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St. Rose Health Center sponsors heart-failure support group
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Melanie Krier, left, and Kristin Steele prepare to lead a heart-failure support group at St. Rose Health Center. Krier and Steele are registered nurses at St. Rose. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

               Those who have been diagnosed with heart failure may benefit from a four-session support group at St. Rose Health Center.

            The free weekly sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon beginning Nov. 22 at St. Rose; use the south entrance. The other dates are Nov. 29, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12; the time and location are the same.

            Kristin Steele and Melanie Krier, both St. Rose registered nurses, will lead the discussions.

            “We understand heart patients have many questions after their cardiac event,” said Steele, who cares for patients in St. Rose’s Cardiac Rehab Department. “They receive tons of new information when released from the hospital, and inevitably, questions arise. We want to provide answers.”

            Heart failure is diagnosed when the heart is not pumping well enough to keep up with the body’s demands. Steele said medical science has made many strides in the treatment of the disease.

            Proper follow-up care is crucial to recovery, Steele noted, adding the support-group setting will provide guidance to patients and caregivers.

            “Seventy percent of re-admissions to a hospital are preventable,” she commented. “This is because it is easy to overlook specific information about medications, blood-pressure control and lifestyle changes.

            “When people are overwhelmed with information, they don’t immediately know the right questions to ask,” she explained. “But when they are feeling a little better and have time to review recovery guidelines, they realize they need advice.”

            Support-group participants will learn from one another and realize they are not alone, Steele said.

            “In this kind of give-and-take setting, we anticipate patients can more easily retain the information,” Steele noted. “It is much better than reading several pieces of paper with a lot of instructions.

            “With proper medications, a heart-healthy diet and exercise, people are living longer with a good quality of life,” she added. “We notice patients feel empowered when they realize they are in control of their recovery.”

St. Rose is a member of the Kansas Heart Stroke Collaborative, which supplied the funding for the nurses’ training as support-group facilitators. St. Rose, Hays Medical Center and the University of Kansas Hospital are partners with other Kansas facilities in the collaborative. The goal is to improve outcomes for heart and stroke patients.

St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, Imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Physical Therapy, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.