LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Heart Institute and CHI St. Luke's Health gathered with their cardiologists and community leaders to reveal numbers concerning the region's heart health status. The numbers didn't look too good, but the joint efforts being made by the hospital and doctors are bringing forth hope.
"After seeing the presentation today, it's very disconcerting about where we stand in terms of our poor health conditions, especially in this cardiovascular arena," said Trent Ashby, State Representative.
"I think the most important thing they haven't realized is that some of the counties have the highest prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the state of Texas," said Ravinder Bachireddy, President of Heart Institute of East Texas.
This year's heart health numbers revealed that East Texas had the poorest heart conditions in the entire state.
"It really boils down to two issues largely. That is nutrition quality. We need to eat healthier, and we need to have more active lifestyles," Ashby said.
Ashby took notes and asked questions about ways to improve the issue. For many, East Texas is where the heart is, so cardiologists have worked on ways to keep them healthy.
"With the collaborative effort with the hospital, cardiologists of Heart institute have opened up specialty clinics," Bachireddy said.
Those include the Advanced Heart Failure clinic, Vein and Vascular clinic, and Cardiac Rehabilitation.
"We've started to improve the quality of care to improve outcomes, decrease the readmission to the hospital, and improve the patient satisfaction," Bachireddy said.
Bachireddy said though the numbers look grim, there's hope for East Texas heart health.
"I want to commend the physicians here at the Heart Institute of East Texas because they truly are leading from the front and trying to inform our community and educate us on how we can improve in terms of our cardiovascular and healthcare conditions," Ashby said.
"It's not one man. It has to be the entire community to come together. It takes a village," Bachireddy said.