July 2012

NCH honored as Regional Hospital of the Year by Mended Hearts

Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) has been awarded "Regional Hospital of the Year" by the Mended Hearts organization for its ongoing support of the Mended Hearts visiting program in which volunteer community members meet with hospitalized heart patients and their families to offer encouragement and support.

Ron Vlcek of the Mended Hearts Arlington Heights chapter presents the "Regional Hospital of the Year" award to Bonnie DeGrande (left), NCH's director of Cardiovascular Services, and Mary Jo Dailey, NCH's director of Guest Services. Together, Bonnie, Mary Jo and their respective teams make it possible for Mended Hearts members to visit with cardiac patients and their families in the hospital.

"It's a privilege for the Hospital to receive this award," said Bonnie DeGrande, director of NCH's Cardiovascular Services. "We are fortunate to have a group of compassionate community members who draw upon their personal heart care experiences to further educate and guide patients and families throughout the entire recovery process."

Mended Hearts is a national non-profit organization with a mission to inspire hope in heart disease patients and their families. NCH's close relationship with Mended Hearts dates back to 1993 when a local chapter was established in Arlington Heights. Last year, Mended Hearts members conducted more than 700 visits with NCH cardiac patients and families prior to and/or following a heart surgery or procedure.

For both patients and their loved ones, a visit from a Mended Hearts member can bring an added level of comfort not only before a procedure, but also during recovery. The Mended Hearts visitors will draw upon their own personal heart care experiences to offer encouragement, advice and guidance. Patients also receive a "Path Pack" for the road to recovery – complete with educational materials intended to complement the resources already given to patients by the Hospital.

In addition to the outreach efforts of Mended Hearts, the Cardiovascular Services team at NCH offers patients a wide range of resources to help patients maintain and achieve their heart health goals following a cardiac procedure or surgery. As one of the largest cardiopulmonary rehab programs in the state, NCH's team of cardiac rehabilitation specialists work closely with patients to reduce cardiac risk factors like smoking and stress, as well as to introduce lifestyle changes that address weight management, nutrition and diet, and fitness.

For more information about the wide range of cardiac rehabilitation, wellness and prevention services at NCH, medical staff members can call Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at 847.618.7910.