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Centegra Open Heart Surgery Program celebrates 2nd anniversary

October 26 marked the two-year anniversary of Centegra Health System’s first open heart surgery. The 300th open heart procedure was performed November 11, increasing the number of McHenry County residents to have their lives saved as a result of McHenry County’s first and only open heart surgery program.

“We are proud to be able to offer such a vital service to the greater McHenry County community,” Michael S. Eesley, Centegra President and CEO said. “Our team at Centegra has worked diligently to bring this much-needed service to the county and the number of patients we have helped to save in the first two years alone has proven the need and has shown the difference we have made in lives of so many,” he added.

Centegra expected to perform 75 procedures in the first year and 200 by the end of the second year, but Centegra’s program has exceeded expectations and performed 300 open heart surgeries in its first two years.

Centegra partnered with Cardiac Surgery Associates, the leading cardiac surgery group in Illinois, two years ago to be the cardiovascular surgical team performing all of Centegra’s cardiovascular procedures.

“The physicians of CSA have provided our patients with the highest-quality cardiac care in the state and they continue to focus on new ways to bring the most state-of-the-art cardiac care right here to McHenry County,” said, Suzan Buchaklian, Executive Director, Centegra Cardiovascular Services. “The success of this program demonstrates the commitment of the entire Centegra family as we continue to make a difference in the communities we serve. With this important service, patients and their families are receiving the care they need closer to home.”

Since the open heart program began, Centegra has expanded its cardiovascular program to include a third cardiac catheterization lab for angioplasty procedures and electrophysiology to help correct heart electrical problems.

In addition, Centegra’s Heart Failure Clinic coordinates a patient’s care and reaches out to other agencies when needed. For example, a nutritional specialist may consult with the patient and family about how to buy and eat healthy foods. Counselors and other professionals provide help for smoking cessation, diabetes education, depression, and more, all totaling an enormous amount of charitable benefits to the community. Patients at the Centegra Heart Failure Clinic have called it a safety net that provides ongoing support enabling them to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

For rehabilitation, but also for those seeking to prevent further cardiac events, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in McHenry and Woodstock is a two-phase program monitored by cardiac nurses who guide outpatients through exercise activities designed to build heart strength and return to wellness.

For prevention, a free, on-line heart health test is available at www.centegra.org. HeartAware was launched at Centegra in February, 2008. In its first six months, nearly 700 people took the test and more than half were identified as at risk for heart disease. Of the test participants, 73 percent were women and 23 percent were men. Each HeartAware participant found at risk is invited to a free consultation with a cardiac nurse, an important benefit when a risk of heart disease has been identified.

HeartAware is a free, pre-diagnostic tool that can be taken in the privacy of one’s own home at any time of the day or night. A person may be unaware that certain health habits or family history may be having a dramatic effect on their heart health. HeartAware provides the essential first step in effectively managing one’s health.

“The people of McHenry County should feel secure knowing that Centegra has developed a university-medical-center-quality cardiac program right here in McHenry County and will continue to be dedicated to providing the highest-quality, vital healthcare services to the residents in our community,” Eesley said.

Centegra is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more.

As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community.