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American Heart Month 2013

M A K E A D I F F E R E N C E . . . O N E H E A R T AT A T I M E !

2 • Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sequim Gazette

Put your

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Sequim Gazette

OMC Foundation takes women’s health to heart Feb. 1 is the sixth annual Red, Set, Go! Heart Lunch

By Sara Maloney, Red, Set, Go! Event Chair Bringing awareness on the Olympic Peninsula to the critical issue of heart health for women is a goal both the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and Olympic Medical Center fully support. This led to a commitment on behalf of the OMC Foundation in 2008 to begin holding the Red, Set, Go! Heart Lunch. On Friday, Feb. 1 (also National Dress in Red Day) at Sunland Golf & Country Club, the OMC Foundation will hold the sixth annual Red, Set, Go! Heart Lunch. Originally we committed to a three-year campaign to raise awareness for women’s heart health, but it became apparent after the initial campaign that this elegant and educational event needed to continue. Red, Set, Go! is an enjoyable fundraising event that also provides needed education to guests. Experts agree that education is the key to eradicating this disease. Many women are still surprised to learn that heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of men and women in this country. The committed partners of Red, Set, Go! will once again provide the tools needed to take personal responsibility for an individual’s heart health. This will be the community’s opportunity to “kick off” American Heart Month on a local level. This year’s keynote speaker is Sarah Speck, M.D., from Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute. Her focus will be on prevention and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Larri Ann Mishko, D.O., will act as the Mistress of Ceremonies at the event.

For more information about Red, Set, Go! contact the OMC Foundation at 417-7144 or visit Red, Set, Go! Raises Funds for Heart Care In addition to raising awareness and providing education, Red, Set, Go! also raises funds for the patients of Olympic Medical Center’s cardiac programs and other local initiatives. The purpose of our event is to inspire women to become educated to improve their own heart health. We encourage members of the community to take a little time to attend, become educated and inspired to improve their own heart health and reduce their risk factors, while supporting heart care in our community. Since 2008 an incredible $190,000 has been raised through Red, Set, Go! to benefit patients in the community struggling with the effects of heart disease. With a portion of the proceeds, the foundation launched a community-wide Automated External Defibrillator program in partnership with local law enforcement agencies. The foundation also has provided much needed equipment at OMC. Most recently, the OMC Foundation purchased and installed two self-serve blood pressure monitoring kiosks – one each at OMC’s Sequim and Port Angeles campuses. These booths are open and free to the public and allow members of the community to reliably check their blood pressure on a regular basis and seek further care if needed. These hightech blood pressure monitoring booths already have proved to be an asset to OMC’s ongoing efforts to educate and raise awareness of the importance of managing blood pressure. About the OMC Foundation This mission of OMC Foundation is simple: “To improve the quality of patients’ lives.” Olympic Medical Center is one of the best rural hospitals in the nation and as such relies

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on the dedication of many volunteers of the OMC Foundation. This has become particularly true in the recent economic downturn that has been experienced across the nation. The OMC Foundation has been fortunate – over the past several years the foundation’s endowment has increased to more than $1 million. In addition, the foundation gives yearly donations to provide state-of-the-art equipment and essential programs for patients of Olympic Medical Center.

The Speaker’s Corner

Sarah Speck, M.D., is a cardiologist and medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention services at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute. She also is in private practice with Seattle Cardiology, located on the Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus. Speck has been a member of the Swedish medical staff since 1985. With her help, the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute has become a national leader in the early detection and prevention of heart disease, as well

Event sponsors

Presenting Sponsor: Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Gold Level: Swedish Medical Center, Sequim Health & Rehabilitation, Crestwood Silver Level: Sequim Gazette Bronze Level: Airlift Northwest, Assured Hospice of Clallam & Jefferson Counties, Astellas Pharma US Inc., Avamere Olympic Rehab of Sequim, Family Medicine, Karen Rogers Consulting, Re/Max, Soroptimists of Port Angeles – Jet Set, Dr. Kara Kurtz Urnes as in disease-reversal and disease-management techniques. Speck is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. Besides being certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) in advanced cardiac life support, she also has gone through the Washington State Medical Association Physician Management Education program. In addition, she serves as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Speck earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana and Chicago, Ill. She then earned her medical degree and a master’s in public health from U.I. at the Medical Center in Chicago. She did her internship and residency in internal medicine at U.W. Affiliated Hospitals. In 1983, she completed a fellowship through the U.W.’s Division of Cardiology. Speck is a member of the American College of Cardiology, AHA Council of Clinical Cardiology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Lipidology, American Medical Fitness Association, the Washington State Medical Association and the King County Medical Society. Speck is married and has one daughter. She enjoys traveling, music, exercising and reading.

