How to fit in exercise

Dr. Anita Schnapp

Dr. Anita Schnapp

Spring is just underway and many of us have committed (again) to exercising once the weather is nice. Studies show that exercise helps us sleep better, live longer, and stave off all sorts of diseases. It’s good for our heart health, bone health, and mental health.

So why is it that so many of us drag our feet when it comes to putting our plan into motion? Here are some of the most common excuses:

  • I don’t have enough time to exercise
  • I’m not motivated
  • My family is my priority
  • I want to relax and watch TV when I get home
  • I start out committed to a program, then I seem to lose steam
  • I can’t afford a gym

If these sound familiar, see tips from Dr. Anita Schnapp for how to overcome your obstacles.

Exercise is one of the best preventative medicines we can give ourselves. Just 30 minutes a day can lead to a longer, healthier, happier life!

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What’s your plan?

Spring storm with lightning

It’s spring storm season. Are you prepared if your home is without electrical power for the next 24 hours or a main break has cut off your water supply? For situations such as these, every home should have an emergency disaster kit in a safe place. Get our emergency checklist now!

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April 15, 2014 · 11:31 am

Emergency Department puts Pete Lombardo back in the swim

St. Anthony's Emergency Department puts Pete Lombardo back in the swim.

St. Anthony’s Emergency Department puts Pete Lombardo back in the swim.

It was a heart attack, Pete Lombardo knew. He was loading his truck in the driveway of his South County home last September, when he felt a tightness and pressure in his chest, with pain radiating down his arms and in his jaw. “I knew all the classic signs,” recalled Pete, 55, who works in construction sales. He took two aspirin and immediately called an ambulance.

Although the Lombardos’ home is close to St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Pete knew that, in the past, St. Anthony’s Emergency Department had been the target of complaints about slow wait time and other issues. For these reasons, he asked paramedics to take him to another hospital. However, due to the severity of his symptoms, he was taken to St. Anthony’s.

“You are changing [your reputation] one patient at a time,” said Pete’s wife, Marett Lombardo. “I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the treatment and care that my husband received. For future reference, we will go to St. Anthony’s again.”

The Emergency Department has recently undergone not just one, but many sweeping transformations, including a “door to doc” time that in recent months has averaged less than 30 minutes. “Door to doc” is the period from when a patient enters the Emergency Department to when he or she is evaluated by a doctor.

See more about Pete’s recovery and the changes at St. Anthony’s Emergency Department.

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‘Aunt Shirley’ transcends grief by treating the cardiac staff to delectable goodies

Shirley Leono, Oakville, unloads goodies in the cardiac staff break room.

Shirley Leono, Oakville, unloads goodies in the cardiac staff break room.

Married for 32 years, Shirley and Michael Leono of Oakville were a close-knit couple. They even enjoyed cooking together – sort of.

“Mike would sit and serve as the taster,” Shirley clarified, and chuckled.

When Mike entered St. Anthony’s in the summer of 2012 as a patient in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Shirley was impressed by the quality of care he received from the doctors, nurses and other employees.

“The staff was just tremendous,” she recalled. “He got the best care: I can’t say enough about them.”

After Mike died on July 6, 2012, Shirley was overwhelmed by grief. Her friends suggested she take a vacation, but Shirley felt that wasn’t the answer. She thought of the cardiac caregivers, who had become her friends.

“I knew they didn’t get to eat a lot when they were working with Mike,” she recalled. “When I couldn’t sleep at night, I’d go to my recipe book and think of ideas.”

The ideas came in droves. For the last 18 months, Shirley has used every holiday – and invented a few, besides– to treat the cardiac staff to everything from finger foods to full meals with dessert.

The caregivers know her as “Aunt Shirley,” said Brittney Vargas, R.N., B.S.N., Cardiac Medical ICU.

“She’s always so considerate, always thinking about what she can do for others,” Vargas said. “She has probably the biggest heart of anyone I’ve met.”

Shirley delivers each spread to St. Anthony’s in large coolers. She has become friends with the valets, who direct her to park near the entrance while she unloads the goodies in the break room. Each spread she crafts with the utmost care and detail—from coordinating napkins, plates and tablecloths to cheerful decorations.

“It’s been good therapy for me,” she explains.

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Finding a “new” normal after trauma

Dwayn Brooks with his wife, Crystal, and children, Alexis and Layton.

Dwayn Brooks with his wife, Crystal, and children, Alexis and Layton.

While cutting tree limbs at his family’s home in Fenton, Dwayn Brooks was knocked off a ladder by a falling branch. He was unable to move and his life was changed instantly and forever.  Dwayn, then 37, had sustained a complete spinal cord injury.

When paramedics rushed him into the Emergency Department, members of St. Anthony’s Level II trauma team were ready. As a Level II Trauma Center, St. Anthony’s has the staff and resources available to manage the care of severely injured patients at all times. St. Anthony’s is the only Level II Trauma Center in south St. Louis County and Jefferson County.

See Dwayn’s story of recovery.

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First use of newly designed catheter for hearts

Greg Botteron, M.D., uses the THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH® Catheter to cause lesions to block faulty electrical impulses that caused heart rhythm disorders in his patient.

Greg Botteron, M.D., uses the THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH® Catheter to cause lesions to block faulty electrical impulses that caused heart rhythm disorders in his patient.

Patricia House of St. Charles is a spry woman who started losing energy and feeling awful when her heart began to beat irregularly. House, 79, was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and scheduled an ablation procedure with Greg Botteron, M.D.

During the March 21 procedure at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Dr. Botteron was the first physician in the state of Missouri to use the THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH® Catheter, the first catheter approved by the FDA in the U.S. to feature direct contact force technology for the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation. This innovation enables doctors to accurately control the amount of contact force applied to the heart wall during radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures.

During this minimally invasive catheter ablation procedure, Dr. Botteron inserted a therapeutic catheter into a vein in the groin where it then passed into the heart. Once it reached the left upper chamber of the heart (atrium), the catheter delivered radiofrequency energy to the heart where it created lesions that blocked faulty electrical impulses that caused heart rhythm disorders.

Dr. Botteron said, “This is the most exciting advancement in my field in the last 10 years. I’ve been waiting for something like this. It will help with patient safety and quality of life.”

See more about heart services at St. Anthony’s.

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Online check-in now available for Urgent Care Centers

clockSt. Anthony’s is now offering online check-in for patients of its four Urgent Care Centers. Online check-in  allows patients to pick a time and urgent care location that is convenient for them in situations when treatment does not need to be immediate. St. Anthony’s Urgent Care Centers are located in Arnold, Crestwood, Fenton and Lemay. All four locations are open 12 hours a day, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., seven days a week.

When to use an urgent care center versus the emergency department?

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