John Anderson’s life changed on July 4, 2016, when he had a heart attack. He recovered and is feeling great today. But surgery for the heart attack was just the beginning. After the heart attack, he had panic attacks and would wake up at 2 a.m. “with a heart rate you couldn’t believe,” recalled Mr. […]
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John Anderson’s life changed on July 4, 2016, when he had a heart attack.
He recovered and is feeling great today. But surgery for the heart attack was just the beginning. After the heart attack, he had panic attacks and would wake up at 2 a.m. “with a heart rate you couldn’t believe,” recalled Mr. Anderson, the CEO of Quad City Bank & Trust.
“In many ways, the easy part was the surgery,” but the tough part was dealing with the stress and panic after the heart attack, he told the QCBJ at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Today, Mr. Anderson hopes to help other cardiac patients deal with mental health problems after heart events. At the event Wednesday, Mr. Anderson and leaders from Genesis Heart Institute in Davenport announced a corporate gift from Quad City Bank & Trust to support outpatient behavioral health services to cardiac patients.
Those services are provided through the Genesis Psychology Associates Cardiac Support Program, which is housed at the Genesis Heart Institute at 1236 E. Rusholme St. That program has already helped about 2,000 patients in the past couple of years, and hopes to help many more people through the corporate gift.
Genesis officials called the financial help a “significant corporate gift.” Mr. Anderson and Genesis leaders, however, did not release the dollar amount of the gift.
They did say the financial support will help many cardiac patients in the region who need follow-up assistance. According to Genesis leaders, more than 40% of cardiac patients experience behavioral health problems, such as depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder.
And those issues, like depression, will impact the “medical outcomes” of patients, said Dr. Edmund Coyne, president of cardiovascular medicine at the Genesis Heart Institute. He added that in many cases for patients, the story doesn’t end with a successful medical procedure. Patients need follow-up care that is provided by Jacqueline Madunic, a licensed independent social worker who provides that outpatient health care through the cardiac support program, he said.
During Wednesday’s news conference, several medical officials and a former patient praised Ms. Madunic for her work. For instance, Michael Malloy told the crowd that he had five blocked arteries and needed a quadruple bypass. He said the operation went great. “In fact, I told the staff that it was almost fun,” he said.
But after the operation, he knew he needed help. Mr. Malloy used techniques shown to him by Ms. Madunic to help with his mental health. “At times, I still felt overwhelmed. … There were times I felt my heart would explode if I didn’t use those techniques,” he added.
Ms. Madunic’s support program is located on the first floor of the Genesis Heart Institute in a small office – Suite 150B – that was once a janitor’s closet, she said. Her patient workload varies, but she typically will see about five patients a day, plus teach classes to help patients deal with anxiety and depression.
“Those with heart disease or certain risk factors for developing it, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, or diabetes, may be advised by their doctor to make lifestyle modifications,” Ms. Madunic said in a news release. “At Genesis, a collaborative care team works with heart patients to develop a tailored plan to help prevent heart disease or slow its progression.”
The support program is especially vital because many heart patients silently struggle with mental issues and don’t seek help, said Dr. Steve Kopp, director of Genesis Psychology Associates.
He added that a support program goal is “to make sure we are reaching out to them. They don’t have to reach out to us.”
Dr. Kopp also praised the work of Ms. Madunic recalling how a recent patient had reported suicidal thoughts. Once notified of the situation, Ms. Madunic was able to see the patient that same day, he said.
Genesis officials added that such care is needed, noting within the first couple weeks following a cardiac event 15% of patients experience significant clinical depression and another 25% experience milder symptoms of depression and anxiety. In a study, the continued presence of depression after recovery increased mortality risk to 17% within six months after the heart attack.
Mr. Anderson said it is those medical statistics that helped convince Quad City Bank & Trust to get involved with its corporate gift. He added that one of the bank’s core values is to give back to the community.
“We are thrilled to see this program materialize and to have had a hand in facilitating the process,” Mr. Anderson said in a news release. “Now, mental health resources are just a few steps away from where patients receive world-class healthcare services from Genesis’ top-notch physicians, nurses, and staff as they recover both physically and emotionally. It’s unique when you serve as a conduit to fill community needs. It has been an emotional and humbling journey that brings me great joy.”