Presentation begins at 9:15 a.m.
Dr. Salman Gohar is a health failure specialist who currently works at Baylor Scott & White in Temple. Gohar grew up in Pakistan and Germany. He finished his medical training at King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, before moving to the U.S. for post-graduate training. After completing research on the “Effect of Radiation therapy on the Heart” at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Gohar joined Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine for training in Internal medicine. During residency, he received “Medical Intern of the Year” award and later went on to serve as Chief Medical Resident/Senior Instructor. After completing cardiology fellowship in the same institute, he joined Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center/Texas Heart Institute in Houston, for advanced training in heart failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) and Heart Transplantation. During his training, Dr. Gohar worked with heart pump pioneer O.H. “Bud” Frazier, MD, who has been globally recognized as the leader in the development of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), the most widely used heart pump in the world. Dr. Gohar’s personal interests include world history, globe-trotting, theater and mountain biking.
Gohar stated that there are many many important signs that may lead to heart failure. Shortness of breath that worsens with minimal exertion or after laying down in bed, weight gain and swelling especially in legs, are some of the important ones to remember. Diet also significantly impacts heart health.
“Excessive consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages can increase risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and heart failure,” Gohar said. “If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, the amount of sodium in your diet becomes important because it contributes to water retention, weight gain and can lead to worsening of heart failure. A low-sodium diet is recommended for heart failure patients and includes no more than 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. To give you an idea of how much that is, 1 teaspoon of salt = approximately 2,300 mg sodium.”
Exercise is also a good preventive when it comes to heart failure and is vital for both short and long-term health.
“The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least five days a week for a total of 150 minutes or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity activity at least three days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week for additional health benefits.” Gohar said.
Heart failure signs can often go undetected yet may have significant impact on life expectancy.
“Although, individual life expectancy is hard to predict, when you look at large groups of patients with heart failure, accordingly to one estimate, only half of the patients will be alive after five years,” Gohar said. “Patients that have less severe heart failure, are well treated with medications, have good kidney function, normal blood sugar, and live a healthy life-style, can have much better life expectancy than the average heart failure patient. Studies have shown that heart failure patients treated with American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guideline-recommended therapies are more likely to survive over the next two years.”
Presentation begins at 10:30 a.m.
Growing up in East Bell County on her grandfather’s farm, Rosa Hernandez has been a local resident of Bell county for as long as she can remember. The youngest of seven children, she says she is a big civil rights activist.
“Growing in my culture – males had a lot of freedom, women didn’t. I never agreed with that; but, it has its perks,” Hernandez said.
She has been in hospice and home care for the past 20 years and has a true passion for it.
“I started in healthcare in 1974 working with Veterans,” Hernandez said. “The last 20 years have been in Hospice and Home Care, which is my calling. Education, Caregiver Support and helping others get the right resources is most important to me. There are many changes in our healthcare and people need to be informed.”
She will be speaking on “What do you know really about Medicare?”
“I believe our seniors have earned the right to be taken care of,” Hernandez said. “They have worked, put into our Social Security, [are] veterans, educators, first responders, etc. and deserve to be taken care of and be informed so they can make good decisions.”
Helping seniors make an informed decision is her number one priority when it comes to health care.
“I am a hospice specialist, but my biggest is caregiver support and referral network,” Hernandez said. “Helping them make good decisions and have the most up to date information. I offer my years of knowledge and experience to help them. I facilitate an Alzheimer’s support group at Luvida Memory Care every third Tuesday at noon.”
She encourages seniors to ask plenty of questions when it comes to enrollment.
“Medicare enrollment period is starting soon,” Hernandez said. “I encourage them to ask questions. This is probably the only time, I will say ask the what ifs.”