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4 • Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sequim Gazette

New hope for adults with heart valve disease

Overcoming obstacles to treating aortic stenosis Open-heart surgery is particularly risky for patients who are elderly and have a history of multiple medical problems, such as diabetes, stroke, or lung or kidney disease. Valve replacement surgery typically requires placing the patient on a heart-lung machine so the heart can be stopped during the four-hour procedure. Most frail, elderly or medically compromised patients who have aortic valve stenosis are not strong enough to undergo the operation. Without an alternative, these patients face a short future. If developing a medical condition could be timed, Goldader would be an example of someone who has perfect timing. In late 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug AdminWhen a heart valve doesn’t work right istration approved the Edward SAPIEN transcatheter The aortic valve controls blood flow from the heart heart valve for patients who are not able to have openinto the aorta, which then moves blood to all parts of heart surgery. In early 2012, the Centers for Medicare & the body. Stenosis occurs when calcium deposits creMedicaid approved coverage of transcatheter aortic valve ate a narrower valve opening and keep the valve from replacement (TAVR). With these approvals, TAVR became opening completely. The heart must work harder to Goldader’s lifeline to a longer and better quality life. Tom Goldader and his wife, Sally, feel he has a new lease on life after undergoing a push blood through the valve. This extra effort can Although the majority of patients with severe aortic TAVR procedure.  Submitted photo affect blood flow, weaken the heart and lead to heart stenosis can be treated with surgical valve replacement, failure. TAVR is the first significant advancement in treating Symptoms of stenosis include pain or tightness in the chest, People who smoke, as well as those who have high blood pres- shortness of breath, feeling faint or fainting while exercising, fa- those patients who are at high risk for serious complications dursure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes are more likely to de- tigue, a rapid or fluttering heartbeat and fluid retention. Some- ing surgery. velop aortic valve stenosis. About 5 percent of adults age 75 or times a physician will first suspect aortic valve stenosis when he “This is such good news for people who can’t survive open-heart older have this condition. Unless the valve is replaced, 50 percent or she hears a heart murmur during a routine exam. surgery,” said Mark Reisman, M.D., an interventional cardiologist of these patients will not survive more than two years after the who performs TAVR. “We now have the ability to replace their initial diagnosis. valves so they can get back to enjoying life.”

By Susan Allen Two years ago Tom Goldader’s cardiologist told him he had severe narrowing (stenosis) of his aortic valve. Goldader also learned that the only way to successfully treat the condition was to replace the faulty valve. Because of his advanced age, the amount of plaque in his aorta and his other medical conditions (type 2 diabetes and kidney problems), the heart team at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) in Seattle determined Goldader probably would not survive open-heart surgery. Fortunately, SHVI is one of the medical facilities in the United States that is staffed and equipped to offer him an alternative.

