I would like to nominate Kristen in Cardiac Rehab for the Daisy Award. If you have every had someone in your family with a heart condition, you know how serious and unexpected it can be. You also know that working adults tend to prioritize themselves last when it comes to following doctor recommendations, eating healthy, and exercise. My father is a workaholic. He is certainly retirement age but still working.
He was having chest pain and shortness of breath for the second time in his life. The first time was back in 2010. Following that episode he had stents placed in Des Moines. At that time they recommended Cardiac Rehab. Despite their encouragement he declined and never received another reach out. Fast forward a number of years, and unfortunately he had another round of chest pain and shortness of breath requiring hospitalization and additional stents. This time however, he was also encouraged to participate in Cardiac Rehab. Mind you, he has made very little lifestyle adjustments up to this point including continuing to work 6-7 days a week 12-14 hour days.
ISH Cardiac Rehab received his referral and followed up fresh after his procedure and again within a few days. He was very open to Cardiac Rehab this time, but was not open to modifying his work schedule drastically. Kristen was willing to work AROUND his work schedule to get him. Somehow she managed to get him to agree to coming at the most convenient time possible for him where he could find coverage for himself at work. This meant meeting sometimes earlier than typical class times and on days not necessarily earmarked for Cardiac Rehab. With work obligations as one of his primary focuses, somehow she actually managed to get him to attend EVERY single session and COMPLETE the program.
Kristen managed to keep him engaged and coming back everyday. She tolerated his humor and taught him A LOT!! He makes healthy food choices the majority of the time, he makes a point to physically move everyday despite a long commute, and he knows signs and symptoms to pay attention to. He also never misses a Cardiology appointment!
We owe a huge thank you to Kristen for going above and beyond in scheduling our dad for Cardiac Rehab. We are also incredibly grateful she had a way of connecting and establishing rapport quickly to help him see the value and understand the meaning and importance of Cardiac Rehab. We know this is no small task and we are confident if she did this for him, she is doing it for other patients as well.
Heart health is so important and often Cardiac Rehab is overlooked. The work Kristen is doing and the care she provides is making a huge difference and impacts the lives of her patients. Knowledge is power and truly saves lives! We are so thankful Kristen put in the extra effort with our dad. We know every year he has post Cardiac Rehab is truly a gift.
Currently our dad has been experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath again. I'm happy to report early into the side effects he had already contacted his cardiologist for an appointment. They are on top of his care and after some minor medication adjustments he will be following up with a stress test to get on top of the situation. If it wasn't for the amazing experience he had in Cardiac Rehab I'm confident he would not be as diligent or in tuned to his health. He speaks of Kristen and some of the words of wisdom she shared from time to time. Occasionally we also see him sporting the Cardiac Rehab t-shirt with pride, as he should. Please consider Kristen as a Daisy nominee. She certainly shines bright for us and has left a lasting impression on our Dad! Thank you Kristen for helping patients become the very best version of themselves and meeting them when and where they need it most!