Patient Stories

Perspectives from Veterans
Healthy Heart Program Russ

Russ

When I had triple bypass surgery in September, I met Greg and signed up for the program. Greg and his crew have been invaluable to me during my time in the hospital and when I got sent home. They have acted as coach, advocate, advisors, emotional support and much more. I am so glad that they were there as such a great resource for me.

Russ suffered a severe heart attack and needed bypass surgery. HERE is his perspective on two cardiac risk factors; cholesterol and stress.

Healthy Heart Program Bonnie

Bonnie

This program help me start caring about myself and my health. When I got home from the hospital I was feeling down and unmotivated to eat better or exercise. The friendly staff helped inspired me to make changes in my eating habits and to walk more. By the end of the 12 weeks, I had lost significant weight and was able to stop taking my diabetes medication. This program helped me and my family to make heart healthy changes.

Healthy Heart Program Dennis

Dennis

Fabulous Program! I wasn’t sure when I could resume my activities after my heart surgery. If I had any questions and couldn’t get in touch with my cardiac surgery team, I would call the Healthy Heart Program team. They really help me get back on track.

Healthy Heart Program Miller

Miller

I have to say that the Healthy Heart Program at the San Francisco V.A. Hospital has been maybe the most positive experience that I've ever had in the medical arena. The people who run the program are wonderful professionals who really care about helping program participants improve the quality of their lives after cardiac events/surgery. They have been very personable, friendly, caring, and most importantly, available to talk to about any concerns that you may have.

When I first received a call from one of the program nurses and asked if I wanted to join the program, I was quite dubious. I may have responded with something to the effect of, “ Uhh, what do I have to do?” After speaking with her for mere moments, I could tell that this program was patient centric and not just a group "doing their job". She is able to bring warmth and caring to what is typically a clinical situation. I have to say that I have had nothing but great interactions with the Healthy Heart team.

After joining the program, I quickly received materials and equipment to get started. With the help of the Healthy Heart Program staff, I have developed my personalized program that includes increasing my walking from once around the block to now walking 4 miles every morning. I'm working on my diet and have managed to clean it up considerably thanks to advice from the Dietician, and weekly follow-up by the nurse. A great part of the program is that they keep you on track and honest. I've also had the opportunity to do a video chat with the exercise physiologist.. Even though I have lifted weights for many years, he was able to give me some great pointers and information.

I could write so much more, but will finally say that if you are reading this and have recently had cardiac issues, join this program! It will be the best investment (not just your time) that you can make to better your life.