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Wearing hearts on their sleeves during heart month
Effingham Hospital employees wore red Friday to honor all cardiac patients. - photo by Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD — Daedra Chaney, Tinie Bailey, Ken Kennedy and Ed Shuman have a few things in common: all four suffered heart attacks and each completed their cardiac rehabilitation at Effingham Hospital.

When Chaney suffered from cardiac arrest, she was only 34 and enjoying being the mother of a 3-year-old son. Bailey’s cardiac arrest occurred en route to Effingham Hospital. Prompt treatment from emergency department staff at Effingham saved their lives and cardiac rehab helped them improve their quality of living.

Today, both are back to the work they enjoy. Kennedy and Shuman are neighbors, and after each suffered from a heart attack, the Effingham cardiac rehabilitation program helped them improve their cardiovascular health, giving them the strength and energy needed to keep in step with their active grandchildren.

At Effingham Hospital, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center provides outpatient programs that help people regain cardiac capabilities after experiencing a heart event, such as a heart attack and/or cardiac surgery.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is the cornerstone to helping heart patients maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle,” said Ginger Kieffer, RN, a cardiac nurse at Effingham Hospital.

Cardiac rehabilitation consists of an exercise program designed and supervised by a physician. During rehab, participants are monitored closely as they exercise. Patients also are provided with educational tools to help them with diet, exercise and strategies for reducing risk factors. Fortunately, most insurance plans cover cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Effingham Hospital has a history of providing high quality and accessible cardiac medicine; it was the first hospital in the U.S. to have a chest pain center in a rural location.

February is nationally recognized as “American Heart Month” as a way of raising public awareness of heart health. The American Heart Association started the “Go Red for Women” movement to dispel the impression that heart disease affects mostly men. In fact, heart disease is the nation’s number one killer for both men and women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that someone in the U.S. experiences a heart event every 25 seconds.

All hospital employees wore red Friday to honor Chaney, Bailey, Kennedy and Shuman and all other cardiac patients.

To find out more about Effingham Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center and other services, visit the Web site at