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Sequim Gazette

Access to TAVR expertise for North Peninsula patients North Olympic Peninsula residents have access to a broad range of routine and complex medical services through Olympic Medical Center, Forks Community Hospital and Jefferson Healthcare. Sometimes, however, it is not feasible for these medical facilities to maintain the clinical resources needed to provide highly specialized procedures that only a few people in the region might need each year. That is when the affiliations they have with Swedish Medical Center pay big dividends. As part of the Swedish Health Services network, local physicians have a seamless referral system that allows patients to receive diagnostic and treatment services at Swedish when those services are not available on the peninsula, and then return to their local communities for follow-up care. “Our partnership with Swedish allows us to expand access to cardiac care for our patients,” said Dr. Kara Kurtz Urnes is a board-certified cardiologist who sees patients at the Olympic Medical Physicians Kara Kurtz Urnes, M.D., a cardiologist with OlymSpecialty Clinic in Sequim. She has extensive training and additional certifications in the diagnosis and pic Medical Center. “Although we are able to protreatment of valve disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.  Submitted photo vide a very broad range of routine and complex heart care locally, the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute has the resources to provide highly socan be positioned across the diseased valve. The physician uses a phisticated diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as TAVR, that small balloon to expand the valve. This new valve, which is about Replacing a heart valve through an artery we do not offer. Our patients benefit because they are able to receive What makes TAVR unique is the procedure the physician uses to the diameter of a quarter when fully opened, immediately takes specialized procedures at Swedish, but they can follow up with us here over responsibility for controlling the blood flow. replace the valve with the new artificial valve. The physician does “This procedure typically takes less than two hours, rather than in our community.” not need to open the chest wall to surgically remove and replace Olympic Medical Center became a charter member of the Swedthe four hours we need for open-heart surgery,” said Reisman. the diseased valve. Instead, a thin tube (catheter) is threaded ish Health Services network in October 2011, followed by Jefferson “There is less blood loss and a lower risk of infection with TAVR, through a small incision in an artery in the groin and then up the Healthcare in November 2011 and Forks Community Hospital in Janartery into the heart. The new valve is collapsed down to the ap- and the patient is able to recover faster.” uary 2012. This year Olympic Medical Center will launch Epic, an proximate diameter of a pencil, so it fits through the catheter and Careful evaluation and planning The aortic valve replacement team at SHVI includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, specially trained nurses and other specialists who are instrumental in diagnosing and/or treating aortic stenosis. The team carefully screens each patient to determine which approach – surgical or transcatheter – is the safest option. Patients undergo a series of tests, including an echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, CT scan, lung function testing and carotid artery ultrasound. The team also evaluates frailty – a formal diagnosis that looks at strength, mobility and nutrition. For people from communities distant from Seattle, such as Sequim, the team bundles tests and appointments so they can be completed during two visits. A patient is scheduled for surgical valve replacement if the team determines that a patient can safely undergo surgery. Frail or elderly patients who are not good candidates for surgery are scheduled for TAVR. Some patients who are extremely sick or have other physical limitations may not be candidates for either procedure.

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6 • Wednesday, January 30, 2013 New hope, cont. from page 5 electronic health record system that will allow local physicians and physicians at Swedish to instantly share medical information when jointly caring for patients. “We find it extraordinarily valuable to work with physicians who are able to provide straightforward and complex cardiac care in the communities of Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend,” said Glenn R. Barnhart, M.D., chief and executive director for Cardiac Surgical Services at SHVI. “We’ve enjoyed working with them and helping to care for their patients.” For more information about aortic valve stenosis or the TAVR procedure, call 582-2840 to speak with a cardiologist at Olympic Medical Center or call the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute’s TAVR program at 206-320-8100. How is Tom Goldader doing? Goldader, now 86 years old, had his TAVR procedure at Swedish in October of last year. He stayed in the hospital for five days for his initial recovery. He was grateful that his wife, Sally, was able to stay at Swedish’s Inn at Cherry Hill ( theinn), so she was nearby the entire time. After his hospital stay, he spent about two weeks at a rehabilitation center, which is sometimes necessary for elderly heart patients. Goldader is home now and back to his favorite pastime – walking around his neighborhood. His wife, who is considering TAVR for her own aortic valve replacement, says the doctors at Swedish gave her husband a new life.

Circle of Cardiac Care Contributed by Olympic Medical Center Heart disease is a serious threat to women. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease continues to be the No. 1 killer of women. It is more deadly than all Kara Kurtz Urnes, M.D. forms of cancer combined. One thing that makes heart disease more of a menace is that many women remain complacent about their risk. “Many women have so many demands in their life, they do not take enough time for themselves,” says cardiologist Kara Kurtz Urnes, M.D., of Olympic Medical Physicians. “Women neglect to give themselves what they need. They won’t miss taking their children to soccer practice, but they may skip routine visits to their family doctor.” An annual checkup with a primary care provider is one of the first steps toward the prevention of heart disease. Knowing your numbers – blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, body mass index and weight –

also are critical. “By knowing your numbers and discussing them with your physician, you are better prepared to manage them appropriately,” says Urnes. “The first line of defense against heart disease is to understand and manage your health. Too often I see patients who waited until they had a heart problem before making healthy changes.” Cardiology care if and when you need it If and when you do need care for your heart, cardiology expertise is available locally. Olympic Medical Center offers state-ofthe-art diagnostic and rehabilitative services in both Sequim and Port Angeles. It also is an affiliate of Swedish Medical Center. Visiting interventional cardiologists from Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute currently round out the Olympic Medical Physicians cardiology team consisting of Urnes and James Emery, M.D. “We can help you manage heart disease and other heart and vascular conditions right here at home,” says Urnes. “Our affiliation with Swedish offers another level of care for interventional and surgical needs that cannot be done locally and then you get

