At The Heart Podcast

At The Heart is a podcast delivering the best in heart health tips and giving you access to the Arkansas Heart Hospital’s physicians and team of experts. Hosted by Lisa Fischer and Michelle Rupp, each episode features a new topic and expert to provide simple, straightforward advice on how to live a healthier, heart-happier life. Be sure to share and subscribe!


May 21, 2019 — Why You Should Stay Away From Energy Drinks with Christine Alongi

It’s no secret that athletes today love downing energy drinks before a big game. But whenever you take a stimulant, such as caffeine, to give yourself that energy boost for the day, it causes your heart to beat faster for a long period of time — and consuming high concentrations of caffeine can cause serious damages to your heart. Today we have Christine Alongi, director of our StrongHearts cardiac rehabilitation program, to talk about what too much caffeine looks like and what effects it can have, especially with the surge in popularity for energy drinks.


May 14, 2019 — Understanding Your Weight Loss Surgery Options with Dr. Samuel Bledsoe

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, has become a common path many Americans take to help manage their weight and reach their health goals. But did you know weight loss surgery can also help treat more diseases than obesity, such as diabetes? Dr. Samuel Bledsoe, a bariatric surgeon from Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, is here to talk about the different weight loss surgery options patients have, what occurs during those surgeries and how they’ve helped countless Americans lead healthier lives.

how to track high blood pressureMay 7, 2019 — It’s Hypertension Month So Know Your Numbers with Dr. Mehmet Cilingiroglu

Regardless of your age or health, it’s important to check your blood pressure regularly — preferably daily or twice a day. New guidelines now state that the new benchmark for hypertension (commonly known as high blood pressure) is anything over 130/80. For Hypertension Month, we’ve brought in expert cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Cilingiroglu to discuss the dangers of hypertension and how it carries little to no symptoms, which means you need to take the initiative in your care.

April 30, 2019 — Treating Congestive Heart Failure with Dr. Michael Huber

5.7 million people have heart failure in the United States. But there is hope for recovery for those who suffer from it. Cardiologist Dr. Michael Huber from Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Congestive Heart Failure Clinic is in to talk about the different types of congestive heart failure, the symptoms and causes, the types of treatments, and the great work the CFH Clinic provides to patients to help them on the road to recovery.


April 23, 2019 — How Hyperbaric Therapy Works with Dr. Mark Myers

Hyperbaric therapy is an amazing treatment that helps facilitate wound healing by using 100% oxygen in a pressured atmosphere. Dr. Mark Myers from Arkansas Heart Hospital’s wound care department dives into how a hyperbaric chamber works and how this comprehensive approach to patient care aims to address the underlying cause of wounds and symptoms, helping patients live their best lives.


April 16, 2019 — Ten Steps to Intuitive Eating with Dietician Shelby Pierceall

A lot of people talk about mindful eating and intuitive eating — but there is a difference. Intuitive eating is getting away from the diet mentality and focusing more on why you eat certain foods, allowing yourself to have foods you enjoy with moderation and a more healthy mindset. Dietician Shelby Pierceall dives into the ten guidelines for intuitive eating, such as taking time to savor what you eat, honor your hunger and respect your fullness, to help improve your relationship with food.

April 9, 2019 — Using Telemedicine To Reach More Patients with Dalana Huckaby

73 out of 75 Arkansas counties are medically underserved. Arkansas Heart Hospital’s telemedicine program bridges that gap and helps bring healthcare to more people across the state, when and where they need it. Dalana Huckaby, director of outreach clinics, is in to tell us how telemedicine works and how the hospital is using cutting edge technology, such as Bluetooth stethoscopes, to provide their expert care to more patients.

April 2, 2019 — Treating Venous Insufficiency Syndrome with Dee White

The vein and vascular system is an amazing network that works like a mechanical valve to keep blood flowing through the body. However, several things can occur to interfere with that circulation, leading to venous insufficiency syndrome. This happens when the leg veins are not working as they should and making it difficult for blood to reach the heart from the legs. Regardless of your occupation, whether you’re on your feet all day or sitting at desk, you could be at risk. Join us as we talk with Dee White, nurse practitioner and clinical director for the Vein & Vascular Institute, to learn more about the symptoms of venous insufficiency and how it can be treated.

March 26, 2019 — Erectile Dysfunction and Why Communication is Key 

It can be a sensitive topic to discuss, but erectile dysfunction is an important conversation to have. ED can be a sign for oncoming diabetes and heart disease — which is why it’s so vital to discuss ED with your physician. Today, we’re discussing the options men who struggle with ED have for treatment and why constant communication with not only doctors but also spouses is so crucial.

