Heartland a go-to place for heart info

As Cardiac Awareness/Heart Month goes into its second week, Heartland of Marietta, 5001 Ohio 60, is open as a resource for those in the community with concerns about heart health.

Pamela Roff, director of admissions and marketing, said Heartland provides a variety of free programs for the community.

“We provide wellness checks for free, education presentations and (ways for) managing congestive heart failure (CHF),” Roff said. “The community is free to attend.”

Ashley Neenan, administrator at Heartland, said that Heartland listens to community needs, making programs available as certain needs are seen.

“We’re listening to the community for what their needs are,” Neenan said. “Wellness checks are a big part of that.”

Wellness checks include blood pressure and weight readings.

Roff said managing weight and blood pressure can “help (someone) kick CHF” and they are “critical to good health and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.”

While weight and blood pressure are important for managing CHF or preventing it in the first place, they are part of a bigger plan; four key things that help determine a better quality of life, Roff said.

“The four key things are a physician-directed routine for medical care, exercise, nutrition and medication management,” Roff said.

Another free resource is answering insurance and benefits questions.

“Whether it’s Medicare, insurance, Medicaid or private pay, I can let them know what their benefits are,” Roff said. “Some have benefits they aren’t even aware of.”

Roff said one of those benefits is a 30-day window between admission to the hospital and admission to Heartland.

“If a patient has a three-night stay in the hospital, within 30 days they can be admitted to Heartland without returning to the hospital,” Roff said.

She said this instance most often happens when an individual is adamant about returning home, but once they get home they are unable to stay there because of their health.

Many programs sponsored by Heartland don’t deal with health. Roff said Heartland has sponsored craft shows, Halloween and Christmas parties and meet and greets with Santa for children.

Free medical education programs are offered at various times throughout the year. Roff said these programs can be already scheduled or formed when a need is seen in the community. Some programs include CHF management, cooking with diabetes, the art of label reading, patient rights, fall risk prevention and stress reduction. Roff said anyone can suggest a program simply by contacting Heartland.

“We can set up anything the community wants and shows a particular need for,” Roff said.

Roff said that programs are available at Heartland, sometimes the Jaycee Estates and both the Belpre and Marietta senior centers. She said the programs can be based on medical need or open to everyone and are available year-round.

“In the community, we all look for that something extra to do,” Roff said. “We partner with the community and offer things; we let our community know we’re here for them. (Activities) help with stress levels and lower blood pressure. We all need something enjoyable to do.”

She added that the main goal of Heartland is to get cardiac patients successfully discharged without readmission.

“We make sure they’re equipped with the proper medication, education and understanding to take care of themselves,” Roff said.

Neenan said heart awareness shouldn’t just be important during February and Heartland’s services were year round.

“Heart health awareness is very important,” Neenan said. “We try to be a good resource for the community and we strive for that every day.”