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Winter 2017

Anamosa | Cedar Rapids | Dubuque | Waterloo

UNEXPECTED DIAGNOSIS

Unusual symptom points to testicular cancer PAGE 6

Lifesaving trip to the ER Shortness of breath leads to open-heart surgery PAGE 2

Hospitals team up to care for premature infants Evidence-based care translates to better outcomes PAGE 4

The power of one visit

Woman finds true partner in health PAGE 10

unitypoint.org


What’s

Live a heart healthy life

Inside

Health clips

Health news you can use.

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surgery for a Cedar Rapids woman.

4 - 5 Caring for premature infants

Coordinated, evidence-based care translates to better outcomes for our tiniest patients.

2 - 3 Lifesaving trip to the ER Shortness of breath leads to open-heart

6 - 7 Unexpected diagnosis

A Cedar Falls man notices an unusual symptom, which leads to a diagnosis of testicular cancer and surgery.

8 - 9 Improving access for rural patients Specialty doctors are keeping Jones

County residents close to home.

after finding a true partner in health.

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Ask the expert

What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?

For your health

Timely health and medical news.

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LIFESTYLE CHANGES to lower blood pressure and improve heart health

10 - 11 The power of one visit A Dubuque woman’s health is improved

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February is National Heart Awareness Month – a time to remind individuals to protect their heart health. By making a few simple changes you can lead a healthier life. One way to do that is to reduce your risk of heart disease by getting your blood pressure under control.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) one in four deaths every year are caused by heart disease.

INCREASE EXERCISE. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking or swimming, for just 30 minutes a day, four to five days a week significantly improves heart health. EAT A HEALTHIER DIET. Avoid foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt and cholesterol. Eat more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL. Drink no more than two drinks a day for men, one for women. LOSE WEIGHT IF YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT. RELAX! Stress is hard on your heart, so take a deep breath and avoid stressors when possible.

Winter 2017 LiveWell magazine is produced by UnityPoint Health®. P.O. Box 3026 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-3026 (319) 369-7395 | unitypoint.org

Connect with us at unitypoint.org

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Health Clips UnityPoint Clinic Westdale & Marion updates Patients can expect a May opening for the new UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine – Westdale located along Williams Blvd. SW in Cedar Rapids. Construction started last fall on the new clinic, which will bring together family medicine providers from the Corridor and Westside locations and add five new doctors for a total of 12 providers. Once the new clinic opens there will be additional medical services available, including: X-ray, outpatient physical and occupational therapy and laboratory services by MedLabs. UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care will remain at 2375 Edgewood Road SW, Cedar Rapids.

Prairie Parkway now open in Cedar Falls UnityPoint Health – Prairie Parkway is proud to offer a new kind of patientcentered care in the Cedar Valley. Prairie Parkway is designed to keep you and your family healthy with coordinated, comprehensive care in one location. Instead of asking patients to travel to multiple providers and clinics, Prairie Parkway offers a full range of services, including: urgent care, family medicine, pediatrics, X-ray, pharmacy, lab services, physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as diabetes and endocrinology care and other specialists. Prairie Parkway is the result of UnityPoint Health – Waterloo’s commitment to convenient and coordinated care, offering same-day coordination among multiple clinics and providers.

Learn more about Prairie Parkway at unitypoint.org/ waterloo/prairieparkway.

Also in May, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine and Urgent Care – Marion will open its newly expanded clinic. Clinic updates include adding 6,000 square feet for patient care and separating the Family Medicine and Urgent Care Clinic waiting rooms.

To find a UnityPoint Clinic doctor, go to unitypoint.org/ findadoctor.

Dubuque Urgent Care Clinics open in two convenient locations UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Cares treat minor illnesses and injuries that require a health care provider’s attention, but are not life-threatening. Urgent Cares offer a variety of amenities and services not always available in other care settings, such as seeing how many patients are currently waiting to be seen at each clinic. Check online to determine, which clinic fits into your schedule best. Upon arriving at one of the clinics, enjoy complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi and phone charging stations.

