The Heart Institute at Oak Hill Hospital

Discover what The Heart Institute of Oak Hill Hospital has to offer you.

There’s good news for heart patients in Hernando, Citrus and northern Pasco counties. The Heart Institute of Oak Hill Hospital is a 24,000 square foot state of the art diagnostic and treatment facility. At the Heart Institute, patients can receive heart treatment, surgical services and full laboratory service in one convenient location.

The Heart Institute Difference
At the Heart Institute of Oak Hill Hospital, we recognize that heart patients and their families face unique challenges. Our caregivers provide more than surgical and diagnostic services. Patients and families also have access to heart and stroke support groups, health screenings, educational programs and financial counseling. Our staff is trained to address the unique psychological and emotional challenges of cardiovascular patients and their families. To learn more about heart disease or locate a support group, call 352-597-6333 in Hernando or 352-628-6060 in Citrus.

Open Heart Surgery Recovery
At our new facility, open heart surgery patients will be cared for in a specific unit for cardiovascular care. The CV Recovery Unit and CV Intensive Care Unit feature private rooms and continuous monitoring. We recognize the importance of close, specialized care when it comes to open heart surgery and recovery.

Additional Procedures
Visit the Heart Institute’s Heart Smart Fact Sheet for a full list of services provided, including intravascular coronary ultrasound, Cox Maze atrial fibrillation and valve replacements. We recognize the importance of early diagnosis when it comes to heart disease. Heart Institute at Oak Hill Hospital’s new cath lab uses latest generation imaging equipment and techniques for cardiac diagnostic testing.

The Heart Institute of Oak Hill Hospital is located at 11375 Cortez Boulevard, Entrance F in Brooksville. For more information, please contact the Heart Institute at (352) 596-6632 in Hernando or (352) 628-6441 in Citrus. If you have any health questions or need a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.

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Fun Ways to Burn off Those Thanksgiving Calories

Learn how to get moving and keep having fun this Thanksgiving. 


This Thanksgiving, join family and friends in some fun activities that help you burn off the calories you consumed enjoying food at your holiday gathering. Celebrate without dropping healthy habits, such as getting the amount of daily activity recommended by the CDC.

Walk before you go to the movies. During the Thanksgiving holidays, it’s a blast to catch a movie and relax with friends. Before you gobble up that popcorn and soda and do nothing for a few hours, take a long, brisk walk. Try parking a half a mile from the movie theater and walking, or head to a park before the flick.

Play a game of kickball. You don't have to to be a pro at sports to enjoy a friendly game of kickball. Bring your brood out to the nearest baseball field or park for a game of kickball. All you really need is a big rubber ball and sturdy shoes. Keep score for fun or just freestyle it. Remember to stretch before and afterwards.

Host a fitness challenge at home. Use a video service like Netflix to find a fun at-home workout that’s appropriate for beginners. Get the family together for a “gym” afternoon. Move furniture out of the way and work out together. Offer healthy refreshments after the workout.

Play with your kids. Freeform, kid-directed activity can burn a surprising number of calories. Allow your kids to set the pace and choose the activity. Whether you end up playing tag, climbing on a jungle gym or having an impromptu sports match outside, you’ll burn those Thanksgiving calories.

At Oak Hill Hospital, we know the importance of keeping your family safe and healthy. Visit us online today to learn more about our Hospital and the services we provide to keep your family healthy.

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8 Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Learn how quitting smoking can benefit your life.

At Oak Hill Hospital, the entire campus is smoke-free. In honor of the Great American Smokeout on November 15th, we’d like to share some beneficial reasons to quit smoking. If you need help quitting, reach out to your friends, family and doctor. They can help you stay true to your commitment to be tobacco-free.

