Rhonda Carl showers people with information and hugs
During this happy month of celebrating our sweethearts, Rhonda Carl also wants you to think about your heart health.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. We’ve got to tackle this problem,” said Rhonda, cardiovascular services manager at KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Care at Saint Joseph Berea and KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Imaging in Richmond.
Awareness and education about heart disease are priorities for Rhonda and her team. They provide free screenings at events in a five-county area and sponsor lunch-and-learn programs.
“About 50 percent of the event attendees are usually hypertensive and don’t know it,” she said.
Rhonda urges people to be aware of the risk factors for heart disease: high cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, obesity and family history, for example. Screenings for cholesterol and glucose, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, peripheral vascular disease and others can indicate whether you are at risk for heart disease.
For 18 years Rhonda has practiced her passion for nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology in the rural setting of Berea. She was instrumental in launching the heart center on the Saint Joseph Berea campus in 2012 and opened the Richmond campus in 2015.
“People drive 20-60 minutes to see us. The best thing we can do for them is to put all the cardiac services in one place,” she said. “We want them to feel comfortable. Patients know we care about them. We give and receive a lot of hugs.”
Through the spectrum of services, people who participated in free community screenings often come to the Berea campus or KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Imaging in Richmond for cardiac stress tests, echocardiograms, vascular ultrasounds and other diagnostic cardiac services.
“Giving patients an extended lifetime with their family and friends—that’s what we’re all about,” Rhonda said.
Fulfilling the KentuckyOne Health Promise
Rhonda sees staff representing and exemplifying our core values every day. The Values-Led standard of the KentuckyOne Health Promise provides a hometown atmosphere you don’t experience in other health care facilities.
Even the name of the heart center supports the Meaningful Work element of the Promise.
“I like that we’re now branded KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Care because the word ‘care’ goes a long way,” Rhonda said. “We are in this profession because we care about our patients and the welfare of our community.”
Take action: Visit KentuckyOneHealth.org/HeartHero for more information about heart health.