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care – West 2255 JFK Rd., Dubuque Open 365 days a year UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care – East 1550 University Ave., Dubuque

HOURS:

Sunday – Saturday | 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Check Urgent Care wait times at unitypoint.org/dubuque. LiveWell | Winter 2017 |

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Lifesaving

trip to the ER A trip to a UnityPoint Health Emergency Room (ER) most likely saved Susan Rompot’s life. The 59 year-old Cedar Rapids woman awoke early one morning after experiencing shortness of breath. “I told my husband Roger, I needed to go to the ER,” recalled Rompot. “I couldn’t catch my breath. It was scary.”

breath, very high blood pressure in the ER, she is a diabetic and she has a strong family history of heart disease.”

A full battery of tests didn’t initially point to a heart attack but her blood pressure was dangerously high. Doctors kept her in the ER until the afternoon repeating several tests. All tests for heart issues came back negative but doctors did identify an undiagnosed kidney issue, which needed immediate attention.  Rompot was released with a follow-up appointment to see a cardiologist and a nephrologist (kidney doctor).

Dr. Hajj ordered Rompot to undergo a nuclear stress test to help identify and diagnose any heart issues.

“Multiple issues made me think she might have heart blockages,” said Georges Hajj, MD, UnityPoint Clinic Cardiology cardiologist. “She had shortness of

OPEN-HEART SURGERY “I didn’t pass the stress test,” said Rompot. “Dr. Hajj then wanted me to have a heart catheterization. I thought he would find a blockage, put a stent in and be done. I wasn’t anticipating what would come next.” “Susan had severe blockages in three areas of her heart,” said Dr. Hajj. “With these multiple blockages combined with her diabetes, I told

“ The long-term results of open-heart surgery for some individuals, especially patients with diabetes or patients with more than two blockages, are much better and they will be less likely to need additional surgery or procedures years later.”

James Levett, MD Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, PC, cardiothoracic surgeon

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her the best treatment would be triple bypass surgery. It would give her the best long-term results in preventing a future heart attack.” “It was shocking news,” said Rompot. “I was not expecting to need open-heart surgery.” “Susan was a good candidate for open-heart surgery,” said James Levett, MD, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, PC, cardiothoracic surgeon. “Her heart did not have any damage and we were able to place the three grafts with no issues.”

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED Surgeons have been performing open-heart surgery at St. Luke’s for nearly 40 years. The open-heart surgery team has many tenured nurses and surgeons. Dr. Levett is one of only five cardiothoracic surgeons ever to operate as part of the St. Luke’s open-heart surgery team and one St. Luke’s Operating Room (OR) nurse has been with the program since its start in 1978. Nationally the program has been honored six times as a top heart hospital. “We have a dedicated team with experienced surgeons and nurses,”


Heart Care services at UnityPoint Health Hospitals

said Dr. Levett. “Our program has performed over 13,000 open-heart surgeries, which is distinctly different from a cardiac cath procedure. Some people may think they are similar but they are vastly different. The long-term results of open-heart surgery for some individuals, especially patients with diabetes or patients with more than two blockages, are much better and they will be less likely to need additional surgery or procedures years later.”

Susan Rompot has embraced a healthy lifestyle and exercises daily at the Rockwell Collins Recreation Center.

Another important factor that sets St. Luke’s heart program apart from others is its use of more radial artery grafts. “We believe they last longer than vein grafts,” said Dr. Levett. “We try to do what is best for our patients always and we believe these arteries will stay open longer with radial grafts rather than using vein grafts.”

NEW OUTLOOK “I joined a gym and exercise every day,” said Rompot. “I noticed a big difference right away in my breathing especially – it wasn’t as labored as it had been. Overall I am in a much better place today. I look back at how I was feeling and it was easy to blame my overall health on the busyness of life. Now I know better.” Rompot has not only incorporated exercise but her diet is much improved and she has lost over 40 pounds. She’s seeing a doctor for her kidney issues and overall is much healthier and happier. “I feel I received such great care from all of my doctors at UnityPoint Health,” said Rompot. “They all work together and are able to identify my medical needs,” said Rompot. “They turned something that could be viewed as negative into a positive experience. To me, having heart surgery gave me a second chance at life. I feel very blessed to have a great team of doctors. I am glad I went to the ER that day because it’s hard to imagine what might have happened if I hadn’t.”

