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Welcome Letter from Dr. Joseph E. Parrillo

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Dr. Parrillo

Dear Friends and Supporters:

As you are probably aware, while heart disease affects both genders, it is particularly deadly to women.  It is now the number one killer of women in America.

When it comes to caring for the heart, women are different than men. Women present a unique constellation of symptoms and require specific treatment when they develop heart disease. The Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC provides world-class customized care and educational programs for prevention of this deadly scourge.

Led by an exceptional team of highly-qualified cardiologists, the new Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC includes the largest collaboration of female cardiologists in Bergen County, as well as the tri-state area. We take a truly holistic approach to cardiac care, identifying the subtleties of symptoms specific to women and delivering nuanced treatment. I direct your attention to the real-life, inspiring story of our patient, Jo Ann Bauer.

The Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC provides:

  • Comprehensive medical care offering the most advanced treatment and technology
  • Educational programs to promote the prevention of heart disease
  • Healthy lifestyle workshops to foster a culture of wellness

As I reflect on our new Cardiac Institute, I think of the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters in our community who will benefit from this higher level of care. I also think of my own mother who was diagnosed with high blood pressure as a young woman. She had an early awareness of her condition and began taking the appropriate medication when it became available decades ago. I believe it's a big part of why my family had the good fortune to celebrate her 99th birthday this year.

We have come a long way in our ability to treat heart disease. Now we invite you to take the next step to help ensure the precise diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease in women. Our new program offers education and research into better ways of providing care - and it requires compassionate action in the form of financial support. That's where you come in. Please consider giving generously to support the vital mission of the Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC.

From my heart to yours, I offer sincere gratitude and appreciation for your support.

Joseph E. Parrillo, MD
Chairman, Heart and Vascular Hospital

Heart disease can strike anyone, and worst of all, it sometimes strikes without warning.

As an active member of her Hoboken community, 62-year-old Jo Ann Bauer embraced a busy lifestyle, volunteering for local organizations, including St. Ann's Church as Guild and Choir Member, Cantigas Choir Member, and St. Mary's Advocate. She also exercised regularly at the gym. Her energy was contagious and motivated those around her. In fact, Jo Ann was the picture of health when she was suddenly faced with a life threatening diagnosis. For nearly eight months, Jo Ann would need all of her positive energy to battle critical carotid artery disease.

The diagnosis came about during her regular health screenings. Jo Ann scheduled a routine visit in May 2013 with Jacqueline Hollywood, M.D., Medical Associate, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, and leader of the Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC.

Jo Ann was not experiencing any symptoms - no shortness of breath, chest pain, headache or dizziness - but Dr. Hollywood's examination revealed the need for further tests. The tests confirmed that Jo Ann had a 90% blocked artery.

Jo Ann had undergone treatment and surgery at another institution before returning to see Dr. Hollywood. Once again the diagnosis was a blocked artery. Dr. Hollywood referred Jo Ann to Gregory T. Simonian, M.D., Executive Vice Chairman, Chief of Endovascular Studies at the Heart & Vascular Hospital at HackensackUMC, who took the next necessary step and performed a carotid artery angioplasty and stenting.

"A blockage of this extent has the potential to cause massive stroke. Massive strokes can kill," said Dr. Simonian. "Those who survive massive strokes may be severely debilitated. This takes a physical, emotional and financial toll on the patient and family - and there is a broader context involving the exponential cost of care."

"Women sometimes put their own health last and may have less typical symptoms," said Dr. Hollywood. "A delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to worse outcomes." She emphasized that women have more strokes than men at all ages and stroke is a leading cause of disability in both men and women.

Jo Ann credits this procedure with saving her life. She says that she could not have been more pleased with the care she received from Dr. Simonian, Dr. Hollywood, the nurses and the staff during her stay at the Women's Cardiac Institute at HackensackUMC.

"I would not be alive and doing well today without Dr. Hollywood and Dr. Simonian. The care at HackensackUMC was excellent - all five stars."

Jo Ann has regained her vibrant, full-of-life energy that was restricted by her illness, and is once again volunteering and helping others in her community. Jo Ann's message is a simple one - "don't be afraid to get tested before it's too late."

We encourage you to think proactively about your own health. Routine visits to your physician increase your chances of early awareness and detection.

Please consider making a donation to the Heart & Vascular Hospital at HackensackUMC.

Your gift will ensure that patients just like Jo Ann - patients who could be you or your loved one - receive the state-of-the art quality care that they both need and deserve.

Jo Ann Bauer

From left to right: Jacqueline Hollywood, M.D., Medical Associate, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine; Jo Ann Bauer, grateful patient; Gregory T. Simonian, M.D., Executive Vice Chairman, Chief of Endovascular Studies.

Women's Cardiac Institute

Knowing that women's heart issues may be identified, diagnosed and treated differently than men's, the Women's Cardiac Institute has access to the most advanced technology and treatments available. From outstanding emergency treatment, to open heart surgery, to long-term management of chronic conditions -they have developed system-wide comprehensive cardiovascular services that guarantee you the same superior standard of care throughout all of our hospital and ambulatory centers.

Services Offered

Noninvasive Testing: They offer tests in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Interventional Cardiology: Invasive cardiology techniques may serve as an alternative for patients with coronary artery disease or vascular disease. Through the Women's Cardiac Institute you will have access to state-of-the-art catheterization labs.

Arrhythmia Service: The Women's Cardiac Institute offers the most sophisticated services to diagnose and treat irregularities of the heartbeat or arrhythmias, a common and potentially life-threatening problem.

Heart Failure Treatment: The Women's Cardiac Institute has taken an aggressive approach to treating and managing heart failure patients. Our cardiologists offer a heart failure treatment and prevention program that offers advanced and effective care for women.

Cardiac Surgical Services: The Women's Cardiac Institute at the Heart & Vascular Hospital offers the following:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Off Pump Beating Heart Surgery
  • Valve Replacement
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures
  • Aneurysm Repair
  • Aortic Homograft

In the Community

Our cardiologists welcome the opportunity to speak to your business, community, civic, religious or educational group regarding a variety of cardiac related topics. Please call us to discuss how we may provide valuable information to your group.

For your Convenience

In addition to clinical excellence, the Women's Cardiac Institute team provides a warm, patient-centered environment of caring. We offer valet parking, convenient office hours, Spanish speaking staff, and other amenities.

To learn more about the services offered by the Women's Cardiac Institute at the Heart & Vascular Hospital, please call 855.996.HWCI (4924).

Thank you for entrusting your care to us.

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