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Angel Medical Center President's Column for February 2024

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Let’s Commit to Doing All We Can to Support Our Heart Health in 2024

I ended last month’s article talking about the heart to care that everyone at Angel Medical Center (AMC) has for our community. February is known as the month of the heart since it’s American Heart Month, and we concentrate on learning about heart disease prevention, understanding the signs of a heart attack, and recuperating from and living with heart conditions. We consider overall heart health and women’s heart health as well.

Of course, we also celebrate love and matters of the heart on February 14th , Valentine’s Day. One of these heart-related themes is positive, while the other causes concern. But we can turn thinking about heart health into something positive and life-lengthening, because taking care of ourselves and getting preventive care can go a long way in preserving our hearts.

As with so many things in life, our health is affected by our attitudes. Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty, and are you always thinking the grass is greener…somewhere else? This way of looking at things can created negative health impacts. When this outlook co-mingles with the stresses we all experience in life, we are harmed both psychologically and physically. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), chronic exposure to stress can contribute to heart disease just as much as other risk factors like smoking, poor diet, and lack of activity. The AHA also states that high, poorly managed stress increases blood pressure, makes the blood clot more easily, and decreases our body’s ability to move oxygen to the heart and other muscles.

Women are also living with the under-acknowledged condition of heart disease, and it has quickly risen to the top of the list as their number one cause of death. Why? Women are the healthcare managers and advocates in most families, and even though heart disease is preventable, it can show up in unusual ways in women — especially when it comes to heart attack symptoms. Unlike heart attack symptoms that are typical to men, such as shortness of breath, pain in the arm, jaw, neck, or back, and nausea, women can experience a feeling of intense pressure in their back or abdomen, dizziness, and stomach discomfort like heartburn.

The vagueness of these symptoms, and a condition we have discussed in many articles — denial — that they are having issues or could be a candidate of a heart attack, are contributing to this killer condition ending more women’s lives than cancer. My opinion is that most women are so busy caring for and loving everyone else, they often forget to give this attention to themselves.

February should be a reminder for everyone about how much of self-care involves acknowledging the body and the signals if provides. Simple preventive steps can significantly boost your heart and overall health, including eating a balanced diet, avoiding smoking and other nicotine use, monitoring and controlling blood pressure, and recognizing and acting on any symptoms that arise. Of course, seeing your primary care provider regularly is also critical.

Becoming more aware and seeing the positive in situations can change how we feel and transform the world around us. February was named after a Roman festival that focused on atonement and purification. Sounds like a great thing to start 2024 with — by cleansing the mind, body, and spirit through making healthy choices.

I would be remiss if I did not thank and acknowledge my team and family at Angel Medical Center for all they do every day for our community. We started a culture change journey we called “We are Angel,” where we refocused care and how we provide care. The key words are these: “Compassion,” “Connected,” and “Care.” Our only focus is on you and caring for our community.

I believe our team is doing an excellent job with our patients, and we want our community to know we are here for their healthcare needs. Thank you, Franklin, for your support, trust, and for allowing us to care for you.


Clint Kendall, FACHE, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN, is Chief Executive Officer/Chief Nursing Officer of Angel Medical Center. He started his career as a nurse, and that perspective still informs his work and passion for the patient experience. Clint holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Nursing, and Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Carolina University. Clint has also earned the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) certification, and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the American Nurses Association (ANA).


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