Heart Health: Family Support

According to the American Heart Association, about 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. The journey from diagnosis to treatment is different for everyone, but the support of family and loved ones can help patients through it. It’s important for patients to know they aren’t alone in what they’re going through, and by connecting with other patients they can reduce stress and find their empowerment.

At Cone Health, we strive to take care of the whole person, not just their disease, which is why we have support services for patients during and after treatment. Support and care after a heart diagnosis can help everyone, men and women, reclaim their lives and well-being. We have found that support and education empower patients to become better advocates for their own care.

For those who have been diagnosed with some form of heart disease or condition, whether they have had treatment or not, Cone Health created the Cardiac Families Support Group. The support group seeks to provide a time for members to talk about their experience with diagnosis and treatment. This group is also a safe place for the caregivers and family members of patients to seek emotional support and advice. Participants will hear other patients' stories and have the opportunity to talk with members of our spiritual care team.

This group meets quarterly, on the third Tuesday of the month, from 6 to 8 p.m. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 20 in GW190/Conference Room 2/0030 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital. To learn more, visit conehealth.com/classes.

Spokesperson Background:

Kim Councilman is the coordinator for the Women’s Heart Health Initiative and CV specialist for Cone Health’s Invasive Cardiovascular Services. Councilman received a Bachelor of Science in exercise & sports science from UNCG in 2000 and received a Master of Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University in 2014.

Tonya Moore is the support network coordinator and the South Atlantic district support leader for the Heart Sisters/WomenHeart support group at Cone Health. She was the first patient at Cone Health Heart & Vascular Center to have a Left Ventricular Assist device (LVAD) implanted to treat her congestive heart failure. Since her heart disease diagnosis, Moore has been passionate about educating and empowering women with heart disease.