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Sequim Gazette

to come right back here instead of traveling back to Seattle over and over again for follow-up care.” Rehabilitation Heart attacks happen. When they do, patients have access to Olympic Medical Center’s local cardiac rehabilitation program – also known as “Healthy U.” The program assists patients in regaining their strength and their health, while providing them with tools to sustain new healthy habits into the future. “A complete circle of heart care is available through Olympic Medical and Swedish,” says Urnes. “We provide the community with preventive education, diagnostic tools such as nuclear cardiology stress testing and echocardiography, a knowledgeable and expert team of OMP and Swedish cardiologists, and cardiac rehabilitation services, all right here at home.” For more information on local cardiac programs and cardiology providers, visit

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• Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease. • Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease. • The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men — and are often misunderstood. • While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease. • Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. • Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.  — American Heart Association

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013 • 7

Sequim Gazette

Check your BP at OMC disease,” said Bobby Beeman, OMC’s communication and health promotions coordinator. Funds for the kiosks came from the Funda-Need portion of the OMC Foundation’s February 2012 Red, Set, Go! heart luncheon fundraiser. “We are grateful for the continuing generosity of the OMC Foundation and its donors in providing our patients, and in this case our employees as well, state-of-the-art prevention tools,” said Beeman. The kiosks are located near Seasons Café at Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles and in the main lobby of the Medical Services Building at Olympic Medical Center’s campus on North Fifth Avenue in Sequim.

Olympic Medical Center patients and employees benefited from the generous donation of two self-serve blood pressure monitoring kiosks by the OMC Foundation. Located at each campus – Port Angeles and Sequim – these booths are open and free to the community. The booths allow individuals to reliably check their blood pressure on a regular basis, an important component of the prevention of heart disease. “These easy-to-use blood pressure booths have already proved to be an educational asset to Olympic Medical’s ongoing efforts to educate and raise awareness among the community and employees of the importance of managing blood pressure to help prevent heart

About High Blood Pressure

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understanding blood pressure readings

What do the blood pressure numbers mean?

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:

117 mm Hg 76

Systolic The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

Read as “117 over Diastolic 76 millimeters of The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures mercury” the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

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What is the AHA recommendation for healthy blood pressure?


This chart reflects blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association.

Blood Pressure Category

Systolic - mm Hg (upper #)


less than 120


less than 80


120 – 139


80 – 89

140 – 159


90 – 99

160 or higher


100 or higher

Higher than 180


Higher than 110

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1 High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2 Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency care needed)

Diastolic - mm Hg (lower #)

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* Your doctor should evaluate unusually low blood pressure readings.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed?

Your health care providers will want to get an accurate picture of your blood pressure and chart what happens over time. Starting at age 20, the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening at your regular health care visit or once every 2 years, if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. While BP can change from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or sleep, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg (less than 120 systolic AND less than 80 diastolic) for an adult age 20 or over. About one in three (33.5%) U.S. adults has high blood pressure. If your blood pressure reading is higher than normal, your doctor may take several readings over time and/or have you monitor your blood pressure at home before diagnosing you with high blood pressure. A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, if readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above (systolic 140 or above OR diastolic 90 or above) over time, your doctor will likely want you to begin a treatment program. Such a program almost always includes lifestyle changes

and often prescription medication for those with readings of 140/90 or higher. If, while monitoring your blood pressure, you get a systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110 mm Hg or higher, wait a couple of minutes and take it again. If the reading is still at or above that level, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a hypertensive crisis. If you can’t access the emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Even if your blood pressure is normal, you should consider making lifestyle modifications to prevent the development of HBP and improve your heart health. Which number is more important, top (systolic) or bottom (diastolic)? Typically more attention is given to the top number (the systolic blood pressure) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50 years old. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque, and increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

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8 • Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sequim Gazette

We take your health to heart.

For a free online test to determine your risk of heart disease, visit

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