March 19, 2019 — Treating Lymphedema with Dee White

Lymphedema is a chronic, progressive, non-curable condition that disrupts the body’s lymphatic system. It first appears as swollen limbs and can result from injury, radiation treatments, obesity, genetics and a wide variety of other causes. With a strong lack of lymphedema therapy in the region, Arkansas Heart Hospital trained its experts to help lymphedema patients live fuller lives. Dee White, nurse practitioner and clinical director for the Vein and Vascular Institute, is in to talk about diagnosing and treating this life-long disease. 

March 12, 2019 — Building Stronger Hearts Through Innovative Research with Mary Catherine Faulkner

The work of every great hospital is supported by great research. Arkansas Heart Hospital is proud to house a team of top-notch researchers who run trials, conduct tests and lead innovation to support our physicians and patients. Today we have Director of Research Mary Catherine Faulkner in to talk about her team’s cutting-edge work that makes Arkansas Heart Hospital one of the best leaders in heart health.

March 5, 2019 — What To Know About Fad Diets with Dietician Shelby Pierceall

Our culture is oversaturated with fad diets that promise weight loss and body change. But how do you know which diets work — and which ones don’t? Dietician Shelby Pierceall is in today to share her expertise on the good fad diets, but more importantly, how to establish a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle when it comes to food.

February 26, 2019 — Heart Disease — The No. 1 Killer of Women with Dr. Monica Lo

Heart disease kills more people than all cancers combined. And while it’s well-known that men commonly suffer from heart disease — it is still the number 1 killer for women as well. In fact, one in three women will experience a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime. We have Dr. Monica Lo, an interventional cardiologist, who is in today to talk about what symptoms to look for — and how they differ from what men might experience — and why you shouldn’t ignore those symptoms or leave them untreated.

February 19, 2019 — Making Wise Choices For A Healthy Heart with Dr. Andre Paixao

Today we’re excited to have Dr. Andre Paixao, a renowned expert in preventive and interventional cardiology, in the studio. He shares his insights for how you can make wise choices to prevent heart disease and maximize your health, including how intense you need to exercise regularly. Dr. Paixao also talks about his favorite diets, for health and for taste, and other foods that make a great impact on your heart.

February 12, 2019 — Could You Have A Silent Heart Condition with Dr. Vijay Raja

Did you know 30% of the world’s population has a hole in their heart? Most are silent and never cause an issue, but for some it could lead to a stroke. Today Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Raja joins us to talk about adult congenital heart defects, what you should know and if you might be at risk. He also provides some additional information on A-fib and some of the new procedures being performed at Arkansas Heart Hospital. 

February 5, 2019 — Tips To Minimize Your Risks For Heart Disease with Dr. Gary Nash

Know the risks that lead to heart disease — and the lifestyle choices you can make to prevent it. Today, we have self-professed “heart plumber” and Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Gary Nash in the studio to share his top tips to minimize your chances for heart disease, such as quitting smoking and losing weight, and how to recognize the symptoms of poor heart health. He also breaks down misconceptions about heart disease and cholesterol.

January 29, 2019 — How ‘Keep the Beat’ Empowers Your Heart Health with Lindsay Roberts RT(R), RCIS

Knowing the state of your cardiac health — and where that health is headed — can empower you to make better decisions for your life. With the Keep the Beat program, we’ve developed a comprehensive screening involving nine diagnostics and nutritional counseling that only takes around two hours to perform. Lindsay Roberts RT(R), RCIS, director of Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Clinic Cath Lab and CT and Keep the Beat departments, is here to tell us more about the benefits of this screening and how it can help you live a better life.

January 22, 2019 — Improving Employee Wellness with Dr. Eric Martin

Resolutions. Goals. Lifestyle changes. Making good habits. The new year brings a renewed focus on health, wellness and living more actively. That renewed focus, however, can be difficult to maintain when so many Americans spend their 8-5 jobs sitting in a chair, staring at a screen. We’ve brought in Employee Wellness Director Dr. Eric Martin to share his recommendations for wellness programs aimed at keeping that renewed focus on health for the whole body.

January 15, 2019 — Anxiety, Depression And How To Know The Symptoms with Dr. Urmi Jani

Let’s talk about anxiety and depression, two disorders with a lot of overlap that affects millions of Americans. We’ve brought on the hospital’s Director of Psychology  Dr. Urmi Jani, to lead our discussion — talking about symptoms, misconceptions and treatments.


