A Fighter Weighs In On Her Health
“The telehealth program reassures and supports patients with unstable health conditions”
Weighing only one pound at birth, Alice was carried home in a padded cigar box and fed with an eye-dropper. But by her three-month check-up, she was growing at a rate that amazed her doctor. Today, at 83, Alice continues to thrive under challenging health conditions. In January 2010, Alice experienced a heart attack and underwent surgery. Nearly a year later, during a Thanksgiving visit to her son’s home, she felt chest pains. Her granddaughter, a resident doctor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), drove Alice to the hospital, where she remained for nine days. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). Upon her return home to West Long Branch, Alice went to see her physician, Donald Ferri, MD, with Monmouth Cardiology. Alice felt anxious about her condition and nervous about being home alone. Dr. Ferri referred her to VNA of Central Jersey (VNACJ) for home care and in-home telehealth monitoring.
The Telehealth program is part of a Monmouth Medical Center and VNACJ collaboration to monitor and educate patients with congestive heart failure. Each day, through the use of a small monitor installed in her home, Alice was able to record her vital signs. The information was sent through the phone line to a VNACJ registered nurse who was available to intervene if needed, helping Alice to avoid potential problems. Her home care nurse, Angelina Villanueva, RN, continued to make weekly nursing visits to monitor Alice’s condition and provide education that included medication management, diet and exercise. Because Alice continued to do well, she was discharged from home care after a few months and referred to Monmouth Medical’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for rehabilitative exercise. Here she meets with an advanced practice nurse specializing in CHF. This position is yet another component of the Monmouth Medical/VNACJ CHF collaboration. “The home care support was really wonderful,” smiles Alice. “It’s comforting to know that even though I am no longer on telehealth, it’s available if I need it. It really helped me to understand the things that affect my body and my heart.” Today, Alice is feeling good. She’s back in fighting shape.
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