Visit unitypoint.org/heart to sign up for a heart screening at a UnityPoint Health hospital near you.

Women & Heart Disease Many women are unaware heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both women and men. Women don’t always have pain in their arm or chest when having a heart attack. Instead, a woman may experience other symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, and back or jaw pain. Women are also less likely than men to believe they’re having a heart attack and more likely to delay seeking emergency treatment. The most important thing you can do? Trust your body. If you think something is wrong, don’t hesitate to call 911. LiveWell | Winter 2017 |

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Hospitals team up to care for premature infants

For as close as twins Logan and Sophie Rochford will be throughout their lives, they couldn’t have started off further apart.

On Halloween 2013, Logan arrived via a natural birth before an emergency cesarean-section was necessary to deliver Sophie 15 minutes later. Those are rare circumstances for Brent Hintz, MD, an obstetrician practicing at UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital and a frightening time for a new mother. “I was there by myself,” recalled Kendra Rochford. “My husband, Neal, was at work, I had previously told my mother not to come for the birth. I had nobody except the doctors and nurses,” Rochford said. “If I did not have Dr. Hintz, we probably wouldn’t have Sophie.” Rochford woke up from her unexpected procedure more than three hours later to find her family had arrived and her twins were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on developmentally different paths.

BORN PREMATURE Logan and Sophie were born at just over 32 weeks gestation – 35 weeks is the national average for twins. They were also discordant twins, which means the blood flow from the placenta was distributed unequally and it resulted

Kendra and Neal Rochford with twins, Logan and Sophie, and older sister, Olivia.

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Photo courtesy: Marcy Bergman Photography, Sumner, IA


NICU at UnityPoint Health

in almost a 20 percent difference in birth weight. Both weighed less than five pounds at birth while Sophie was at a particular disadvantage as the smaller of the two. Logan was also under the care of UnityPoint Health Neonatologist Pankaj Nagaraj, MD, but mostly dealt with problems consistent with a 32-week premature baby. “Sophie had significant respiratory problems,” said Dr. Nagaraj. “She had low white blood cell counts, which improved over time, kidney issues, which also resolved. Routine echocardiograms were necessary to keep an eye on her heart. She was a 32-week preemie with a whole host of problems.” Rochford wasn’t able to meet her babies until the following morning.

LIFE IN THE NICU Logan worked on feeding, gaining the weight necessary to be discharged and joined his one-year old sister, Olivia, at home after one month in NICU care. Sophie continued to progress at Allen Hospital’s NICU except for one complication in particular – feeding. The best she could do was three bottles per day while it takes at least twice that to be in a condition to go home. After two months, it became necessary to place a feeding tube in her stomach to ensure she was receiving the proper nutrients.

“Being part of UnityPoint Health, we were able to send to her to a higher level NICU at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids when it was necessary,” Dr. Nagaraj said. “The best part of being at Allen was we were able to fix every single problem she had except for the feeding tube.” Sophie also completed occupational, physical and speech therapy – services that are now available at UnityPoint Health – Prairie Parkway in Cedar Falls. “The only thing Sophie still needs is speech therapy,” said Rochford. “We’ve been through so many tests and procedures to see why she didn’t want a bottle, but other than that, you can’t tell the two apart anymore.”

COORDINATED CARE After being transferred to St. Luke’s just after the New Year, Dr. Nagaraj points to standards of care between the two hospitals for what makes that transition efficient. “If you look at the evidence-based NICU protocols, they are updated to the month,” Dr. Nagaraj said. “We have no lag period on what we practice and what we do, which is very reflective on our outcomes.”

“We have no lag period on what we practice and what we do, which is very reflective on our outcomes.” Pankaj Nagaraj, MD UnityPoint Health neonatologist

Without much for an explanation, the feeding tube was inserted but never actually used because Sophie suddenly started taking the bottle on her own. She went home on February 7, 2014. “We’re very fortunate Dr. Nagaraj is the best NICU doctor ever,” Rochford added. “I don’t feel there’s anything we could change. That was our situation and everything turned out great.

