I need a cardiologist … now what?

U-M Call Center professionals make the process smooth

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The U-M Call Center team (from left): Cheryl Palmer, Sandy Coffey, Andrea Navarre and Ashley Chang.

Your primary physician just recommended you see a cardiologist for a suspected heart condition. So where do you go from here?

If you decide you’d like to see a University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center cardiologist, the process is straightforward, beginning with a call to one of our Call Center professionals.

Call Center professionals are here to help guide you through the process of identifying the right cardiologist.

Getting started

“We start by gathering as much information from the caller as possible,” says Andrea Navarre. This includes a diagnosis (if one was given by the primary doctor) and a description of any symptoms the person is experiencing. “We realize that finding the right doctor can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to provide guidance and to point each caller to a cardiologist who aligns with his or her specific diagnosis or needs.” Continue reading

Who are all these people in my hospital room?

A new generation of patient and family centered care

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Dr. Kim Eagle and his medical team do their “bedside rounding” where they meet with the patient to discuss her medical plan as well as any concerns or questions.

At a teaching hospital like the University of Michigan, your room is likely to fill up with many new faces when the doctor makes his or her rounds. And you’re probably wondering: Who are all these people in my room??

The answer is simple and complex: They’re all there to care for you, and each has a specific reason for being in your room. Here’s a rundown of some of the people who might be in your room and what they do:

  • The attending physician or senior physician (your doctor) is also the “teacher” physician.
  • A pharmacy student as well as a clinical pharmacist “teacher” monitors your medications.
  •  A social worker is a healthcare professional trained to assist with social needs.
  • A nurse practitioner is a nurse with a graduate level of education who’s trained to diagnose and treat disease.
  • A physician’s assistant is a medical professional with graduate level education who’s trained to diagnose and treat disease.
  • Medical students are learning your history as part of their education.
  • Residents are physicians who are learning to deliver patient care.

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U-M Nurse Inspires 2015 Heart Walk Team

Hearts on the Run team leader walks in honor of her dad

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Michele Derheim, RN, hopes to inspire others to participate in the 2015 Heart Walk

Michele Derheim, RN, will be among the hundreds of U-M employees who gather on the campus of Eastern Michigan University on May 9. They’ll be participating in the American Heart Association’s 2015 Washtenaw County Heart Walk/5K Run to help raise funds for the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Inspired by her 78-year-old father who suffers with peripheral arterial disease, Michele is currently recruiting runners for her team, “Hearts on the Run.” A born motivator, she hopes to inspire others to participate in the Heart Walk and to embrace a healthy lifestyle, something she did eight years ago in anticipation of her 40th birthday.

“I realized that I needed to take better care of myself,” Michele says. Even though she was a frequent walker and aerobic exerciser, she found it wasn’t enough. She began a walking/running routine that soon had her running three miles, then 5K races and, finally, a full marathon in 2013. Her father’s condition has made her commitment to fighting heart disease and embracing a healthy lifestyle even stronger. Continue reading

5 healthy lifestyle tips

Make healthy changes during Employee Health & Fitness Month

sign BlogApril is Employee Health & Fitness Month (EHFM), an international observance of health and fitness in the workplace. In recognition of EHFM, University of Michigan Frankel CVC Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Martha Weintraub shares 5 healthy lifestyle tips.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, you probably already know that lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in healthy outcomes. But with so many possibilities and so much free advice everywhere you look, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Because it’s important to start with goals that are achievable, here are 5 easy changes you can make today to help you reach your goal of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Continue reading

Is drinking alcohol good for your heart?

Moderation is key - but what is one drink?

wine blogDrinking alcohol in moderation, along with an overall healthy lifestyle, is acceptable for most individuals. However, non-drinkers should not start drinking based on this information. Too much alcohol can cause direct damage to heart cells as well as nutritional and vitamin deficiencies. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents, so moderation is critical.

Is drinking alcohol good for your heart? Although drinking one glass of red wine a day is marketed as beneficial to the heart, there is no conclusive research or studies that support this claim. Some people believe that red wine is better than other types of alcohol, but the evidence is lacking.

Ongoing studies are examining the potential benefits of components in red wine such as flavonoids and other antioxidants (the same antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables) in reducing heart disease risk, but no direct comparison trials have been done to determine the specific effect of wine or other alcohol on the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Continue reading

5 Top Takeaways on Hypertension

Dr. Todd Koelling's Mini Med School presentation focuses on high blood pressure

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic blogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shares his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Todd Koelling’s recent presentation on Hypertension:

  1. New Guidelines

New guidelines define new goals for blood pressure measurements in patients. Experts in the field have recently published the JNC-8 (Joint National Committee on high blood pressure in adults) evidence-based guidelines containing the following hypertension targets:

  • Targeted blood pressure for those 60 and older is 150/90 or below.
  • Targeted blood pressure for those under the age of 60 is 140/90 or below.

Continue reading