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$89.99 Could Help You Avoid Being Another Statistic

February 20, 2017

SSSL8851Vascular imaging can detect the onset of many heart and vascular diseases so we may have the chance for early prevention & intervention. Continue reading “$89.99 Could Help You Avoid Being Another Statistic” »

Heart Failure Awareness: Managing a Low Sodium Diet

February 16, 2017

SSSL9209This week, we are dedicating our post to heart failure, in honor heart failure awareness week. Heart failure is a condition affecting over 5 million people in the US. Despite its name, heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped beating. Heart failure is a condition where the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to sustain your body’s oxygen and blood needs. Consuming too much sodium may cause your heart to work harder and worsen a heart failure condition. Whether you have heart failure and are trying to manage it or are just trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, here are some tips for following a low sodium diet, tried and tested by the experts on our team. Continue reading “Heart Failure Awareness: Managing a Low Sodium Diet” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

February 14, 2017

DSC_0031“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
-Mother Teresa

In honor of both Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month, our billing team puts a smile on their faces and shows the world their love!

Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation

February 9, 2017

TMP_6927Nearly half of unhealed diabetic foot ulcers result in death within five years. In fact, 85% of lower-limb amputations in patients with diabetes are preceded with a foot ulcer, according to Diabetes Care. New Cardiovascular Horizons estimates the associated cost with amputations is $10-20 billion, every single year. These figures are staggering.

The consequences of amputations are devastating, yet many amputations can be prevented through early screenings and care. The Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) Foundation aims to reduce the incidence of lower-extremity amputations through education and patient advocacy. The SALSAL Foundation works closely with First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to inspire hope in those patients told nothing could be done for them.

Of the people who have benefited from the work of the SALSAL Foundation is Carla Urff. Carla has been a diabetic since the age of 11. She found out she had peripheral artery disease (PAD) at the age of 37. “In less than 2 years of diagnosis, they told me I needed to prepare for amputation because I had developed gangrene in the foot,” Carla said. She had several surgical procedures, which bought her some years, but were not a permanent solution.

After developing gangrene a second time and having three toes turn black, Carla decided to search the internet for a solution. She found the SALSAL Foundation and contacted Dr. Desmond Bell, the Founder & President of the SALSAL Foundation, as well as a top Wound Care Specialist. “He sent me to an Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Yazan Khatib, who confirmed he could help me,” Carla says.

“Dr. Khatib started cleaning out my arteries and stenting, putting stents in my legs and my heart,” Carla says. Dr. Khatib worked on her for five and a half hours straight to get the first stent in.

“He was not going to stop. He told me I can fix this,” Carla says, “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I was, knowing that I was so close to amputation, that there was actually help out there.” Carla now lives a healthy life without the fear of amputation.

It is stories like Carla that inspires Dr. Bell to spread the mission of the SALSAL Foundation. “We are trying to educate people so they can be proactive and avoid getting to a state where amputation is their only choice,” Dr. Bell says.

To learn more about the Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation or to donate to the cause, visit www.thesalsal.org. Donations will go towards raising awareness and assisting those in need to purchase diabetic shoes, socks, and supplies for PAD screenings.
Continue reading “Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation” »

Good News: Deaths Related to Heart Disease Going Down

January 26, 2017

TMP_5603Heart disease has remained the number one killer in the United States. Many efforts have been made to raise awareness on the prevention of heart disease. Organizations such as the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have succeeded in making this their number one mission and spreading the word around prevention.   Continue reading “Good News: Deaths Related to Heart Disease Going Down” »

Updates in Innovation: Dr. Al-Saghir performs MitraClip Procedure

January 12, 2017

mitraclip_vs_dime_image

Photo courtesy of Abbott

We have done it again! It is our mission to always be the first to bring residents of the First Coast the latest treatments and advancements in medicine. Our patients deserve the best. Dr. Al-Saghir has done it again by being the first in Clay County to perform the MitraClip procedure for patients with mitral regurgitation. Continue reading “Updates in Innovation: Dr. Al-Saghir performs MitraClip Procedure” »

How to Spot a Stroke

January 5, 2017

addshoot-48We’ve all heard the terms heart disease and stroke often talked about together. One key difference between the two is awareness. We both know that at the first sign of chest pain or shortness of breath, we should head to the nearest emergency room. But what are the warning signs behind a stroke? Continue reading “How to Spot a Stroke” »

Optimistic People May Live Longer

December 30, 2016

tmp_6793We know optimistic people are generally cheerful and pleasant to be around.  A new study recently found that even your heart doctor will thank you for an optimistic attitude.

A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that heart attack survivors who had an optimistic outlook were more likely to live longer. The study examined  over 600 individuals under the age of 65 between 1992-1993. Researchers followed up with the patients in 2015 and found that participants who had scored in the highest third of optimism levels were 33% more likely to have survived than those who had scored in the middle and lowest third. That’s something to be said about having a positive attitude!

Optimism in this context refers to a hopeful outlook of the future. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to hardships but rather learning how to deal with the hardships in a productive way. Optimists typically take proactive steps in their health, compared to pessimists who can often engage in health-damaging activities.

Increasing your optimism levels can take time and personal growth. Test out these strategies to help increase your optimism:

  • Set reasonable goals for yourself
  • Keep a journal of your progress with your goals
  • Take the time to tell yourself three things you are grateful for everyday
  • Identify stressors and identify a strategy to cope with them
  • Spend time around people who uplift you

Lowering Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

September 29, 2016

sssl8967By Lauren Dimitrov, MPH, RDN, LDN

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer in the U.S. Lifestyle modification is a critical component of health promotion and CVD risk reduction, both prior to or in conjunction with the use of cholesterol-lowering drug therapies. Lifestyle modification includes a heart healthy diet, weight management, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation. This article will focus on some key components of a heart healthy diet. Continue reading “Lowering Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease” »

Meet Dr. Jonathan Constantin!

August 25, 2016

IMG_8274CWe are excited to welcome Dr. Constantin to our team! Dr. Constantin comes to us from St. Vincent’s HealthCare. He will be seeing patients at our AC Skinner, Westside, Northside, Arlington, & Fleming Island offices.

Dr. Constantin graduated from medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He then went on to complete his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital followed by a cardiology fellowship at Drexel University. Dr. Constantin is board certified in cardiovascular diseases, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, & internal medicine.

Dr. Constantin believes the role of a doctor is that of a teacher. “It is my responsibility to educate patients on the choices that they make, whether positive or negative,” Dr. Constantin says, “I am a resource for patients.”

Dr. Constantin also believes in involving the patient in their care. He believes a patient’s understanding is paramount for a successful treatment plan. “A doctor can make the proper diagnosis, give the best advice and do all the right things,” Dr. Constantin says, “But if the patient walks out the door and doesn’t recognize how they are involved in their care, it is not going to be a successful program.”

Hear What His Patients Are Saying

Check out some of the positive patient comments we found on vitals.com!

“Very professional, knowledgeable and super bed-side manner. I wish all of my doctors were like him.”

“See this doctor for any heart related concerns….he is truly a guy who practices what he preaches!”

“He didn’t tell my husband what he wanted to hear, he told him what he needed to hear to save his life.”

Call 904.493.3333 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Constantin. 

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