ALTON – February is recognized as American Heart Month – a time when the nation spotlights heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans. Since heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center (1 St. Anthony’s Way, Alton) is hosting an upcoming Healthy Workplace Lunch & Learn program providing important steps to achieving a healthier heart.

Laurinda Harjai, DNP, FNP, RN-BC, nurse practitioner.This lunch & learn program, titled “You Can’t Beat A Healthy Heart,” will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the hospital’s Perpetual Help Center and led by Laurinda Harjai, DNP, FNP, RN-BC, nurse practitioner specializing in cardiology. The program is free and lunch will be provided, but registration is required.

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Registration can be completed by visiting:https://AltonHealthyHearts.eventbrite.com.

In most cases, heart disease is preventable when people adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes:

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Controlling blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Treating high blood pressure
  • Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week
  • Getting regular checkups.

More information on this program can be obtained by contacting Trudy Bodenbach, business development specialist, OSF Saint Anthony’s, via email at trudy.e.bodenbach@osfhealthcare.org or by calling/texting (618) 946-9131.

Harjai joined OSF Medical Group – Cardiology in October 2023 and sees patients in need of cardiology care at OSF Medical Group - Cardiology, located at OSF Saint Anthony’s Medical Office Building, Suite 305, #2 Saint Anthony’s Way (Alton), Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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Ms. Harjai, DNP, offers her patients a variety of specialty cardiology services encompassing (but not limited to):

  • Chest pain
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary Artery Disease management

Harjai’s comprehensive, clinical experience also includes:

  • Served as practitioner, educator, and consultant for patients with advanced heart failure, including heart transplant
  • Pre and Post Cardiothoracic surgical care
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Experience encompasses rural settings as well as quaternary care hospitals

“As someone who grew up in a rural, farm community, I look forward to connecting and providing cardiac care to patients in the Riverbend region,” Harjai says.

Her education record began by receiving an Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Mansfield University (Mansfield, PA) in 1992, and a subsequent Associate Degree in Nursing from Excelsior College (Albany, NY) in 2009. She then received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlin College of Nursing (Chicago, IL) in 2011. Laurinda then completed requirements for two advanced degrees, both from Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY): Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, 2015; Doctor of Nursing Practice, 2020.

Harjai has acquired more than nine (9) years of experience in post-secondary teaching positions (clinical instructor/mentor, adjunct professor, clinical lecturer) along with being a board-certified family nurse practitioner, holding a Cardiovascular Nursing Certification (ANCC), and membership in:

  • Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA)
  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplant (ISHLT)
  • International Consortium of Circulatory Assist Clinicians (ICCAC)

New or existing cardiology patient appointments for Harjai, DNP, can be made by calling (618) 474-6277.

AboutOSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center: A 49-bed Rural Health designated acute care hospital in Alton, Illinois, OSF Saint Anthony’s serves the residents of Madison, Jersey and Macoupin counties. It is home to OSF Moeller Cancer Center, which provides the latest diagnostic tools and treatment for patients in a relaxing environment. OSF Saint Anthony’s also provides 24-hour access to a physician-staffed emergency department, in addition to cardiovascular, neurology, pulmonology, surgical, rehabilitation services and more. OSF Saint Anthony’s is fully accredited by the Joint Commission for Healthcare Facilities, American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, American College of Radiology, American Heart Association, IDPH and TJC Primary Stroke Center. OSF Saint Anthony’s is part of OSF HealthCare – an integrated health system with 15 hospitals in Illinois and Michigan and robust Innovation and Digital Health divisions that provide access to specialty care and remote monitoring, helping people receive the care they need close to home. OSF HealthCare is operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis.

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