Learn more about delivering your baby at a UnityPoint Health hospital at unitypoint.org.

LiveWell | Winter 2017 | 5


Unexpected diagnosis When Taylor Anderson discovered a breast mass for the second time, he had to ask why it was happening. That’s not what a young guy should find, he thought. A quick procedure to have it removed was performed by Jayson Gesme, MD, a general surgeon practicing at UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital. An indication of something more serious was a long shot, but a chance nonetheless. No matter the probability, Dr. Gesme ordered a scrotal ultrasound. “The ultrasound was on a Friday and by Monday they called to tell me they found something,” Anderson said. Certain kinds of cancer can cause hormone changes that promote breast enlargement in males. In Anderson’s case, testicular cancer was present and experts in the field of urology were his next call. “For many guys in his situation – he felt OK, no outward pain symptoms – it would’ve been very easy to brush it off,” said Mark Newton, MD, of UnityPoint Health – Waterloo –

Center for Urology. “He caught it early enough that it was fixable with surgery.”

IMMEDIATE ACTION In the midst of the shock that comes with a cancer diagnosis, a plan was set in motion right away. Surgery was scheduled for the next week and conversations to calm fears commenced.

A radical inguinal orchiectomy was performed and a testicle along with the cancer was removed.

“It was amazing how quick everything fell in line,” said Anderson “Once the diagnosis came in, schedules were cleared and they said they’re going to get me in.”

Surgery was the obvious first step, and a brief recovery period for an otherwise active Anderson followed. But beyond that, further testing would have to be completed to determine the correct course of action.

Dr. Newton spent extra time explaining next steps to the husband and father of a young daughter and son. Anderson had questions and his urology care team had answers. “Part of it is making sure he knows we’re comfortable taking care of him in this situation. It’s not something completely out of left field,” said

“ We made sure we talked through it all. Patients need to be involved in their care and part of the decisions that are made.” Mark Newton, MD UnityPoint Health – Waterloo – Center for Urology

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Dr. Newton. “When we sat down with him, we wanted him to know he had our 100 percent attention as we talked through the process.”

LEARNING AS THEY GO

Did the tumor spread? Are there any other changes that might be cause for concern? Whether the answer to those questions was yes or no, the first call went to Anderson and his family.


Surgical Services at UnityPoint Health Hospitals Taylor Anderson with his wife, Amy, and their children ice fishing at Prairie Lake in Cedar Falls.

“At each point, as we get more information, we let him know results as we went along. We made sure we talked through it all,” Dr. Newton said. “Patients need to be involved in their care and part of the decisions that are made.”

It all comes down to keeping an eye on things and making decisions from there.

Fortunately, Anderson remains cancer-free more than a year after the procedure, which also presents a few obstacles. Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation would decrease the chance of cancer returning but unnecessary treatment is something to avoid as well.

Anderson now follows up with Dr. Newton approximately every two months.

“He’s real smart and involved – we’ve spent hours going over everything,” said Dr. Newton.

“Everybody I worked with was very thorough,” he said. “Everybody works as a team, and I received the best care I could. My parents and wife have come to a lot of the checkups and

they are impressed that I am the top priority every time.” If you have a concern about your health it’s important to discuss it with your health provider and you can work together to determine the best course of action.

If you don’t have a doctor let us help you find one that will best fit your needs. Go to unitypoint.org/ findadoctor.

LiveWell | Winter 2017 |

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and knew some of the orthopedic specialists from Cedar Rapids were seeing patients at Jones Regional in Anamosa,” said Behrends. “The hospital is just a short drive from my house and I really appreciate how convenient it is to see a doctor.” Behrends met with Peter Pardubsky, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa (PCI) who specializes in hand surgery about his increased hand and arm numbness and pain. Dr. Pardubsky and several other PCI orthopedic doctors see patients in the specialty clinic.

