• President’s Message
     In this issue of Healthy Living, we focus on the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, exploring conditions of the spine, neck and brain in depth. Aches and pains are nothing new to most adults,... click for more
  • Barbara Sinatra and Ma...
    In April, the Junior League Sustainers of the Coachella Valley and the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower will partner to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On April 2,... click for more
  • Eisenhower Physician P...
    Over the past several years, Svetlana Rubakovic, MD, FACP has been invited to present new research data about melanoma genetics to the international melanoma community — namely, the 7th International... click for more
  • The Memory Assessment ...
    Since 2007, residents of the Coachella Valley who are struggling with memory changes — and the people who love them —have been offered close-to-home access to the Memory Assessment Center (MAC). The Center offers a newly revised, first-of-its-kind program for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a related memory disorder, as well as a wealth of care and support resources tailored to their individual needs.

    The Memory Assessment Center, under the operation of Eisenhower Medical Center and located in the Uihlein Building on the Eisenhower campus, is a collaboration between Eisenhower, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the Alzheimer’s Association®, California Southland Chapter, that provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to evaluation, care and support. click for more
  • Eisenhower Desert Orth...
    In keeping with its longstanding tradition of community service, Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center (EDOC) is involved in numerous activities and programs that “pay it forward” to local residents.... click for more
  • A Primer On Choosing A...
    The importance of having a primary care physician cannot be overstated. A primary care physician is a doctor who helps patients maintain their overall health and well-being, as well as coordinating a patient’s care when specialists or other medical professionals are needed. Seeing patients at regular intervals and not just during times of illness, a primary care physician can also help a patient to establish and maintain healthy lifestyle goals. Family physicians, geriatricians and internists are all primary care physicians.

    Getting to know a patient over time can have a profound effect on the health of that patient — understanding a person’s family history, workplace situations and stress, age-related concerns and more. Establishing a long-term care relationship with a patient can help a primary care physician treat an acute problem or focus on a larger issue. Regular visits to one’s primary care physician may also help expedite the diagnoses and treatment of high risk factors like high cholesterol or hypertension before a serious illness has had time to develop. In short, the primary care doctor is a patient’s first line of defense for getting well and staying well. click for more
  • Breast-Imaging — Seein...
    In the world of breast imaging, dense breasts present the most difficult problems in detecting cancer. Standard mammography equipment often cannot detect cancer lesions in women with dense breast tissue. According to Eisenhower Radiologist John Cutrone, MD, Board Certified in Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology, “It’s like looking for a small cloud behind a big cloud. Some small cancers, which are typically white on a mammogram, are easily obscured by breast tissue, which is also white.” 

    Thanks to a generous donation from BIGHORN Behind a Miracle (BAM), Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center was able to purchase the most advanced, state-of-the-art dense breast imaging diagnostic tool available, and is only the second facility in California to offer this exciting new technology. The SenoBright® Contrast-Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) from GE Healthcare is a powerful diagnostic modality — able to detect minute cancers, as well as reduce the waiting time between detection and diagnosis. click for more

  • Relief From A Lifetime...
    Engineer and private pilot Neil Whelchel was just nine years old when he first experienced the rapid palpitations. “I would change my position or hold my breath and it would happen. As I got older the episodes got longer.”

    Whelchel went to doctors who ran electrocardiograms (EKG) and ultrasounds but nothing ever turned up and he was often dismissed. Rapid heart rate — supraventricular tachycardia — was something the young man learned to adapt to. He even taught himself to “reset” his heart by doing vagal maneuvers (methods used to reset or slow the heart rate). “At the time, I didn’t know that I was doing vagal maneuvers. I just was curious and aware of my body and was able to figure it out.” Whelchel would hold his breath and bear down, or press on his carotid artery to reset himself. He would sometimes use ice on his face, chest or back to put his heart back into rhythm. click for more

Changing Lives

One Breath at a Time

Joseph Weaver, Cardiac Rehabilitation Fitness Instructor, demonstrates equipment at the Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center.
Joseph Weaver, Cardiac Rehabilitation Fitness Instructor, demonstrates equipment at the Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center.
Don’t wait — exercise your right to great health at the Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center, which features dynamic cardiac and pulmonary wellness programs.

Offering exercise, education and support services, the Center provides the perfect balance of everything patients need to jump-start their health and move toward a goal of total wellness.

“We literally see people change their lives here,” says Julia Dugan, RN, RCP, Coordinator, Renker Wellness Center. “They come in not able to move 10 feet without getting breathless. Then, before long, they’re walking on a treadmill.”

Stories of success include people like Joe Crone who had a quadruple bypass in May 2012, and his wife, Jeanne, who is a graduate of the pulmonary wellness program. The couple visits the center at least four times a week for fitness and fun.

“The discipline of this can’t be taken lightly,” says Joe Crone. “This is life we’re talking about here.”

Jeanne Crone said she has made many strides toward better health since attending the pulmonary wellness program. “I used to have other people do things for me. Now I do a lot more housework. I take the dog for a walk. I do things for myself,” she says. “I’ve realized if you don’t keep moving, you’re going to die.”

The wellness programs are available for those who have recently experienced a heart attack, stable angina, open heart surgery or suffer from chronic lung disease. A maintenance program is also available for those who no longer need to be monitored while they exercise but want the safety of a workout with licensed, experienced health professionals available on the premises.

“People feel safe here,” explains Charles Harrill, RN, Manager, Renker Wellness Center. “It’s very scary to have a major health incident. People want to know what to do, how to get a normal life back.”

The cardiac and pulmonary wellness programs help patients return to productive, active lifestyles.

According to Harrill, exercise programs at the Renker Wellness Center are often customized for the individual patient. No two routines are ever the same, because no two people have the same needs. New members also receive a health evaluation and a cardiovascular exercise routine. “It can be intimidating to come here, especially for people who aren’t used to working out,” Dugan says. “We do everything we can to make them comfortable.”

The Center features state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment, including treadmills, stair climbers, bicycles, free weights and more. Need distraction? Plasma TVs will keep you entertained.

In addition to the gym equipment, the Renker Wellness Center also boasts the latest telemetry equipment. Nurses, respiratory therapists and fitness trainers are available to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen readings before and after working out.

Other services include on-site emergency equipment; a variety of yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, plus aerobic and stretching classes; and educational lectures about cardiac risk reduction, anticoagulant therapy, and pulmonary disease.

Harrill emphasizes that patients should begin an exercise program as soon as possible after their discharge from the hospital — with a doctor’s approval, of course. “That’s when the habit really sticks — when you realize how much your health depends on it,” he says.

The eight-week pulmonary wellness program consists of three visits per week, two hours each session. Education sessions include discussions about medication, infection control/lung irritants, stress management/panic control, travel, intimacy and lung disease among others.

“Some people come to us on oxygen, unable to do their daily activities. Participating in the wellness program builds strength, endurance and confidence — some patients are even able to reduce their use of oxygen during daily activities,” says Dugan. “That is a huge success story. I couldn’t ask for a better job.”

Harrill echoes the same sentiments. “It becomes a family here,” he says. “We want everyone to succeed.”

About the Renker Wellness Center

Have you been diagnosed with heart or lung disease?
The health care professionals at Renker Wellness Center want patients to regain a normal lifestyle. Their goal is to provide the correct balance of exercise, education and support services to help patients enjoy their best days ever.

The Renker Wellness Center is located on the main campus of Eisenhower Medical Center, 39000 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage. Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Closed noon to 1 p.m. Call 760-773-2030 for more information.