has signed on as a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women awareness campaign, said hospital spokeswoman, Jessica Michael. In honor of American Heart Month, the hospital has been wrapping all newborns in blankets with special heart designs and giving out information about heart health to new parents. The hospital also participated in the campaign’s National Wear Red Day, encouraging staff at the hospital to wear red in support of awareness for heart health. The hospital also will host a women’s night out for heart health and a heart gala and Heart Walk in the spring. Watch the community calendar for more information. Michael said that with the hospital’s recently expanded cardiovascular services, it’s important to promote their availability within the community and expand awareness about heart disease. Obesity remains an important community issue and an area of focus for the hospital. Partnering with American Heart Association brings with it a wealth of knowledge and resources. “It helps us get the word out in a way that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” Michael said. nnn Decatur Memorial Hospital already has hosted several community events in recognition of American Heart Month. The hospital kicked off the events with a walking event at Hickory Point Mall, during which participants had the opportunity to talk to cardiologist Dr. Anuradha Kolluru about the importance of heart health. DMH also hosted its annual Hearts Around the World dinner Saturday, Feb. 2, in Cafe DMH, featuring an emphasis on South American cuisine and culture. Proceeds from the event will benefit the DMH Heart & Lung Institute. The hospital has planned a series of educational and screening events to get the community involved in learning about cardiovascular health. “We’re celebrating National Heart Month at Decatur Memorial Hospital by showcasing to the community our state-of-the-art diagnostic technology to detect heart disease and our expertise in treating heart disease through medical management, intervention and heart surgery,” said Robyn Reising, executive director of the DMH Heart & Lung Institute. “We have several community events and screenings in

February to help educate people to learn how to improve their heart health and lessen their risk for heart disease.” nnn Here is a list of other heart health related events planned by the hospitals in the coming weeks: WHAT: Dinner with a Doctor at Decatur Memorial Hospital featuring a talk by Illinois Heart Specialists cardiologist Dr. Anuradha Kolluru on women and heart disease WHEN: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 WHERE: DMH Classrooms A and B CALL: To register, 876-2850. nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital cholesterol screenings WHEN: 7 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 WHERE: South Shores Imaging Center CALL: 876-4377 nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital Diabetes Self-management Education Program WHEN: Feb. 7 to 22, class times vary; a physician referral is required CALL: 876-4249. nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital Day for Hearts featuring free carotid ultrasound screenings, heart-healthy refreshments, talks on electrophysiology and heart surgery, a Zumba demonstration, tours of DMH Heart & Lung Institute, Illinois Heart Specialists and DMH Lung Center WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 9 WHERE: DMH Classrooms and DMH Heart & Lung Institute CALL: To register, 876-2850. nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital Adult Weight Management program orientation WHEN: 4 p.m., Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 WHERE: DMH Wellness Center CALL: To register, call 8764249 nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital cholesterol screenings WHEN: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 WHERE: PrimeTime, 102 W. Kenwood Ave., Decatur CALL: 876-2191 nnn WHAT: St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lake Shore Connection Lunch and Learn talk on coronary heart disease with Dr. Luis Caceres of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 WHERE: Knights of Columbus Hall, Decatur CALL: To find out about

membership or make a reservation, 464-2511. nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital cholesterol screenings WHEN: 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 WHERE: DMH Family Medicine, 4775 E. Maryland St., Decatur CALL: 876-4377 nnn WHAT: Decatur Memorial Hospital Pre-Diabetes Wellness Program

WHEN: Series starts at 10 a.m. Feb. 19. CALL: To register, 876-4249. nnn WHAT: St. Mary’s Hospital’s community education series talk on hypertension in women with Dr. Jeanne Marie Kairouz of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 WHERE: Decatur Public Library. agetsinger@herald-review.com|421-6968

— Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Check it out at: www.heraldreview.com/megabites/

St. Mary’s, DMH set heart health events By ANNIE GETSINGER

package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain well in a colander. Transfer to large bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a two quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Stir the mixed vegetables, tuna, chicken soup, roasted peppers, half-and-half and seasoning blend into the pasta until combined. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle with crackers and Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until the casserole is warmed through and topping is golden brown. Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 7 g total fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 537 mg sodium; 52 g carbohydrates; 8 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 32 g protein.

SUPPORTS THE FIGHT

AGAINST Heart to Heart

HEART DISEASE

4292 N. PROSPECT, DECATUR, IL (Wal-Mart North Plaza) • 217-872-0600


Matters of the Heart 2013