Here are eight health benefits of quitting smoking:

  • Food will taste better. After you quit smoking, get ready for a whole new world of smells and flavors.
  • Your teeth will look better. You’ll feel better emotionally when your smile shines brighter without the stains and residue of nicotine.
  • You won’t be putting poison in your body every day. The CDC reports that cigarette smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of those are toxic to humans.
  • You’ll save money. Depending on your current smoking habits, you could save big time by quitting smoking. Put that extra money to good use by investing in your health.
  • You’ll keep those around you safe from secondhand smoke. If you live with a partner or have children, your smoking affects them. Quitting keeps secondhand smoke from affecting your loved ones.
  • You will have a healthier heart. Coronary heart disease risk is substantially reduced within 1 to 2 years of quitting smoking, according to the CDC.
  • Your risk of cancer and lung disease will be lower. Reduce your risk of serious complications of smoking, including death.
  • You’ll feel better about yourself. Quitting is a huge accomplishment. It isn’t easy, but it can be done. When you’re no longer a smoker, you’ll feel great about yourself and what you’ve achieved to better your health and life.

Need help quitting smoking? Find out how Oak Hill Hospital can help. Visit us online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120 for health information and physician referrals.

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Have a Healthy Holiday Season

With the holidays on your doorstep, it might be a good idea to brush up on ways to stay healthy during the festive season.

Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, pecan pies and hot cocoa are all yummy fall foods luring you away from healthy summer salads. It’s easy to indulge in ways you wouldn’t outside of the holiday season, and since this season spans over two months, it’s easy to lose control. Here are five ways to enjoy all things sugar and spice without sacrificing your health or waistline.

  1. Indulge Wisely. All veggies and no pie makes Thanksgiving a dull day. Indulging isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you do it within reason. Enjoy that roast turkey, but only once. Don’t drink cocoa with whipped cream every day just because it’s winter. Order that Dirty Chai latte with non-fat milk. Prepare typical holiday recipes with less fat, sugar and salt, and when filling your plate, try small bite size portions of everything rather than large helpings.
  2. Stay Active. It is normal to slow down a little in winter, but especially after indulging, it’s important to keep up with your workout schedule. Check out our online guide to find out how much of a certain type of exercise it takes to burn calories. The CDC recommends being active 2.5 hours a week for adults and at least an hour a day for kids.
  3. Sleep More. The holiday season can be hectic, especially for parents with young children or large families. Take care to get plenty of rest and remember, every hour of sleep before midnight counts double!
  4. Enjoy Family Time. In the fray of things, it is sometimes easy to forget the holidays are supposed to be about family. The sitcom cliché of family fall-outs over Thanksgiving dinner is a cliché for a reason: it happens to everyone. Don’t worry if something goes wrong and try to enjoy having everyone close. Families are never perfect.
  5. Remain Stress Free: Plan large dinners ahead, make up a menu that allows for early preparation of dishes or organize a potluck. You can create online invitations for free which allow everyone to comment so all invitees are aware of what the others are bringing and you don’t end up with three pumpkin pies and no mashed potatoes.

For more dietary information or a healthy exercise plan, talk to your healthcare provider or sign up for our next Healthy Hearts Educational Series which is taking place November 12.

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Play it safe

Keep your children safe and make the most of your time outdoors as a family with these safety tips.

Know First Aid
You will always feel more at ease if at least one person in your family knows basic first aid

Stock your First Aid Kit
Keep one kit well stocked in the house and an extra one in the car. The AAP recommends first aid kids for children contain:

  • Thermometer
  • Age appropriate acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Antiseptic creme and sterile bandages
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers, scissors and safety pins
  • Distilled water for cleaning wounds
  • Insect repellent and calamine lotion
  • Cold pack
  • First aid manual

Be Weather Wise
If you will be in the sun, stay protected by wearing sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. According to the FTC, sun exposure in childhood plays a major factor in developing skin cancer later in life, so use plenty of sunscreen to avoid skin damage.

Be Water Wary
Never leave children unsupervised near water. At least one of the adults present should know how to swim if there are no lifeguards. Make sure floatation devices fit properly.

Stay Hydrated
Keep your kids hydrated! It's easy to forget to drink water when there is so much fun to be had. Regularly remind your children to drink to avoid dehydration, especially during hotter days.

Don't Get Bugged
If you will be spending time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, remember to use insect repellant to ward off bites from mosquitoes and other bugs. If your child experiences an allergic reaction to a bug bite, don't hesitate to visit us at Oak Hill Hospital. Did you know ? We are home to the area's only dedicated Pediatric Emergency Care Unit.

