Archive for the ‘Heart’ Category

Mayo Clinic & Minnesota Twins Team Up for Improved Health

October 12, 2010


Even though the New York Yankees ended the Minnesota Twins’ playoff hopes on Saturday night, the first season in Target Field was lined with attendance records and an American League Central Division Championship, not to mention a new relationship with Mayo Clinic to help improve the health of Twins fans.

Throughout the 2010 season, Mayo Clinic provided on-site health screenings for thousands of fans at Target Field — including blood pressure and cholesterol checks, Body Mass Index calculations, as well as orthopedic surgery and sports medicine screenings and education.

In-stadium signage at all Target Field games included health tips read by Twins players, and pregame radio interviews with Mayo Clinic physicians provided more in-depth information on health topics, including:

To learn more about the Mayo Clinic-Twins relationship, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/mntwins/. Details on events and activities for next season will be updated as it approaches!

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Mayo Clinic is my answer

September 6, 2010

People often ask 22-year-veteran Kay Thiemann why she has stayed at Mayo Clinic for so many years. Her answer is simple: “Because we embrace our mission to put the needs of the patient first. And because we are committed to delivering quality care for our patients each and every time. It is very important to me that my personal values fit with my employer’s values.”

As the operations administrator for the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery on the Florida campus, people rely on Kay Thiemann for answers. But when Thiemann recently needed answers, she had faith her colleagues would come through for her.

Ben Thiemann

On July 20, her son was brought to Mayo Clinic after complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath while attending a sports camp. As she anxiously waited for the results of his tests, she received a frightening call that her brother had been taken to the Rochester campus after suffering two heart attacks.

Thiemann says her brother Lynn had been on vacation in Iowa when the first heart attack occurred. “I was told he was taken to a rural hospital where the physician advised he was fine and would be discharged. He knew there was something wrong.” She said her brother insisted he be taken to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a second opinion.

Thiemann was now more anxious. But soon, she had answers.

Though Ben had experienced symptoms similar to his uncle, Thiemann’s son was diagnosed with an extreme iron deficiency that could easily be treated. It was due to his extreme physical activity.

Lynn, however, was a bit more complex. He suffered a second heart attack during transport to the clinic and was determined to have a carotid artery that was 95 percent blocked. Surgery was needed to insert a stent.

“He was told by staff at the clinic if he had waited another 12 hours he would not have made it,” Thiemann said. “But he said he would rather have died trying to get to Mayo Clinic, than to have never tried at all.”

Today, both Ben and Lynn are doing well and Thiemann is even more vocal about the value of Mayo Clinic and its model of care.

“There is not a health care system that compares to the quality of care of Mayo Clinic and the compassion its staff provides to its patients,” Thiemann said. “When my family needs answers, there is only one Mayo Clinic.”

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Heartfelt Memories

May 30, 2010

As a mother of a two-year old, I know that memories are precious. I spend a lot of time behind the camera taking pictures so that my son can have a lasting impression of our time together. It is with that in mind that I am an advocate for the American Heart Association (AHA) and an involved member of Mayo Clinic’s Start! Heart Walk team.

Heart disease runs in my family. Both of my grandfathers died of heart-related illnesses, and my father has a pacemaker to keep him ticking. I know it’s likely that I’ll have a heart-related issue in my lifetime, so I try to focus on living well and prevention. 

But now, as a mother, I want to do something that will make an impact on my son. Aidan is the light of my life, and I want to be able to love him, play with him and just be a part of his life for as long as possible. I also want him to know – even at the tender age of two – that having healthy habits is important and that fitness can be fun.

By participating in events like the heart association’s Start! Heart Walk, I am able to do that. I enjoy walking, can do it with my son at any age, and I gain the health benefits every time I step out. By volunteering as a part of Team Mayo Clinic, I help get the word out about heart disease and further the education and research efforts of the AHA.

This year, Mayo Clinic is the corporate sponsor of the Jacksonville, Fla., Heart Walk, which will be Sept. 25 at Metropolitan Park. Our goal is to get 550 walkers – colleagues, family, friends and patients. Perhaps you’ll consider joining Aidan and me as we build some heartening memories?

To learn more about heart disease visit www.mayoclinic.org/heart. To sign up as part of Mayo’s team, visit please click here and then select either a team or click the “Create New Team” link. Follow the prompts.

This article is written by Amy Lannen, a documents manager at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida.

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Crystal M: My Mayo Clinic Story

May 27, 2010

Crystal M writes from North Carolina:

I saw the invitation to share your story in the newsletter and thought that I would share mine with you. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner in hospitalist medicine, working in an approximate 150 bed facility in North Carolina. At the age of 23 I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, this was around three years after my father had been diagnosed with this genetic condition. I had no symptoms at the time, continuing to work as a cardiac ICU nurse and eventually graduate as a nurse practitioner.

Things began to change around late 2007 when I was 32 years old. I could no longer participate in much physical activity and over the next year things progressed to the point that I could no longer climb stairs and work was becoming increasingly difficult. It seemed that no one in my local area was comfortable treating my condition and several referrals were made with no treatment resulting in any measurable improvement.

