February is American Heart Month, and here at Cincy Chic we’re taking the topic to heart. Keep reading as we learn about the innovative ways one local healthcare provider is promoting and improving heart health across the region, especially for women.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and that’s why cardiovascular care is now at the heart of some big initiatives at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
With six main campuses, 1,200 licensed patient beds, and more than 100 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio — they’re trying to make it easier than ever to get you the care you need. “[We have] vast resources to serve the Greater Cincinnati area,” says Theresa Taylor, manager of marketing and communications, “including a physician organization [with] more than 400 providers, a medical staff of more than 1,200 physicians with admitting privileges, almost 7,300 associates, more than 1,200 volunteers and three freestanding imaging centers.”
St. Elizabeth Healthcare has come a long way since the Sisters of the Poor founded it more than 150 years ago; Taylor says technology has a lot to do with that. “Technology has come a long way in recent years and allows us to be more in touch with our healthcare records and results in a way that hasn’t always been possible,” she explains.
For example, Taylor says, St. Elizabeth Healthcare was the first healthcare system in Greater Cincinnati to have a mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones. The app features contact information for and driving directions to any St. Elizabeth Healthcare hospital or physician facility. It also offers Health and Wellness Tools, such as a food diary and RunTracker to give you what you need to stay healthy right at your fingertips.
State-of-the-art technology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare is allowing the network to help people get and stay healthy thanks to a “secure, internal electronic medical records system that not only gives providers access to their patients’ medical records at any St. Elizabeth Healthcare or St. Elizabeth Physicians facility, but also gives you, the patient, faster, more convenient access to your personal medical records, test results and healthcare providers through a web portal called ‘My Chart,’” explains Taylor.
This spring, the hospital network will be opening the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute, which Taylor says will be a game-changer for the region’s cardiovascular health. Through the institute, St. Elizabeth Healthcare has pledged to reduce heart-related deaths in Northern Kentucky by 25 percent in 10 years. “That’s why we’re already hard at work across this region promoting the habits and lifestyles that promote premium heart health,” says Taylor.
Last fall, St. Elizabeth started its journey toward making cardiovascular disease prevention a priority when it launched two new health education programs. One of the programs was created for third-graders, the other for adults. “We figure by putting the best prevention information out in the community now and making it fun and interesting to learn, pretty soon it will be second nature for people locally to live more healthfully for their hearts,” adds Taylor.
Recently, St. Elizabeth began a major health education program that was piloted in the Kenton County School District called “My Heart Rocks.”
There is also a program available through St. Elizabeth Healthcare that cater to those who are older and missed out on the chance to learn about cardiovascular health called Take Time for Your Heart. It’s an hour-long, weekly class at St. Elizabeth’s Edgewood campus that are build around a Mayo Clinic manual on beating heart disease.
Because heart disease is the leading killer of women, Taylor says the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute created a program called Women Take Heart. “The program is free and makes learning about heart health easy and fun,” she adds. The program provides several benefits including monthly email newsletters with heart health tips just for women as well as information about upcoming heart health programs and screenings, news updates on women’s and cardiac health topics from Smart Health Today and priority registration for the popular “Women Take Heart” health conference and the “Women Take Heart” cardiovascular screenings at Dillard’s.
In addition, Taylor says, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the first and only healthcare system in Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana to pass the Mayo Clinic’s rigorous review process to become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This collaboration allows physicians from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to consult with Mayo Clinic physicians and provide their patients with event better care.
St. Elizabeth is also heading into its third year of membership with the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Taylor says the relationship is paying off in improved health for residents across the area. “And the great news is that this is just the beginning,” she adds. “In fact, initiatives that have just gotten under way with Mayo Clinic promise to bring patients still more benefits in the years ahead.”
For example, two students that were started in late 2014 may help save people from the potentially fatal effects of a heart attack while another study puts its focus on individualized medicine.
To learn more about St. Elizabeth Healthcare, click here.