You can view the full newsletter by clicking here, or read below.
Alaska Heart and Vascular Institute offers wide variety of imaging options for monitoring heart health.
At one time, Alaskans traveled out of state to be treated for certain cardiovascular issues. However, the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute now makes it possible for patients to remain in the state and receive top-notch care and treatment, especially when it comes to imaging. AHVI offers a variety of noninvasive testing options to help diagnose cardiovascular conditions.
One of the most advanced technologies available at AHVI is computed tomography, or CT scanning, which can develop an image of the heart in about five minutes to evaluate risk for future heart disease. AHVI’s $1.5 million CT scanner can photograph a small sliver of a heart down to 0.5 millimeters in thickness, and it is considered one of the most effective, non-invasive devices to show signs of calcium or plaque buildup in the heart. CT scanning is especially useful for patients who are not obviously at high or low risk of heart attacks.
For a more in-depth look at the heart, say if it is assessed during a CT scan that there is an issue with the heart, cardiologists turn to the Porsche of heart-imaging machines, a magnetic resonance imaging scanner (MRI). This scanner uses radiofrequency waves and strong magnetic fields to provide clear, detailed images of internal organs and tissues, allowing physicians to actually see blood flowing through patients’ lungs. The images created by MRI scans are so clear they can detect a past heart attacks that someone might not realize that they even had. MRI imaging is useful in diagnosing a wide range of ailments, including heart and vascular disease.
While these two advanced options are available at AHVI, CT scans and MRIs are not recommended for all patients. Other noninvasive options for imaging at AHVI include Echocardiography – 3D Ech, Peripheral Arterial and Venous Ultrasound and Mapping, and Carotid Ultrasounds, among other options. Patients should consult with their cardiologist before undergoing any diagnostic procedures.
Meet the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute Team
Yvonne Lopes, Patient Services Coordinator Lead
When patients walk into the Anchorage clinic, Yvonne Lopes is often the one who greets them with a smile. Yvonne checks in patients and answers questions before patients meet with a nurse or physician. Though she is originally from Hawaii, her husband’s career with the Air Force brought the couple from the 50th state to the 49th. Yvonne has worked at AHVI for three years and says that her favorite part of working at AHVI is interacting with patients and making a difference in their lives. When she isn’t at work, Yvonne’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her six grandchildren.
Join Our Heart Walk Team
By joining the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute’s Heart Walk team, you can play a part in assisting the American Heart Association’s goal to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent in 2020. The 2014 Anchorage Heart Walk is taking place downtown on the Park Strip on Saturday, Sept. 13. Join our team by visiting anchorageheartwalk.org
Enjoy Healthy Harvests This Fall in Alaska
In Alaska, fall means colder weather, changing leaves and even the first of many snow days. However, that’s no excuse to give up on the heart-health goals you established over the summer. Fall also produces some of our favorite vegetables, which are loaded with nutrients that are perfect for fall soups and stews as well as delicious side dishes and casseroles perfect for any rainy day.
Squash, broccoli, carrots, kale and brussels sprouts are just a few of the heart-friendly vegetables to keep in the kitchen during the winter months. Pumpkins, which are plentiful in Alaska as the holidays draw near and make for great desserts as well as decorations, are also a powerhouse of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Try incorporating them into soups, stews or smoothies this season. Or, roast the heart-healthy seeds for a light snack or crunchy salad topping.
In Alaska, it can be difficult to find fresh produce year-round. Thankfully, Alaska Grown products are available at most major chain groceries and many locations across the state. Stroll over to the produce aisle, and look for vibrant fall colors and the Alaska-Grown sticker to guarantee fresh, local produce.
Here are a few of our favorite places to shop for fresh produce year-round: Alaska Pacific University Farmers Market, Center Market in the Mall at Sears, Mat-Su Farm Market, New Sagaya and Natural Pantry.
For a complete list of locations, visit the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture website: www.dnr.alaska.gov/ag . Embrace Alaska and all it has to offer this fall by sticking to your goals and working toward a heart-healthy lifestyle every day.
Alaskan Chef Feature
A delicious alternative to fatty bacon or other pork products for breakfast, try this heart-healthy salmon bacon. It’s surprisingly easy to prepare and a crispy satisfying substitute for the “eggs and bacon” in the morning.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with spray or with oil. Lay down each of the pieces of salmon onto the baking sheet. Set aside.
Add the rhubarb, honey, apple cider, shallot and about a teaspoon of the black pepper into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is cooked and begins to fall apart. Add a little additional apple cider if more liquid is necessary. Cook for about 30 minutes until the mixture has reduced down to a thick syrupy consistency.
Brush the salmon with the rhubarb lacquer. Place the baking sheet onto the center rack of the oven and bake for about five to six minutes or until the bacon is just crisp.
Makes about 10 slices.
- 6 ounces Alaska cold-smoked salmon lox (about 10 slices)
- 1⁄2 pound rhubarb, washed, trimmed and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider
- 1⁄2 shallot, sliced
- Freshly ground coarse black pepper
This heart-healthy spin on salmon comes from the kitchen of Alaska chefs Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, straight out of their new cookbook “The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook – Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska”. Kirsten, a co-0owner of Within the Wild Adventure Company, and her daughter Mandy Dixon, the company’s pastry chef and chef of La Baleine Cafe in Homer, are both Le Cordon Bleu trained chefs, who have cooked and studied with chefs as far ranging as Julia Child and Thomas Keller. The Dixons and their culinary staff teach cooking classes on weekends at the Cooking School at Tutka Bay and offer wine and cheese tasting each evening at the Tutka Bay Lodge. The cookbook is available for purchase in bookstores beginning October 1st.
Heart Friendly Calendar
Sept 9 – Nov. 4//Bonny Sosa Tuesday Night Race Series – Where: Various Anchorage municipal parks. Check www.muni.org/parks for more information.
Sept. 3//Anchorage Heart Walk – Where: Delaney Park Strip. Learn more or sign up by visiting www.anchorageheartwalk.org.
Sept. 27//Making Strides of Fairbanks Walk – Where: Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in Fairbanks. More information on this fundraiser and other Fairbanks activities are available at www.explorefairbanks.com
October 11//Zombie Half Marathon and Kids 2.5K – Where: Goose Lake Park. www.anchoragerunningclub.org.
November 27//Mount Alyeska opens for 2014-2015 Ski Season – Where: Alyeska Resort, Girdwood. www.alyeskaresort.com.
Dr. Richard Anschuetz and his staff at the Vein Clinic are highly skilled at a number of techniques to minimize the pain and appearance of vericose veins.
To learn more on the services offered, call the vein clinic directly by calling 907-563-VEIN or visit our blog, The Circulation at alaskaheart.com/vein-clinic-blog.