I made the decision on my own to travel to Minnesota and it was by far the best decision I have ever made. When I arrived in the HCM clinic I finally began to understand what was happening to me and receive clear guidance. One week later I underwent surgery in St. Marys Hospital, which was a life-changing experience. Before this I was nearing the point of being unable to work, and eight weeks after surgery I returned to seeing patients full time.

I have been in healthcare for years and it is difficult for me to imagine that there is care out there anywhere that surpasses Mayo Clinic. My experience changed my life and I think about this every day in my interactions with others who are suffering. Thank you does not even begin to express my gratitude for what the clinic gave me- my life back.

If you would like to share your Mayo Clinic story, you may do so in the comments on this post, or see this page for more options.

The Heart of Mayo Clinic in Florida

April 9, 2010

Almost two years after the opening of the new hospital on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, employees still get pumped up about working in the state-of-the-art operating rooms (ORs). The cardiothoracic surgery team has two designated heart operating rooms, each averaging more than 700 square feet in size, spacious by OR standards. They are equipped with ceiling-mounted high-definition monitors and two booms with video equipment that can be controlled from the nurses’ area.

Cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Kevin Landolfo, Dr. Richard Agnew and Dr. John Odell bring a variety of experience and diversity to the team. Surgeries range from the routine, such as coronary artery bypass grafting including off-pump procedures and heart valve replacement and repair, to MAZE procedures, implanting ventricular assisted devices, heart and lung transplants, aortic root surgery, thoracic aneurism repair,  ventricular remodeling and minimally invasive heart procedures. Later this year,  robotic- assisted heart surgery will be done.

Wally Caldwell, a registered nurse and coordinator of Cardiac/Vascular Surgery, says one of the joys of working at Mayo Clinic is that all physicians work for the institution and share the same core values as the staff. This adds to the quality of care and coordination within the OR.

Wally’s greatest inspiration is when he is able to visit with the patients after surgery and witness their progress in recovery. “There are many times where the patient can’t breathe, and two days after surgery, they are talking and eating,” he says. Patients are what bring him to work everyday, he says.

When asked how he would like to make his mark at Mayo Clinic, he recalled his first day of work when a colleague gave him the advice to “try to make Mayo a better place when you retire than it was when you started.”

To become a member of this wonderful team or learn more about our staff, visit our website at www.mayoclinic.org/jobs-jax/.

Written by Jennifer Lineburg, recruitment coordinator at the Florida campus. Information given by Wally Caldwell, registered nurse and coordinator of Cardiac/Vascular Surgery at the hospital.

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Mayo Blood Pressure Screening at Mall of America

February 17, 2010

High blood pressure is a major risk factor heart disease. The persistent increased pressure forces the heart to work against itself. Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist Kathy Zarling explains high blood pressure, the associated risks, and how you can control your own risk factors.

Kathy will be part of a community blood pressure screening event at the Mall of America on Saturday, Feb. 27 from noon-3 p.m. in Macy’s Court. If you’re in the Twin Cities, join Kathy and her crew on Feb. 27 to learn more about ways to keep your heart healthy!

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Happy Holidays, Happy Heart

December 17, 2009

Ah, the holidays − a time when most people have added chaos in their lives. Between stressing over finances and the best gifts to buy, fighting traffic at the mall and packing the calendar with parties, it can be the complete opposite of comfort and joy. As a result, the holidays can take a toll on health problems, especially heart disease.

As an intern with Public Affairs, I recently helped organize an interview between one of Mayo Clinic’s Emergency Medicine physicians, Gretchen Lipke, M.D., and a local radio station. Dr. Lipke was sharing information about the rise in holiday-time heart attacks and stroke.  

This is a time of year when people tend to stray from daily routines. They delay exercise and go off their diets. Those with health problems may shy away from seeing a doctor because they don’t want to disrupt the festivities. But sometimes, the problems can’t be ignored.

Dr. Lipke mentioned several studies that report more people suffer from heart attacks and strokes during the holidays than any other time throughout the year. The biggest spikes are seen on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

With all of the holiday parties and family gatherings, people tend to have more alcoholic beverages than normal. This can lead to “Holiday Heart” − a condition that may result in atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that can be spurred by binge drinking. Dr. Lipke told about a patient who was brought to Mayo Clinic’s Emergency Department with chest pain after drinking three glasses of wine at an office party.

After hearing Dr. Lipke speak of these issues, I began to think that I could unknowingly become a victim of holiday heart. Perhaps some lifestyle changes were necessary.

I have a family history of cardiovascular disease. My maternal grandfather died at age 47 from a heart attack. And I was diagnosed with a heart murmur a few years ago. Although I try to watch my diet and exercise regularly, I still indulge in a glass of wine (or two or three) on occasion. I admit to taking it easy with the dieting and exercising during the holidays, too.

After listening to Dr. Lipke, I know I need to remain conscious of my diet and cut back on the alcohol. I like Dr. Lipke, but I don’t want to ring in the New Year with her at the hospital.

♥ For more on heart attack signs and symptoms of stroke, visit www.mayoclinic.org.

♥ As Dr. Lipke advises, don’t hesitate to call 911 or get medical attention if you have chest pain, arm pain or trouble swallowing or seeing. It’s worth your life to interrupt the party.

The following was written by Cody DeSaulniers, an intern in the Public Affairs Department at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

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