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Fort HealthCare Offers Comprehensive Cardiac Care

Health, Wellness & You
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There is often a misconception about small healthcare systems, that they are inadequate or behind-the-times. Fort HealthCare does not fit that description. As we prepare to enter February, American Heart Month, heart health is top of mind. When you need heart care, you may not have the luxury of time to ask questions and research options. That is why it is so important to know what services are available here in your community. Fort HealthCare offers a comprehensive approach to heart care which includes prevention, treatment and recovery. Services available include the following.

The field of Cardiology includes diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for heart disease, artery disease, heart failure and electrophysiology. Cardiology is available through the Specialty Clinic at Fort HealthCare where both preventive and specialty care is available. Physicians from some of the most well-known and well-respected organizations, such as UW Health and Dean Health System come to Fort Atkinson to practice, so patients don’t have to travel. For more information, please call (920) 568-5334.

Heart Failure Clinic
Fort HealthCare offers a FREE services to anyone with a heart-related diagnosis from a Fort HealthCare affiliated physician. The program includes education of patients and family members to manage their disease and remain as independent as possible. Consultation is developed by communicating with your physician, a dietician, physical therapist and any other necessary healthcare personnel. Participants in the Clinic receive a monthly follow-up call and comprehensive reference guide provided by Tomorrow’s Hope. Home visits are available as needed. For more information, contact Dianne Knox at (920) 568-5469.

Pacemaker Clinic
Unknown to many residents, there is a fully operational Pacemaker Clinic located right here in Jefferson County. Since 1981, Dr. Alan Detwiler has served as medical director for this growing clinic. Staff are specially trained in the implantation and monitoring of pacemakers, and currently supervise over 150 patients. Staff members perform telephone checks three times per month to ensure the pacemaker is operating correctly and make necessary changes accordingly. As a member of the International Medtronic Registry, the clinic is available to any pacemaker patient traveling in the area. For more information, contact Tracy Puttre at (920) 568-5444.

Cardiac Evaluation
Fort HealthCare’s Cardiac Evaluation department provides cardiac testing procedures requested by physicians. Tests include electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress tests, cardiolite (to evaluate adequacy of blood flow to the heart), persantine (to expand arteries in those unable to tolerate vigorous exercise) and Retrospective EKG Memory Loop Recordings to capture data of any arrhythmias causing patient symptoms. These tests are the same as those you would receive at a much larger hospital. For questions please speak with your physician or call (920) 568-5350.

Available for individual or group instruction, credentialed or non- credentialed, Fort HealthCare can assist you in becoming CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) trained. Being trained in CPR and/or AED use can truly save a life, maybe even of someone you know. Community members are welcome to register for classes at Businesses or non-profit groups may elect to do private group instruction, which is available by contacting Dawn Blanton at (920) 568-5248.

Cardiac Rehab
The Cardiac Rehabilitation program is designed to help individuals with heart disease return to an optimal level of physical, emotional, social and vocational well-being. At Fort HealthCare, Cardiac Rehab is a phased approached. Phase I – Recovery, begins while still in the hospital by focusing on discharge and return to daily activities. Phase II – Healing, begins with a physician referral. This program is specifically designed to help with a progression to cardiovascular fitness. Exercise sessions take place in the Cardiac Wellness Center located on the first floor of Fort Memorial Hospital where the exercise program is supervised and blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are monitored. Phase III – Conditioning, is an exercise program where new goals are developed. The responsibility of the program is that of the participant. The goal is to make conscious lifestyle changes. This phase is open to anyone with a physician’s referral for exercise. For more information on Cardiac Rehab, contact Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien at (920) 568-5349.

Pulmonary Rehab
Pulmonary rehab consists of progressive exercise to strengthen muscles and increase endurance as well as provide emotional support. This will help to decrease the necessity for doctor visits or hospital stays and help you to have more stamina and energy at home. Often, patients in pulmonary rehab had a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the most common lung diseases. There are two main forms of COPD: chronic bronchitis, defined by a long-term cough with mucus; and emphysema. The pulmonary rehabilitation team, led by Dr. Donald Williams, includes a respiratory therapist, exercise psychologist, registered nurse, registered dietitian, your personal physician, social worker and occupational therapist. For more information on Pulmonary Rehab, contact Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien at (920) 568-5349.

Tobacco Cessation
Smoking in the most modifiable risk factor for heart disease, and while it is not easy to quit help is available. Fort HealthCare offers “Kick the Habit,” a four session program over the course of two weeks. In the class, participants explore the reasons for their tobacco use, strategies for quitting, and the physical impact of tobacco use on the body. You will learn about the physical, psychological and social aspects of tobacco use. “Kick the Habit” is available to the public or to employers wanting to help their workforce eliminate tobacco use. On July 5, 2010 the state of Wisconsin will become smoke-free, so now is the time to quit. The next public class will begin March 9. To register, visit or call the Health Promotion department at (920) 568-5244.

Whether you need assistance with heart disease prevention, treatment or rehabilitation Fort HealthCare is here to help. There is no need to travel to receive the quality healthcare you need. If you would like to meet with representatives from these departments and are interested in learning more about heart health, please join us at the 2010 Healthy Heart Fair on Saturday, February 6. There will be educational displays, informational handouts, recipes, refreshments, prize drawings and free screenings. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Fort Memorial Hospital in Classrooms A, B, and C. Activities will conclude at 11:00 a.m. and attendees will be directed to the auditorium for the keynote speaker, Dr. Pamela Wilson, president of the Wisconsin Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association of Wisconsin. Wilson is University of Wisconsin associate professor emeritus for the School of Medicine and Public Health. “Tobacco vs. Health: The Choice is Yours” will include information on how tobacco impacts the health of smokers and non-smokers, as well as the benefits of quitting. She will explore options for improving smoking cessation outcomes for smokers willing to quit. Please come join us for this educational presentation.

For more information on these services and others offered at Fort HealthCare, visit