Wear the Right Gear
Whether it's for biking, skateboarding, snowboarding or surfing, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Wear a helmet, knee pads, rash guard or whatever other safety equipment an activity or sport requires.

Accidents happen even with the most vigilant parents. If they do, don't panic. Stay calm, and administer first aid while someone calls 911 if needed. If the emergency is less urgent and there is time, take your child to a pediatric emergency room where they can receive child-centered treatment. Learn more about our dedicated Pediatric ER here at Oak Hill Hospital.

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Health to You: Join the Club

Oak Hill Hospital’s H2U Partner’s Club will help you manage your health, keep up with current health news and maintain an active lifestyle.

Over 30 years ago, H2U began giving people the possibility to manage their own health through member programs at local hospitals. Now, magazines and newsletters provide current and relevant health information, the online portal give you access to important health resources and the health library provides answers to your health-related questions and our community events keep you engaged.

Some of the member benefits include:

  • Personal Health Assessment: A confidential, comprehensive questionnaire for you to fill out, which will give you an idea of your overall health, possible future health risks and personalized tips to improve your health.
  • Personal Health Record: This password protected service allows you to keep a personal health record which will make it easier for yourself and healthcare providers to make informed decisions for your and your loved ones future health and medical treatments.
  • Health to You Magazine: Four times a year, you will receive a magazine filled with tips on how to stay healthy, how to improve your daily life, how to prevent diseases, and much more. All this completely free of advertisements.
  • Members only Discounts: Apart from the 10 to 50 percent savings on prescriptions at over 60,000 pharmacies all over the US, H2U Partner’s Club membership will offer you discounts on vision and dental plans, gifts and travel, as well as many other services.

At Oak Hill Hospital, there are a variety of activities organized through our H2U Partner’s Club. These include:

  • Art classes
  • Computer classes
  • Language classes
  • Exercise classes
  • Games and Music

Click here to check our H2U calendar for upcoming events and register online. These are just a handful of the benefits you could gain from becoming a H2U Partner’s Club Member. If you would like more information, you can visit us online or contact Stephanie Sutton, director of volunteer and senior services, at (352) 597-6080.

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ER Nurses at Oak Hill Go Extra Mile

Cathy Edmisten, Director of Emergency Services here at Oak Hill Hospital recently wrote this letter to the editor which was featured in the Tampa Bay Times. To see her letter online, visit this link.

Oak Hill Hospital celebrated emergency nurses week last week. This year's theme was "Every Patient + Every Time Making a Difference," which reflects our dedication to patients requiring emergency care.

Not only do we save the lives of people suffering trauma, heart attack and stroke, but we do offer more to our community to truly make a difference.

We hosted a group of home-schooled students, ages 8 to 15, on a tour of the services and treatments performed in an emergency department. We offered education on safety planning to prevent poisonings in the home, as well as viewing the X-ray of a special patient teddy bear that swallowed a penny. The students gave us a heartfelt thank you that made us feel special and appreciated.

We spent a day with the community at the annual health fair. We offered education on poison control, popcorn, a duck matching game with prizes, and bright and cheerful helium balloons. We spoke to many people of all ages and heard wonderful stories about how they have appreciated our emergency services.

Our emergency nurses have been recognized with accolades and awards for dedicating themselves to a higher level of professional commitment, to be the best that they can be. They have obtained their board certification in emergency nursing and received the first-ever Lantern Award given from the Emergency Nurses Association. As the only ER to require board certification and the only ER in Florida to receive the inaugural prestigious award, we can say to our community that we care about being the best.

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Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

At Oak Hill Hospital, our Women's Imaging Center offers a variety breast cancer screening options, including digital mammography, breast ultrasound and computer-assisted breast cancer detection. In the event that an inconsistency or suspicious breast tissue shows up on a screening, we will assist you in making an appointment with one of our breast care surgeons to have a biopsy performed. If a biopsy determines the presence of cancer, there are several surgical options, and your treatment will be uniquely tailored to your needs.

