Chris & Ann Cunningham Story: Preventive Heart Care At Its Best

Chris and Ann Cunningham’s experience with the Premier Health HeartWorks program enhanced their knowledge about overall health, especially their heart health. Their daughter Sophia Dillhoff, the HeartWorks nurse manager at Miami Valley Hospital South, recommended the program to the Centerville couple.  

“Our daughter works here, and she mentioned, ‘It would be a good idea to get a baseline since you're now over 60. Get a baseline; see where your heart is at,’” said Chris, a branch manager at a local electrical distributor company.

Premier HeartWorks, is a comprehensive program that includes education, support, and supervised exercise led by nurses and exercise physiologists. Chris and Ann were primarily interested to know if their hearts were healthy enough to exercise at their age. They liked that the HeartWorks program offered a supportive environment.  

 “It was interesting that the Premier Health HeartWorks program is in a controlled environment where they did a baseline blood pressure check before and after you exercised,” Chris said. “They also checked our blood pressure while we exercised. It’s nice to have someone watching us while we exercised just in case something happened.”     

The information collected during Chris and Ann’s time at the HeartWorks program provided helpful information to their primary care physicians. For example, Chris’ physician used the HeartWorks comprehensive cardiac risk assessment to provide a better treatment plan for his high blood pressure.

Ann, who in the past had learned she had Type 2 diabetes on the heels of a breast cancer treatment, found it fascinating to see first-hand how exercise lowered her blood sugar levels. “I would have my sugar taken before and after exercising,” said Ann, a clinical laboratory scientist. “Every single time I exercised, my sugar levels came down. So that was a really nice visual.”

After completing the HeartWorks program, Chris and Ann, who have two daughters, a son, and three granddaughters, felt encouraged to get active again after a four-year absence from the gym.

 “After completing the HeartWorks program, we felt healthy enough to exercise without supervision. Most importantly, we learned how to better care for our hearts through correct diet and exercise,” said Chris.

To schedule an appointment, call Premier HeartWorks at (937) 438-5483(937) 438-5483.

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Every moment of your life depends on a strong, healthy heart. The Premier Health cardiology and vascular services team is here to help you, each beat of the way, with prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation services in our hospitals, outpatient centers, and medical offices across Southwest Ohio.