SURGERY NEEDED

Kent Behrends appreciates the friendly and professional staff at Jones Regional Medical Center.

Specialty clinics keep rural residents

close to home Sharp shooting pain and a loss of feeling in his arms sent Kent Behrends to see a hand specialist last fall. I’ve dealt with my arms going to sleep or feeling numb for several years,” said Behrends. “The intense pain at night is more recent and not something that was easy to deal with. I would get about two hours of sleep before both symptoms would wake me. I then had to sit up and

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try sleeping that way. It wasn’t comfortable and was very concerning. I knew I needed to do something.” Lucky for Behrends, Jones Regional Medical Center (JRMC) has several specialty clinics. “I live in Monticello

“My first meeting with Dr. Pardubsky went really well,” said Behrends. “He and I talked about my symptoms. Then he performed an exam and reviewed some of my test results. This information led him to recommend I have carpal tunnel surgery.” “A lot of people may not realize this but carpal tunnel, if left untreated, can lead to permanent sensory loss in the fingers, permanent muscle loss in the hand, loss in pinch or grasp strength and difficulty using the hand for holding objects,” explained Dr. Pardubsky. “It’s a functional surgery for the use of an individual’s hand. Initially we may have the patient try an assortment of conservative treatments like splinting at night, ice, or warm water for symptomatic relief or a steroid (cortisone) injection. Many times the symptoms progress and surgery is needed – as it was in Kent’s case.”


Surgical Services at UnityPoint Health Hospitals

“ It reduces an individual’s symptoms and improves the use of their hands. It’s an ideal procedure to offer at an outreach location such as Jones Regional.” Peter Pardubsky, MD Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, PC, orthopedic surgeon

Carpal tunnel has many causes and typically presents in adults, mostly with the onset of tingling and numbness in the fingers. Symptoms include waking at night, difficulty driving or holding reading materials with discomfort and in some cases, burning pain. “I definitely wanted to pursue the procedure,” said Behrends. “I didn’t want the situation to get any worse. I was pleased it could be done at Jones Regional. It’s a great hospital and it’s so close to home.” “Carpal tunnel release surgery is done as an outpatient procedure,” said Dr. Pardubsky. “I operate on one hand at a time and it is a relatively simple procedure, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes with a fairly rapid recovery. It reduces an individual’s symptoms and improves the use of their hands. It’s an

Specialty Clinics at Jones Regional Medical Center

ideal procedure to offer at an outreach location such as Jones Regional.” “Dr. Pardubsky operated on my right hand first and then my left about a month later,” said Behrends. “I was given a choice of using a local anesthetic or to go under and I chose to stay awake during the procedure with the local anesthetic.” After surgery Behrends experienced very little pain and some weakness but overall the procedure was easy. He missed about a week of work after each surgery.

TOP NOTCH CARE “The recovery is pretty easy,” said Dr. Pardubsky. “Kent had to wear a bandage on his hand for about a week and had stitches removed at Jones Regional a week after surgery. Initially

we tell people not to lift anything over five pounds but many individuals are back to normal routines within a few days after surgery as comfort allows and almost all activities within two weeks.” “I am so glad I had this surgery,” said Behrends. “The numbness in my hands is now starting to go away. I am grateful this procedure is offered at Jones Regional. It really is convenient and we have such a great facility in Anamosa. The people who work there are wonderful and give top notch care. I highly recommend the procedure and facility.”

To learn more about surgical options at a UnityPoint Health hospital near you, visit unitypoint.org.

• Cardiology

• Nephrology

• Pulmonology

• Ear, nose & throat (ENT)

• OB/GYN

• Surgery

• Family Counseling

• Ophthalmology

• Urology

• Gastroenterology

• Orthopedics

• Wound Clinic

The schedule is updated and posted monthly on the JRMC website at unitypoint.org/anamosa. LiveWell | Winter 2017 |

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Born and raised in Dubuque, Stacy Franzen has always been known for her passionate personality; one that energized her to try new things and stay busy. A mother to five children and grandmother of two, Stacy’s life was consistently filled with joy and momentum. “When I first met her, she was always on the go,” said Stacy’s husband, Clyde Franzen, “But it was around 2007 when she began to feel sick pretty regularly, and her health began to take a turn.”