Here are some of the options that may be presented for breast cancer surgery:

  • Breast Conserving Surgeries (such as Lumpectomy, Partial Mastectomy, or Wide excision) are procedures where only the affected area and a small part of surrounding healthy tissue are removed.
  • Mastectomy involves the complete removal of the breast and sometimes lymph nodes from under the arm.

  • Breast Reconstruction can be done at the time of a mastectomy or after operation.

To learn more about the surgical options for breast cancer, watch the short video below.

Breast Cancer Surgical Options

At Oak Hill Hospital, we know how important it is to understand your options when it comes to breast cancer. To learn more about our surgical options and other cancer care services, feel free to visit us online or give us a call at 352-596-6632 in Hernando or 352-628-6441 in Citrus.

Join us for our For Your Health Community Education Series — November 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
This event is co-sponsored by Hernando Today and will take place at Palace Grand (275 Della Court, Spring Hill, Florida 34606)

This month's topic is "Breast Health for Women of All Ages." Our physician panel of medical experts includes a breast surgeon, radiologist, plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist. Each physician will present information about their specific roles in breast cancer care and overall breast health. There will be question and answer sessions and a hot meal will be served. To register for this event, Call 352-597-6333 in Hernando or 352-628-6060 in Citrus.

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Skipping the Flu Shot? Think Again!

The bottom line: getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu!

Although flu activity usually peaks in January or February, flu season can begin as early as October. Are you considering skipping the flu shot this year? Don't! Here are some of the top reasons you should not skip your seasonal flu vaccine.

It really is your best protection.
Influenza is a serious disease and can sometimes lead to hospitalization or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your chance of getting the seasonal flu and the chance of spreading it to others.

There is now a painless FluMist option!
Don't like shots? There is an alternative! The new nasal spray — FluMist — is a safe alternative to the traditional flu vaccine, and is approved for all healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49, except for pregnant women.

It's safe.
According to, the seasonal flu vaccines have a good safety track record. The most common side-effects are redness, soreness and swelling at the site of the flu shot. Other side-effects are possible, but the CDC and the FDA closely monitor the safety of the flu vaccines.

It protects against 3 different viruses.
Flu vaccines are created to protect against three different flu viruses that are predicted to be the most common during the upcoming flu season.

It can't give you the flu.
Flu shots only contain inactivated (killed) flu viruses, so they cannot cause illness.

Want to learn more about the flu shot and how to protect yourself and your family this flu season? Visit today! If you have basic health questions or need a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-888-741-5120.

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Breast Cancer: You Can Reduce Your Risk

When it comes to breast cancer, you have the power to reduce your risk.

Breast cancer statistics can seem daunting—the American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 women will develop the disease in her lifetime—but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. While you can’t change risk factors such as gender, age, race and genetics, you do have the power to help reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Avoid extra pounds that can increase your risk by eating a healthy diet and exercising. Use the USDA MyPlate as a guide to preparing meals and snacks. And follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week and doing muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. Make healthy beverage choices too. Avoid alcohol or limit alcohol consumption to no more than one serving daily.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a single serving as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.
  • Make informed decisions about breastfeeding and hormone replacement therapy. Studies have linked breastfeeding for at least several months to a reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer. On the other hand, research has shown that combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Talk with your doctor about being screened for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society advises women begin doing breast self-exams in their 20s, and have both a clinical breast exam and a mammogram annually starting at age 40. They advise women at high risk for developing breast cancer to also have an annual MRI. Also discuss any symptoms or concerns you may have in a timely manner.

Women's Imaging Center at Oak Hill Hospital
The Women's Center at Oak Hill Hospital offers digital mammography as well as other breast imaging and diagnostic procedures. Digital mammography is faster, so exams are shorter and you will get results more quickly. With a tranquil, spa-like atmosphere, comfortable gowns and subdued lighting, our center is designed to provide women with a positive and relaxing experience. Self-referrals for mammography are accepted, walk-ins are welcome and we offer after hours appointments.

To schedule a mammogram appointment at the Women’s Imaging Center, please call Central Scheduling at (800) 921-7158 or register online.

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