staying powerCEO LETTER

Resources For The Heart

Salanger Matt web

The special guest speaker at our community’s most recent “National Wear Red Day” was Andrea Witteman, who had suffered a heart attack while still in her 40s. A wife, mother of two and busy university professional, she had been in very good health. Her blood pressure and cholesterol were fine, and she wasn’t overweight, so a heart blockage was the last thing she expected could happen to her. But happen it did.

“While focusing on running errands and picking up my children from camp one day last August, I suddenly felt ill,” she said. Unusual pain had crept into her chest and jaw. At first she was tempted to just go home. “But my guardian angel guided me to turn my car the other way and go to UHS Wilson Medical Center. By the time I got into the Emergency Room, I had to be resuscitated. The clinical team told me that a piece of plaque had dislodged in an artery, causing a blood clot. If I hadn’t sought immediate treatment, I could have died.”

The team at UHS Wilson acted quickly, taking Ms. Witteman to the Cath Lab, where the clot was removed and stents put in. Due to her decision to seek prompt treatment, and to the collective expertise of the clinicians who cared for her, she has recovered well, with little or no damage to the heart muscle.

Ms. Witteman credits the cardiac resources of UHS with saving her life. These resources are expansive, and they are available to everyone who lives in the Southern Tier. As the heart leader, UHS is committed to offering the latest in cardiovascular care. Every year our program becomes more sophisticated, adding new diagnostic tools and treatment options that can add years and quality to people’s lives.  

Recent advances in interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery have included the use of drug-coated stents, implantable defibrillators and specialized valve techniques, along with improvements in ultrasound for a clearer picture of heart function and abnormalities. Our work has received regional and national recognition.

But we’re proud of another area of our heart services as well. It comes under the heading of awareness, education, prevention and early intervention. We want you, like Ms. Witteman, to have the edge when dealing with any heart issue. That’s why we encourage you to learn all you can about heart health, read Stay Healthy Magazine, visit our website and stop by the UHS Stay Healthy Center at the Oakdale Mall.  

By staying in touch with all the information available to you today regarding cardiovascular fitness, by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and by seeking treatment right away if symptoms appear, you too will be guided in the right direction for a lifetime of wellness. 

Matthew J. Salanger
President and CEO of UHS