Stacy Franzen credits her UnityPoint Clinic – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Gretchen Hong for helping her gain control of her health.

The Power of One Visit “You can feel it,” said Stacy Franzen, “When there’s something else really wrong, you can just feel it.”

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After experiencing various health concerns, including chest and breathing issues, Stacy was diagnosed with lymphangioma of the esophagus, a rare and benign tumor found in the chest area between the lungs that had grown around her heart and aorta. Even after diagnosis and treatment, Stacy still didn’t feel a sense of relief that her health concerns had been adequately addressed. Prior to becoming a patient with UnityPoint Health, Stacy began to see a pattern that left her feeling hopeless. “I felt many of my doctors concentrated on my tumor, and nothing else,” said Stacy, “I knew there was something more. I just knew it, and I wanted someone to listen to me.” Last July Stacy was at her breaking point. After attending a concert, she experienced difficulty breathing and had to go to the emergency room. A heart attack was quickly ruled out and Stacy was left with additional referrals for her chest tumor.


UnityPoint Clinic

“ I want patients to know we have a partnership. We spend a lot of time discussing a plan that meets their needs.” Gretchen Hong, ARNP UnityPoint Clinic – Women's Health

Frustrated, and with an even stronger sense her condition had to do with more than her tumor diagnosis, Stacy returned home, picked up the phone, and made a life-changing phone call.

UNITYPOINT CLINIC VISIT She called UnityPoint Clinic, where she met adult and women's health Nurse Practitioner Gretchen Hong. “I remember telling Gretchen, ‘I just want someone to listen to me,”’ recalled Stacy. “I have this tumor, but I feel there’s something more; I know it – I feel it.” After sharing her background and family history, Stacy became Hong’s first patient at UnityPoint Clinic – Women’s Health, which opened its doors on Pennsylvania Avenue for the Dubuque and Tri-State community last summer. Led by Gretchen Hong, and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Brenda Husemann, UnityPoint Clinic – Women’s Health

guides women throughout the stages of life. “When Stacy came to me, I felt strongly about diving deeper into what was affecting her quality of life,” said Hong. “I make this promise to each of my patients.”

RARE DIAGNOSIS It was Hong’s commitment that gave Stacy the answer she’d been waiting to hear. “I have lupus and a rare disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome,” said Stacy. An autoimmune disease that often targets skin, joints, and organs throughout the body; lupus is a chronic disease that produces antibodies that attack healthy tissues or organs. Causing unpredictable symptoms that come in waves, lupus often results in health that improves and worsens with each passing day. Coupled with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a blood disorder that causes abnormal blood clots,

lupus becomes a disease that is a force to be reckoned with – but not one that can’t be managed with quality, coordinated health care. “I want patients to know we have a partnership,” explained Hong. “We spend a lot of time discussing a plan that meets their needs. What works for one person may not work for the next and Stacy’s story is an example of this.” The diagnosis hasn’t just given Stacy hope; it has made her husband optimistic as well. “Often, you begin to feel like a case file but Gretchen makes her patients feel like people,” remarked Clyde. “She sees hundreds of patients but still takes the time to call and check in – to me that’s proof she truly cares.” “Gretchen is just different,” said Stacy, “and it’s a good different.” UnityPoint Health has a team of dedicated people, like Gretchen Hong, who work to always provide the Best Outcome, Every Patient, Every Time. As for Stacy, her faith in the future has brightened as she has a renewed faith in where life will take her next. “My journey starts now,” said Stacy, “and it’s because of one visit with Gretchen Hong.”

