Transformed Patient Unveils ‘New Self’ to Inspire Guests at Heart & Stroke Seminar

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long-beach-memorial 2011 Gallup Great Workplace AwardHeart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over the age of 25, in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. More than 8 million women are affected by this disease – a statistic that Long Beach Memorial doesn’t take lightly. The Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research at Long Beach Memorial focuses on prevention of heart disease, exclusively in women, offering cardiovascular screenings and individualized care plans.

The Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research at Long Beach Memorial believes the best way to beat this disease is with prevention and by using research to determine how women are affected differently. The first time 24-year-old Paula came to the Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research she weighed 360 pounds – 16 times her age. Paula’s mom passed away from cardiac arrest and her dad passed away from a stroke. Paula knew that she needed to get her heart checked. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was advised to lose weight. After her experience with her parents passing at a young age, she understood the need to take more preventative measures and decided to make lifestyle changes to save her life. Since September, Paula has been determined to lose 110 pounds by mid-February. During the Women’s Heart and Stroke Seminar, Paula will “reveal her new self” and share her journey towards becoming heart healthy.

When it comes to the heart, research indicates that women must be approached differently than men. The specialized care team at the Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research screens more than 500 women annually. The team’s goal is to help women and their primary care physicians understand and manage heart disease risk factors for women. Women see specialized nurse practitioners who understand the unique differences of heart disease between men and women. Designed just for women, the center offers comprehensive heart evaluations, focusing on early detection and prevention to improve a woman’s life-long health and well-being. A cardiovascular risk screening designed for women, a vascular screening for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and a fibrillation screening are available at the center. Long Beach Memorial urges women to embrace their heart and schedule annual cardiac screenings.

“It is important for women to understand that symptoms of heart disease present differently in women than men,” says Cindy Peters, RN, MSN, ACNP, Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research. “Although chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack many women never experience chest pain or other classic symptoms. Heart attack symptoms such as jaw pain, severe fatigue and indigestion are often overlooked. Understanding there are differences, knowing your risk for heart disease and getting screened is a good start for prevention.”

To keep women aware of how devastating heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are to women, the Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research works closely with Long Beach Memorial’s Stroke Program. The physicians and care teams of each program work closely together to coordinate care for patients. Long Beach Memorial is a dedicated Stroke Receiving Center for Los Angeles County – and has achieved the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With The Guidelines®” Gold Plus achievement award for multiple years. Long Beach Memorial provides high-quality neuro-interventional services allowing less invasive surgeries to be performed on complicated neurovascular conditions. Long Beach Memorial is one of only three hospitals in California to have a 320 slice computed tomography (CT) scanner that provides clear images of the brain to diagnose areas of the brain affected in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

In celebration of National Heart Awareness Month and to bring more awareness to the community, Long Beach Memorial’s Stroke Program and Center for Women’s Cardiac Health and Research are hosting the Women’s Heart and Stroke Seminar on Saturday, Feb. 18 beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Attendees of the Seminar will learn how to manage risk factors, such as high cholesterol, glucose (sugar levels), high-blood pressure, obesity, smoking and learn lifestyle changes. Blood pressure, carotid artery ultrasound, cholesterol and blood glucose (non-fasting) screenings will be available. Heart disease and stroke specialists will share the latest information about recognition and treatment of heart disease and stroke specific to women. Register for this event by calling (888) 794-9466.

About the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Long Beach Memorial:
The MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute (MHVI) at Long Beach Memorial is one of California’s most comprehensive centers for diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease. MHVI provides advanced, world-class care for complex heart conditions including myocardial infarction, heart failure, arrhythmias and peripheral vascular disease. MHVI follows evidence-based approaches for quality and patient safety in a complete continuum of cardiovascular care services. Best practice prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, research and support activities are delivered in state-of-the-art facilities, including dedicated catheterization laboratories and operating rooms specially configured to fulfill the unique requirements of cardiovascular medicine. Visit MemorialCare.org/LBHeart, like us on Facebook.com/LongBeachMemorial and follow us at Twitter.com/LongBeachMMC.

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