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1026 A Avenue NE PO Box 3026 Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-3026

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Advantage Summer 2013

Healthcare information on your phone or computer

Please hold onto your Advantage card

Advantage Sue Smith


Living Longer. Living Well.


In April, the Iowa Health System, announced it changed its name to UnityPoint Health. As an affiliate of UnityPoint Health, St. Luke’s also made a change. We’re now known as UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital. Eventually, the look of our Advantage membership cards will change to reflect our new name, but for now, the look of our card will remain the same. Please keep using the Advantage card you already have when you redeem discounts in the hospital cafeteria, pay for Lifeline installation and purchase home medical equipment at UnityPoint at Home. And remember if you stay overnight as a patient at St. Luke’s, you can call the Advantage office in the hospital to request a free meal card for one guest. As an Advantage member, you’re eligible for one free meal card during your hospital stay.

Upcoming LiveWell events Should I Know About Shingles?

Tuesday, July 23 • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. St. Luke’s Hospital, 3rd floor Nassif Heart Center classrooms If you had chickenpox as a child, the dormant virus can sometimes awaken decades later as a painful rash called shingles. Dr. Monica Minjeur, UnityPoint Clinic, will explain the causes and symptoms of shingles, and whether or not you should get the shingles vaccine.

Cancer and Your Family Tree

Tuesday, July 30 • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

PCI Medical Pavilion, 202 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, 3rd floor Community Room Create your personal cancer prevention plan with the cancer and genetics nurse practitioner from the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center. She’ll help examine your family tree and explain services, such as free genetic counseling, genetic testing, increased screening and more.

Food Fight! Reduce Your Cancer Risk Tuesday, Aug. 6 • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. PCI Medical Pavilion, 202 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, 3rd floor Community Room Dieticians from Hy-Vee and the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center explain how to reduce your cancer risk by eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. To register for these free events, call 319/369-7395 or register online at

Taking control of heart health David Albertsen was joking with his son, Ryan, about what they’d do if they won the lottery as they worked on their family farm in rural Keystone in late March of last year. David suddenly gasped and passed out. He had a sudden heart attack. “It was a death wheeze and he started to turn blue,” Ryan said. He told his stepmom, Becky, to call 911 and performed CPR for at least 15 minutes while waiting for first responders to arrive. “I worked all day and we had just finished unloading wood when I suddenly passed out. I don’t remember feeling any chest pain or anything. I just collapsed,” said David, age 50. The ambulance crew used a defibrillator to shock David’s heart and a helicopter flew him to St. Luke’s.

Albertsen family. David’s grandfather died from heart disease when he was in his 60s. “With my Dad’s heart history I always knew it might be an issue, but at 50, I didn’t think it would be that soon,” David said. “I have changed my diet, quit smoking and exercise more.” “It’s so important to take ownership or ‘control’ of your health,” said David’s cardiologist, Matthew McMahon, DO, from UnityPoint Clinic, formerly Cardiologists, L.C. “What we do matters. Smoking, exercise, eating, and treatment of our medical problems all impact not only how long we live, but how well we live.” Dr. McMahon encourages all patients who’ve experienced a heart attack to live

“Initially David was too sick for me to operate on so we had to stabilize him first. He spent several weeks recovering at St. Luke’s and I operated on him when tests indicated his heart function improved enough to proceed with open-heart surgery,” said Mir Wasif Ali, MD, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa Matthew McMahon, DO cardiothoracic surgeon. UnityPoint Clinic Dr. Ali performed quadruple bypass surgery and restored blood flow to the blocked vessels in his heart. Only months earlier, Dr. Mir had performed a second open-heart surgery on David’s dad, Bob Albertsen. Heart disease runs in the

“ What we do matters. Smoking, exercise, eating, and treatment of our medical problems all impact not only how long we live, but how well we live.”

a healthy lifestyle. “Lose weight if you’re heavy, no tobacco if you’re a smoker, realize your cholesterol cannot be too low, daily exercise if you’re sedentary and, of course, an aspirin a day,” McMahon said, adding that treatment and control of other aggravating illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure is very important too. To make an appointment with the cardiologists at UnityPoint Clinic, call 319/364-7101.

When to see a cardiologist Your primary care doctor can assess your risk for developing heart-related problems. However, if you have three or more risk factors for developing heart disease, you will benefit from a cardiologist’s in-depth assessment of your heart and receive detailed information on maintaining heart health. You do not need a doctor’s referral in order to make an appointment with a cardiologist. Common risk factors for developing heart disease: • Smoking • Diabetes • High blood pressure • High cholesterol • Family history of heart disease at a young age • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) • Obesity

St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence

UnityPoint Cardiology Clinic

UnityPoint Clinic cardiologists have partnered with St. Luke’s Hospital to develop a Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence. The result will be higher quality, cost-efficient heart care for patients so they won’t need to travel outside of Cedar Rapids for advanced, specialized heart care.

UnityPoint Clinic has the largest cardiology practice in eastern Iowa with 18 boardcertified cardiologists. The clinic recently changed its name from Cardiologists, L.C. to UnityPoint Clinic and also moved their Cedar Rapids’ offices to the Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion at 202 10th St. SE on the second floor. This site brings together all of the cardiology services in Cedar Rapids to one location.