Find your partner in health today. Go to unitypoint.org/findadoctor to find a UnityPoint Clinic provider. LiveWell | Winter 2017 |

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Ask the Expert What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke? Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a vessel in the brain ruptures or a clot breaks loose. According to Ryan Sundermann, MD, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Emergency Department medical director there are two types of strokes. “The most common stroke is an ischemic stroke,” said Dr. Sundermann. “It occurs when calcium and cholesterol plaque grow on the inside of a blood vessel and breaks loose. The body tries to heal by forming a blood clot and so that blood clot fills the vessel and blood can’t pass through and get to where it needs to go. The tissue on the inside begins to die and that’s what causes a stroke.” The other type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood

Act FAST to spot a stroke. Face drooping

vessel leaks for various reasons and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue. “Both strokes cause poor blood flow to the brain and therefore the brain cannot operate normally,” said Dr. Sundermann. “It’s a lot like when you fall asleep on your arm and cut off the blood supply and you can’t move your arm properly because it wasn’t getting blood. It’s basically the same thing that happens with a stroke except it’s permanent.” It’s important to get to a UnityPoint Health Emergency Department right away if you think you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke. “There is a window of about three hours from the onset of a stroke where health care providers can give a drug called tPA, which stands for tissue plasminogen activator. It helps break

Ryan Sundermann, MD UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Emergency Department medical director

down blood clots. Regardless of the amount of time that has passed individuals should get to the hospital and let the doctors decide when the stroke started and whether the medicine can be given. The best chance of survival and lessening the impact from a stroke is to seek medical care as soon as possible.” An important note - strokes are preventable. Ways to avoid a stroke is to stop smoking, control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars and lose weight if you need to and exercise.

Arm weakness Speech difficulty Time to call 911 Source: American Stroke Association

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If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke – call 911 and go to a UnityPoint Health hospital Emergency Department immediately.


For your Health Are you HeartAware? A FREE SEVEN-MINUTE TEST COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE Half who die of heart attacks won’t even know they were at risk. Unlike some diseases, cardiovascular disease can largely be predicted and prevented. You could be among 70 million Americans who have heart disease and don’t know it. Allen Hospital in Waterloo offers HeartAware, a free online assessment, which consists of a series of questions asking individuals about their risk for heart disease. Seven minutes can tell you if you are disease free – or if you are at risk for cardiac disease and how to get help.

Take HeartAware today at unitypoint.org/waterloo/heartaware.

$99 Heart Scan Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. – it can strike anyone: men and women of all ages, races and economic classes. There’s a great way to know your risk: a $99 Heart Scan from UnityPoint Health. A heart scan can help identify tiny amounts of calcium in the arteries. The Heart Scan is fast, painless and non-invasive. The entire examination takes less than 30 minutes.

Find out what you are facing so you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for heart disease. The Heart Scan is for men and women between the ages of 40 and 70. All that’s needed is a doctor’s referral.

To schedule a $99 Heart Scan call:

Dubuque: (563) 590-7271 | Cedar Rapids: (319) 369-8909

Peripheral arterial disease program Peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD, develops when arteries become clogged with plaque that limit blood flow to the legs. Just like clogged arteries in the heart, blocked arteries in the legs mean you are at risk for having a heart attack or stroke. Join UnityPoint Clinic Cardiologist Georges Hajj, MD to learn about signs and symptoms of PAD, as well as prevention and treatment in an upcoming, free community event.

Friday, Feb. 24 Noon-1 p.m. PCI Medical Pavilion Community Room 202 10th St. NE, Cedar Rapids

Georges Hajj, MD UnityPoint Clinic – Cardiology

To register, call (319) 739-2085 or go to unitypoint.org/cedarrapids and click on classes and events. LiveWell | Winter LiveWell | Winter2017 | 2017 | 13


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We apologize for mailing problems such as duplicate copies. If you have questions or concerns about LiveWell magazine, please call (319) 369-7395 or email stlukescr@unitypoint.org. Copyright ® 2017 UnityPoint Health. All Rights Reserved. ® SM trademarks of UnityPoint Health.

No matter what’s in your heart,

we’re here to protect it.

From our clinics to our specialists, UnityPoint Health® strives to keep your heart as healthy as possible – regardless of your stage of life. #HaveAHeart

this February, and tell us what steps you’re taking

to improve your heart health. Even small changes will help ensure you don’t miss a beat.

unitypoint.org/haveaheart


UnityPoint Health LiveWell Winter 2017