Full of Heart

MRMC maintains the quality and compassion they’re known for with a new heart clinic and other advancements.

When 71-year-old Jack Hillesland began having trouble breathing in October 2016, his wife drove him straight to the emergency room at Munroe Regional Medical Center. His breathing only got worse once he arrived.

“Long story short, my heart was in bad shape, and I had to have quadruple bypass surgery,” Jack says. “I was given such great care.”

Jack’s wife, Jenna, stayed by his side through the two weeks he was in the hospital, and his son and daughter visited. He remembers the doctors and nurses at MRMC taking the time to answer all of their questions and demonstrating compassion and kindness.

“It seemed like everyone cared not only about me but about my family, too,” Jack says.

Lynn M. Smith, RN, BSN, Director, Cardiac Cath Lab, Cardiovascular Operating Room and Electrophysiology Lab., says this is exactly why she got into health care—to serve and help improve the health of others. The heart program at MRMC began 25 years ago, and the latest advancements include reaccreditation in heart failure, chest pain and atrial fibrillation services, along with a new cardiac catheterization lab and the Structural Heart and Heart Failure Clinic. These accreditations confirm MRMC’s commitment to standards of excellence for patients and the community.

“The new cath lab will help with efficiency and wait times as well as lower the radiation dose received compared to typical systems,” Lynn says. “The Structural Heart component of the clinic is to help meet the demand of our community for specialized heart procedures that MRMC has been doing since 2012, such as Trans-Aortic Valve Replacement.”

Because there are alternative procedures to open heart surgery now and benefits as well, the demand for these options is increasing. MRMC’s new clinic allows the hospital to efficiently process patient referrals and handle the increased volume. The other aspect of the clinic, the Heart Failure component, partners with cardiologists to help patients avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency department, hospitalizations and extended days once in the facility. The clinic serves as a buffer between a patient’s cardiologist or primary care physician and the emergency room.

“As in the past, up until 2009, MRMC provided this service to our Heart Failure patient population. We are pleased to have reopened this clinic on hospital grounds to address major concerns with our Heart Failure community,” Lynn says. “Structural Heart captures the new and innovative approaches to heart care. As technology advances, our ability to adapt and embrace beneficial techniques is critical. Our patients deserve the best, and the Structural Heart Program positions us to become a one-stop shop for heart care.”

Because of MRMC’s commitment to offering the very best treatment options to patients, Jack not only received immediate attention but also experienced an excellent recovery. Within three months of his quadruple bypass surgery, he was walking five miles a day. He claims to be in better shape now than he was before.

“If you have a heart problem, [MRMC] is where I would go,” she says.

Following his recovery, Jack was still so impressed with the care he received that he looked for a volunteer opportunity at the hospital. Now, every Friday morning, Jack volunteers in the waiting room of the cardiovascular intensive care unit. He enjoys sharing his experience with others and helping out in any way he can. He’s also seen the consistent progress, upgrades and improvements that MRMC has been making.

“Every time I come in, I see they’re doing a lot of work on the infrastructure,” Jack says.

Constant improvement and advances in devices, training, equipment, processes and quality initiatives are being made. Because patients are most important, the team at MRMC—from doctors and administrators to support personnel—are passionate about patient care and maintaining a standard of excellence.

“We frequently receive letters from patients and their family members regarding our heart care,” Lynn says. “Many of them see our physicians as their ‘knights in shining armor’ and the staff and nurses as ‘angels.’ The extra mile our team goes to in the heart program is what makes this team stand out above the rest.”

For Jack, the feeling of complete confidence in his doctors put his mind at ease. Now, he is overwhelmed with gratefulness for the care he received.

“They were all very courteous, very friendly. I can’t say enough about it,” Jack says. “If I hadn’t gone, I could have died at home.”

What stands out most about MRMC’s cardiac services is the reputation that the hospital has earned. The commitment to quality and excellence of service has been maintained for more than 20 years.

“As we embrace the new best practices and care approaches, we only get better; and when that happens, our community wins,” Lynn says.

Munroe Regional Medical CENTER

1500 SW 1st Ave, Ocala

munroeregional.com › (352) 351-7200


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