Patients get much-needed heart care after donation

Harvey Jenkins has been going to Promise Healthcare’s Frances Nelson Health Center for several years. Francis Nelson helps the uninsured and underinsured in the community get the care they need.

A trip to Francis Nelson and an electrocardiogram (EKG) helped catch Jenkins’ heart problem before it was too late.

An EKG helps doctors spot heart disease, explain the cause of chest pain, check for a heart attack and see if certain drugs cause side effects for the heart.

His test at Frances Nelson showed warning signs. Carle doctors then installed a pacemaker to help Jenkins' heart beat properly.

“I got there just in time,” Jenkins said.  “Now, I feel great. I’m glad I got the pacemaker before something bad happened.”

Last year, the Frances Nelson EKG machine wore out. Suddenly, the health center couldn’t provide the important heart test for patients like Jenkins.

Seeing the need, Carle’s cardiologists and staff pooled their money to buy a new EKG for the health center. The team at Carle Heart and Vascular Institute collaborated with Carle Center for Philanthropy to purchase the EKG and donate it to Frances Nelson.

The new machine transmits readings from Frances Nelson straight to Carle Heart and Vascular Institute. Cardiologists volunteer their time, read the report and share results with Promise Health providers, which speed up evaluation and diagnosis. 

Matt Kolb (pictured), vice president of Carle Heart and Vascular Institute and Carle Neuroscience Institute commented, “I’m so proud of our team who identified this problem and took action to be sure our neighbors – regardless of where they receive care – have access to this important resource. Promise Healthcare at Frances Nelson helps more people get not only primary care, but also treatment for their heart problems quickly.

“The more we can work together, the better it is for everyone in the community.”

For people with heart problems, getting an EKG is vital for staying healthy.

“We are thrilled to have an EKG at Frances Nelson again,” said Nancy Greenwalt, executive director, Promise Healthcare. “It helps us provide the best possible care and to have resources available for our patients during their visit at Frances Nelson.”

“We expect this EKG will be used every day to help people.”