The importance of awareness
Lisa Harrison helped coordinate Franciscan’s Spirit at Work initiative, so she's up to date about what's going on around our hospitals. She was one of the first to hear about HeartAware, the online risk assessment tool administered by the St. Joseph Heart & Vascular Center at St. Joseph Medical Center. Lisa took the online screening when it was rolled out for employees.
When HeartAware became available to the public, Lisa urged her mom, Nikki Blevins, to take it too. "She resisted a little. But I kept it up. I said 'Just do it! You can do it online, it doesn't take long, what can it hurt?'"
In fact, HeartAware may have saved Nikki's life. Soon after completing the screening online, Nikki got a call from the Heart & Vascular Center telling her she needed to see a doctor. Nikki was referred to internal medicine specialist Deepshikha Bhasin, MD, at Franciscan Medical Group's Lakewood Clinic, and then to cardiologist Raju Patel, DO. An angiogram showed 100 percent blockage of one artery.
Two and a half weeks later, Nikki was at St. Joseph having a stent inserted into the blocked vein. Now, she's doing well. "She still deals with asthma, but she can walk around the mall, which she hasn't done in years," Lisa says. And as part of her new attention to her heart health, Nikki is enjoying weekly nutrition classes at St. Joseph.
"HeartAware saved my Mom's life," Lisa says. "Would the outcome have been as good if she'd had a heart attack first, and then gotten the care? Maybe. But we're glad we found the problem before that happened."