The 12th Annual Hearts Of Hope ceremony was held at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart on Wednesday. The Hearts of Hope campaign raises funds for the Cardiovascular Research program at the hospitals within the Community Healthcare System. The Cardiovascular Research program provides local access to new treatment options available only through national clinical trials and studies, which aim for better detection, treatment and prevention of heart disease.
The event started with a forum featuring St. Mary Medical Center Cardiologist Kais Yehyawi, MD, FACC, FSCAI along with Lachunda Young, a cardiovascular patient with St. Mary Medical Center, who was able to tell her story of battling cardiovascular disease.
St. Mary Medical Center CEO Janice Ryba was able to countdown to the Hearts of Hope tree lighting, which was beautiful. The tree was white with red and pink hearts covering it, and red lights shining for each person who has battled cardiovascular complications.
“This is really about the public awareness of cardiovascular research and advances in technology. We love to host a patient with a great testimonial about how these advances in cardiology have really improved their quality of life,” said Ryba. “The donor list grows every year, and this is a great event. It’s with the support of the medical staff and the community that we’re able to offer these services. We’re trying to keep as many of the procedures and technologies as local as we can.”
Dr. Yehawi presented information about cardiovascular care shortly before the lighting ceremony. During the tree-lighting ceremony, he had the opportunity to talk about caring for the evening’s Guest of Honor, patient Lachunda Young.
“This event is a nice way to appreciate the hospital and the community and the patients. All of the technology and cardiovascular care is really making a difference in the quality of life for our patients. I’m very proud of Lachunda’s achievements and knowing where she started, we’re so happy to see her doing so well,” he said.
The care Lachunda has received has been completely life-changing.
“I feel 100 percent better,” she said. “Dr. Yehyawi’s office regularly communicates with me and CardioMEMS has kept me out of the hospital and improved my quality of life. Dr. Yehyawi and his team have taken great care of me.”
At the end of the event, Wolffgang Choir of Hobart High School performed a medley.
For more information on cardiovascular research at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, Community Hospital in Munster, or St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, visit www.comhs.org/HeartsofHope.