people talking

A community member learns more about stroke prevention from Leann Terlecki, RN, BSN, SCRN, stroke coordinator at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta.

Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta hosted its Fourth annual Heart Health Conference — titled Live with a Healthy Heart — on Feb. 28 at the City of Temecula Civic Center. 

The annual event brings together medical experts, exhibitors and community residents for an educational morning on heart health. The event features various heart health topic presentations, free blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings, learning demonstrations, opportunities to interact with various vendors and complimentary breakfast. 

Peter Baker, JD, MBA, senior vice president and administrator at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta, began the event by sharing milestones that the cardiac program has achieved in the nine years since its opening. Highlights include over 1,000 open-heart surgeries performed; the launch of the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program, which just celebrated its 100th patient; the presentation of the hospital’s first Life Saving Award in conjunction with Murrieta Fire & Rescue; performing Southwest Riverside County’s first MitraClip procedure; and inclusion of an alternative procedure to treat left atrial appendage closure in patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

“It is exciting to see the milestones the cardiac program has achieved over the last nine years and a blessing to know the lives the program has impacted,” Baker said. “These achievements exemplify the strong commitment to patient care and compassion our cardiologists and staff provide daily.”

Event highlights included a presentation on understanding heart valve disease and treatment, a moderated panel conversation providing facts on AFib and Ablation, and a discussion on understanding risk factors and how individuals can take charge of their heart health. The event concluded with two demonstrations, including exercises to improve heart health and hands-only CPR.

Rene Tovar, executive director of specialty services at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta, says community education events such as these are not only vital to spreading awareness about heart health but to improving the health of the community overall. 

“As a health institution, our quest is to educate and inform the community on heart health, prevention, treatment options and what we can do for their needs,” Tovar said. “The best way to do that is to meet our community where they are and provide the resources they need to their questions.” 

Accounting for 1 out of 4 deaths, heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Bhoodev Tiwari, MD says that many of the heart and cardiovascular diseases can be prevented when individuals know what to look for and are empowered to seek care. 

“When it comes to diseases such as cardiovascular, coronary artery, diabetes, heart-attack, hypertension, often these build up over time before symptoms even present themselves,” Tiwari says. He adds that many heart diseases are preventable, and often can be addressed through lifestyle interventions long before medication becomes needed.

“When patients understand these diseases, they can better take care of themselves and seek help before it’s too late,” Tiwari says.

To learn more about the heart care services offered at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta, visit the Heart Care website or call 951-290-4314

Check out the photos below to see more from the Fourth annual Heart Health Conference.