Heart & Vascular

Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s number one killer. That’s why OSF HealthCare is striving to reverse this trend through prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac illness. Gifts made to Cardiovascular Services fund equipment and technology upgrades, while supporting community programs, patient/family support groups, and continued education. Not only are our physicians at the forefront of cardiovascular care and treatment, they are also the teachers of tomorrow's leaders in heart medicine.

Reaching New Possibilities

Your support helps us achieve top care in Central Illinois. We are recognized nationally for the quality of care our staff provides, and we strive to keep the momentum going.

Our facilities integrate cardiovascular services focusing on the overall health of cardiovascular patients across the OSF HealthCare System. This continuum of care includes all OSF physician practices, hospitals, ambulatory and diagnostic centers, home care services and hospice.

Our Facilities:

HeartCare Midwest:

HeartCare Midwest has offices in Peoria, Pekin, Bloomington, Galesburg and Ottawa. Outreach care is provided at nine satellite clinics. HeartCare Midwest physicians provide a broad spectrum of cardiovascular services at OSF hospitals in Central Illinois and 13 non OSF hospitals.

Rockford Cardiovascular Associates:

Rockford Cardiovascular Associates has offices in Rockford and DeKalb. Outreach care is provided at one satellite clinic. Rockford Cardiovascular Associates physicians provide a broad spectrum of cardiovascular (CV) services for OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center four non-OSF hospitals.

Stories of Inspiration:

Cabinet Maker

Metamora, IL

I am 41 years old, married and have three kids 15, 12, and 8 years. I am a self-employed, custom cabinet maker, owning and operating a wood-working company for over twenty years.

On August 29, 2007, while I was at work, I began having pain in my back, between the shoulder blades. The pain quickly moved to my chest and became very intense. After about 5 minutes, I began to think "Heart Attack." I took my pulse, knowing I run in the upper 80s. When my pulse was only 60, I drove myself to Metamora's Ambulance building for help.

Upon arrival at OSF Saint Francis, we were met by a large number of medical staff and my cardiologist. Within 48 minutes of arrival, I was on my way to intensive care with a stint in place and very little damage done to my heart. I cannot say enough about the quick response and treatment that I received during this critical moment in my life.

I started Phase II rehab about two weeks after my heart attack and returned to work at about the same time. Rehab was a great way to get back on my feet and get a new exercise routine started. I have changed my diet some and now walk 2 1/4 miles four to five times a week.

My heart attack was caused by a blood clot in my right coronary artery. I am 40 years old, weigh 135 pounds, am a non-smoker and had no warning signs ahead of time. Only one grandparent from both sides of my family had heart problems.

Administrative Assistnant

Mackinaw, IL

Heart disease is very prevalent in my family history. My father passed away at 47 of a major heart attack and my mother underwent cardiac bypass surgery. All of my parents' siblings (a total of 15 aunts and uncles) have passed away as a result of heart disease.

I started taking cholesterol medicine about 6-7 years ago and I thought it was inevitable that I would have a heart attack some day -- I wanted to change the statistics.

Last year, I changed my eating habits and started an exercise program. I went to a personal trainer who sat down with me and we discussed what I needed to do to change my ‘bad' habits. It truly boils down to accountability. We need to take accountability of ourselves to be the best that we can be.

I started a diet regimen that consisted of 5-6 small meals/day and was introduced to weight training. My trainer encouraged me every step of the way. Over the past year I've lost 35 pounds, my cholesterol has decreased to the point where my physician took me off all medications, and I exercise regularly.

Healthy Heart = Helps Prevent Heart Disease

Case Management Supervisor, RN, MSN

Germantown Hills, IL

In the late summer of 2006, I began experiencing intermittent chest pain during strenuous exercise and while pushing a lawn mower. Initially, I did not recognize it as "chest pain," as it was very mild.

But, because I have a strong family history of cardiac disease, I contacted my primary care physician.. Both of my parents, my only brother (at age 41) and my oldest sister have had coronary artery disease requiring intervention. I had been taking steps to stay healthy: regular exercise, watching my diet, trying to manage my daily stressors. Despite all these efforts, my symptoms were taken quite seriously by my primary care physician, who ordered labs and a nuclear stress test.

Within a week, I was referred to and seen by a cardiologist. Despite an inconclusive stress test, he felt my symptoms and family history warranted a cardiac angiogram. That test revealed significant coronary artery occlusion. Under the caring and gifted hands of my heart surgeon, I had a triple coronary bypass on Oct. 17, 2006, three months after my 50th birthday.

I spent the next three months recovering from the surgery, and I participated in our incredible Phase II Cardiac Rehab program. I was able to return to my position as a supervisor in Case Management 11 weeks following my surgery. I tell my victory story to encourage each of my OSF co-workers to take advantage of all the ChooseHealth! programs available. Although some risk factors, such as genetics and age, cannot be controlled, there are many that can. Whether it's a Personal Wellness Profile, weight management, managing your stress or HeartMath, these programs help and support our employees to be in the best health they can be.

Prevention Starts Now:

The physicians, nurses and other medical staff affiliated with OSF Cardiovascular Services know that women and men sometimes experience symptoms of heart disease. They also know that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to cardiovascular disease.

If you are healthy and have no history or symptoms of cardiovascular disease, you can help catch it early by having your blood pressure checked at least every two years and have a blood cholesterol test every five years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements if your levels are abnormal.

Any time you have a significant cardiovascular condition, you may require the attention of a cardiologist, a physician who is highly trained in diseases of the heart. Symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizzy spells often require special testing. Most importantly, cardiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating heart attacks, heart failure and other heart-related conditions.


OSF Saint Francis Heart Hospital Received Highest Award for Heart Attack Care

OSF Saint Francis Heart Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes OSF Saint Francis’ commitment and success in implementing the highest standard of care for heart attack patients. Hospitals must adhere to strict guideline-based measures for two years to be eligible for the award.

Each year in the United States, nearly 300,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, the most severe form of heart attack. A STEMI occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by opening the blocked vessel with a balloon or stent or by giving clot-busting medication.

The current guideline for door-to-balloon time for ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients from the American College of Cardiology is a median time of 90 minutes or less. The median time at OSF Saint Francis is 42 minutes – among the best in the country.

One of the keys to achieving the Mission: Lifeline® Gold status was through collaboration with the local EMS agencies. OSF HealthCare provided the funding, where necessary, for EMS to purchase pre-hospital ECG technology that allows paramedics and some first responders to perform an ECG and send the results electronically to a hospital so physicians and staff have time to prepare. “Using this system, we have been able to initiate the STEMI protocol from the field and significantly reduce response times,” says Darrel Gumm, MD, OSF ministry-wide coronary artery disease physician champion.

“This award recognizes not only our excellent heart attack care but the collaborative efforts of all involved,” says John Rashid, MD, interventional cardiologist and STEMI physician champion at OSF Saint Francis. “This only motivates us further to continue looking for ways to improve the cardiac care of the patients we serve.”