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LMC Opens First Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in Irmo

With a strong commitment to meeting the needs of heart patients in our community, Lexington Medical Center has opened a new, state-of-the-art cardiac rehabilitation program on the Lexington Medical Center Irmo campus. The 2,500 square foot facility located inside the Irmo Medical Park at 7033 St. Andrews Rd. is the first cardiac rehabilitation facility in the Irmo area.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to optimize a cardiac patient’s physical, psychological and social functioning, in addition to stabilizing, slowing or even reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease.

People who benefit from cardiac rehabilitation include patients with a history of heart attack, angioplasty or stenting, heart valve surgery, heart transplant, angina, heart failure or heart bypass surgery.

Mark Stout inside LMC's Cardiac Rehabilitation facility in Irmo

Mark Stout inside LMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation facility in Irmo

Studies show that cardiac rehabilitation participants experience a 31 to 46 percent reduction in death rates compared to non-participants. They also have a reduction in symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. And they report increased energy, improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, quicker returns to work and leisure activities, and a lower chance of experiencing another cardiac event.

“We’re bringing a great service to the people of the Irmo community,” said Mark Stout, supervisor of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Irmo. “If it’s more convenient, patients will attend more often. The medical professionals with expertise in cardiac rehabilitation are close to your home and your activities.”

Lexington Medical Center has offered cardiac rehabilitation at the main hospital in West Columbia for more than 20 years and at the hospital’s community medical center in Lexington since 2002.

Along with closely monitored exercise training, there are education classes addressing topics such as heart disease risk factors, healthy nutrition, weight management, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, managing diabetes, and understanding stress and your emotions.

“Cardiac rehabilitation provides better outcomes and better quality of life,” Stout said.

The need for heart care is clear in our state and our community. In South Carolina, one out of every three deaths is related to cardiovascular disease.

For more information about Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center, visit

LMC Irmo Shines in Patient Experience Awards

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Lexington Medical Center Irmo’s Ambulatory Surgery department has won the prestigious Guardian of Excellence and Beacon of Excellence Awards for patient experience from Press Ganey, an organization that tracks and ranks patient experience in many areas of health care across the country.

The Guardian of Excellence Award is for health care organizations that reach the 95th percentile in patient satisfaction for each reporting period of the year. The Beacon of Excellence Award goes to the top three organizations in the nation for consistently high levels of excellence in patient experience over three years.

amberg_131105_164“The employees at Lexington Medical Center Irmo are always striving to provide the most extraordinary care to our patients,” said Susan Horton, director of Guest Services. “They are honored each year for their accomplishments.”

Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities across the nation to measure and improve patient experience.

LMC Irmo has been serving the people of the Irmo community for 28 years. Approximately 150 surgeries per month are performed there.

An Unexpected Hero: LMC Nurse Saves Life with CPR

Tina Moak, RN, Lexington Medical Center nurse

Tina Moak, RN, Lexington Medical Center nurse

As a Lexington Medical Center nurse, Tina Moak is trained in CPR in case she ever needs to use it at the hospital’s urgent care center in Irmo. But she never imagined using it at Wild Wing Café® in Columbia’s Vista one Saturday last November.

Moak and her husband were out for a bite to eat after the University of South Carolina football game against Mississippi State when a woman sitting three tables away fell on the floor unconscious.

Moak ran over to help. The woman had no pulse, so she yelled for someone to call 911 and started CPR compressions.

The woman was Greta Cox of Charleston, who was in Columbia to attend her daughter’s high school cheerleading competition.

“I remember feeling hot and nauseated—I thought I was having a hot flash. My daughter was sitting right next to me,” Cox said.

Moak continued CPR compressions for nearly 15 minutes until paramedics arrived—a tiresome task.

Cox’s heart had gone into ventricular fibrillation, a deadly heart rhythm if untreated. Paramedics shocked her heart with a defibrillator. Moak continued CPR compressions and felt a weak pulse as paramedics lifted Cox onto a stretcher.

Cox’s doctors and Moak agree about one important thing. “The only reason she’s alive is because of CPR,” Moak said. In Cox’s situation, there is only a small chance of survival without prompt attention, including CPR.

When Cox left the intensive care unit at the hospital and moved to a regular room, she learned about Moak performing CPR and wanted to meet her. Later that week, she called Moak.

“She said, ‘Tina, this is Greta. Can you come see me? Can you come see me right now?’”

Both women immediately started crying on the phone. When Moak went to the hospital, the women hugged for what seemed like forever and cried.

“I don’t think it was an accident that Tina was at the restaurant that day,” Cox said.

Moak wasn’t supposed to be at Wild Wing Café that afternoon. She and her husband planned to go to a post-game tailgate, but decided to have an early supper instead.

“She saved me. I owe Tina my life forever,” Cox said.

LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger, Tina Moak, RN, and Greta Cox

LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger, Tina Moak, RN, and Greta Cox

Moak received a Hero Award at a luncheon at Lexington Medical Center in January, presented by LMC President & CEO Mike Biediger. Cox was there, too.

Today, they talk every week or two and are friends on Facebook.

And the women have a lot in common. Cox is a mother of twins. Around the time of Cox’s cardiac event, Moak learned that she was pregnant with twins due this summer.

“Tina is a selfless, phenomenal person,” Cox said. “She has a genuine compassion for helping others and I think that should be a requirement in health care.”

Cox’s heart issue remains somewhat of a mystery. Doctors think she may have had a blood clot, but they’re not sure. They also noticed some anomalies on her EKG that day. That surprised Cox because she eats right and exercises. She may have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. Cox now has a heart defibrillator implanted in her chest to regulate her heart rhythm.

When it comes to heart disease in women, Cox has advice. “Be aware of what’s going on in your body. Women often have different symptoms than men,” she said. “I now have a second chance at life. And I am so grateful.”

And Moak has an important message about CPR. “Everyone should learn CPR. And when you do, make sure you push hard and fast. You can save a life.”

Want to learn CPR? Tune in to WIS-TV on Monday, February 17 at 5:00 p.m. Or, attend our Heart Fair on Sunday, March 2 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Bush River Road in Columbia.