“This partnership allows us to bring in leading-edge heart care with state-of-theart procedures and technologies we currently don’t provide. Our goal will be to bring all the various physicians providing heart and vascular care into one central organization, where we can align our strategies and our goals as one,” said Todd Langager, MD, UnityPoint Clinic. “One of the best examples right now of a leading-edge procedure we don’t currently offer is a new technique for inserting an artificial valve in the heart percutaneously, which means it doesn’t require open-heart surgery,” Dr. Langager explained. “We have to develop a team of resources and expertise to be able to offer these important advancements.”

UnityPoint Clinic offers same-day appointments to patients with an emergent need. In addition to the Cedar Rapids location, the clinic sees patients at 11 outreach clinics throughout eastern Iowa.

Dr. Todd Langager UnityPoint Clinic Cardiologist

If you have an appointment at UnityPoint Clinic, expect to spend about 30 minutes with your nurse before the doctor arrives. This enables the nurse to ask you questions about your latest health developments, ensuring up-to-date information is ready for your doctor. The clinic focuses on your overall health in order to provide more coordinated, comprehensive healthcare.

To learn more about heart care services go to

Ask the Expert: Who should get a shingles vaccine? According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 50 percent of all Americans will get shingles by their 80th birthday. It is most common in people over 50 years old, though it can affect anyone at any age who has had the chickenpox. Shingles appears as a skin disease caused by reactivating the chickenpox virus. If you get it, you’ll generally first experience severe pain and burning, sometimes even before a rash is visible. The next stage is often a rash that may turn into blisters resembling chicken pox. The final stage is scabbing of the blisters. Dr. Monica Minjeur, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine – Bowman Woods

The pain of shingles can be severe and persist for months, a common symptom in people over 60. Shingle outbreaks

that start on the face or eyes may cause problems with vision or hearing. If you are 60 or older, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you get the shingles vaccine. Discuss it with your doctor, however, because you shouldn’t get the shingles vaccine if you have an active case of shingles, your immune system is compromised or you are severely allergic to components in the vaccine. Dr. Minjeur will talk about shingles and answer your questions at the upcoming free LiveWell event “Should I Know About Shingles?” on Tuesday, July 23, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s. To register, call 319/369-7395.

Quick-recovery gallbladder removal Surgery to remove the gallbladder is one of the most common surgical procedures for adults in the U.S. St. Luke’s performed nearly 600 in 2012, and last summer surgeons began performing an innovative technique at St. Luke’s – single-site gallbladder removal – to minimize pain and recovery time. Sylvester Kafer was the first patient to receive single-site gallbladder removal in Cedar Rapids. His doctor discovered he had gallstones, which are hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder, after Kafer became sick and couldn’t eat. Kafer’s general surgeon recommended single-site gallbladder removal. Many people with gallstones never have symptoms. Those who do often experience pain in the abdomen, fever and yellowing of the skin or eyes. Removing the gallbladder is the typical treatment for people who experience symptoms from gallstones. Single-site robotic surgery involves making a small, single incision in the patient’s belly button using the da Vinci robot. In laparoscopic surgery, multiple small incisions are made in the abdomen. Traditional gallbladder removal typically requires a larger opening in the abdomen and involves a hospital stay of several days to a week for recovery. With robotic surgery, patients go home the day of surgery and resume normal activity as soon as they feel up to it. “The doctor told me I’d be back to normal three to four days after surgery, which I was. I had surgery on a Thursday and I was back to driving the school bus by Tuesday, mainly because they didn’t have school on Monday,” Kafer said. “This made me feel like – did I even have surgery?” Kafer said he had no pain after his surgery and he was back to work and able to garden in a matter of days. To learn more about St. Luke’s services go to

Symptoms of gallstones A gallbladder attack happens when gallstones block bile ducts and typically follows fatty meals. Let your doctor know if you experience the following symptoms: • Steady pain in the right upper abdomen that increases rapidly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours • Pain in the back between the shoulder blades • Pain under the right shoulder Although these attacks often pass when gallstones move, your gallbladder can become infected and rupture if a blockage remains. Source: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Welcome to Medicare seminars Close to 40,000 Iowans will turn 65 in 2013. With all the options and choices, it can be difficult to figure out what’s best for you – or for a family member you may be helping to make Medicare choices. Attend one of our free Welcome to Medicare seminars to receive clear, straightforward answers to the following questions: 1. Should I enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B? 2. How will I get my Medicare coverage? 3. How do I enroll in Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage? 4. Will I have some type of supplemental coverage which will cover costs not paid by Medicare? 5. If I have Sierra supplemental insurance but want to use St. Luke’s and UnityPoint Clinic, how can I find a supplemental insurance that better meets my needs?


The two-hour seminars are presented by St. Luke’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors, who are trained by the State of Iowa. SHIIP counselors do not sell or promote any insurance companies, policies or agents. They help you understand your Medicare options and enroll. Welcome to Medicare seminars 6 – 8 p.m., St. Luke’s Hospital Heart Center Classrooms, 3rd Floor Tuesday, July 9 Thursday, July 25 Thursday, Aug. 8 Tuesday, Aug. 27 Tuesday, Sept. 10 Thursday, Sept. 26 To register (required) for a free seminar, call the St. Luke’s SHIIP office at 319/369-7475.

Advantage Newsletter Summer 2013  

For UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Advantage members

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