January 8, 2019 — Getting Back On Track With Healthy Eating This New Year

If you started the new year on the wrong foot food-wise, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, set yourself one good goal to accomplish for 2019. Today, we’re talking about new years resolutions, especially as they pertain to health and weight management, and how just one good, attainable goal for the year can be more effective than multiple resolutions.


December 18, 2018 — Managing Your Nutrition Before and After Bariatric Surgery with Dietician Jennifer Burnette

Bariatric surgery aims to help patients achieve weight loss and go on to live healthier lives. The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital provides the surgery and support to help patients reach their weight goals to improve their health. Part of that support includes Dietician Jennifer Burnette who educates the institute’s patients on best practices for managing their nutrition before and after bariatric surgery. She is in the studio today to share her nutritional advice for those who might be considering bariatric surgery.


December 11, 2018 — Keeping Your Heart Well-Structured with Dr. Mehmet Cilingiroglu

Arkansas Heart Hospital is proud to house one of the leading Structural Heart teams in the nation (and the only expanded team in the state). Today we have Dr. Mehmet Cilingiroglu in to share more about the amazing work this team does and the cutting-edge technology it provides to help patients who suffer from structural heart defects and conditions.

December 4, 2018 — This Holiday Season, Say No To Stress Eating with Dr. Urmi Jani

Stress is so engrained in the holiday season, it’s almost become a tradition for most Americans. And this stress often manifests as over eating, or stress eating, which can cause negative health effects. So we’ve brought in Dr. Urmi Jani, the director of psychology for the Bariatric Metabolic Institute, to give some helpful tips on how to prevent stress eating and focus on what she calls “mindful eating.”

November 27, 2018 — Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You? With Samantha Stewart

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is time restrictive eating and it has taken the nation by storm in its popularity. But is IF right for you? And how does it affect your heart health? We have Dietitian Samantha Stewart in the studio today to share with us the wide variety of different styles IF provides, and how to decide which styles work best for you.    

November 20, 2018 – Introducing Encore — The Hospital of the Future with Dr. Bruce Murphy

Construction has officially begun on the hospital of the future: Arkansas Heart Hospital — Encore Medical Center! This new hospital, located in Saline County, will bring highly specialized and expert care focused on bariatric surgery and medicine, peripheral vascular disease (PAD), and intensive cardiac rehab. With a cutting-edge new campus in a fast-growing community, we couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds. That’s why we’re speaking today with Arkansas Heart Hospital’s CEO, Dr. Bruce Murphy, to share his vision and passion for this profound new step in serving Arkansas patients.

November 13, 2018 – Hold The Salt But Not The Flavor with Samantha Stewart

Did you know just one meal during the holidays can contain more sodium than a full day’s recommended amount?  This much sodium can have direct, negative impacts on your blood pressure. That’s why we have Dietician Samantha Stewart here today to share easy adjustments in food preparation (and what you put on your plate) for a healthier holiday season.

November 6, 2018 – Living Your Best Life with Type 2 Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Today we’re talking about how patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes can live the lives they want (and still eat a lot of what of they enjoy). We’re also touching on how to prevent diabetes in yourself and future generations, helping raise a healthier Arkansas.


October 30, 2018 – Bariatric Surgery: An Investment In Your Life with Kady Hill

With a diabetes cure rate of 83% with the gastric bypass and 66% with the gastric sleeve, the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital has helped patients reach their weight goals and achieve better health. Kady Hill, director of the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, is with us today to discuss who the institute serves and how the program not only focuses on weight loss but improved health all together.

Heart Healthy Tips

October 23, 2018 – Keep Your Heart (And Your Sanity) Healthy This Holiday Season

We are on the cusp of the busiest — and tastiest — time of the year. So we’ve provided a simple roadmap to navigating the holidays while making sure your health stays strong and your stress stays low. From wrapping gifts to planning parties to actually enjoying the holidays — here’s some guidance to give you a great season.

October 16, 2018 – Building Stronger Hearts Through Cardiac Rehab with Christine Alongi

When most people think of post-surgery rehab, they commonly think of knee, hip or shoulder repair — the type of surgeries that require weeks or months of rehabilitation to regain full function. But orthopedic surgeries aren’t the only surgeries that require rehab — cardiac rehab is every bit as essential following a heart surgery. Which is why we built the Strong Hearts Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Center where participants are offered a personalized program focused on exercise, eating behaviors, food preparation, understanding medications and stress management. We’re here with Christine Alongi, the center’s director, to learn more about the great services Strong Hearts Rehab provides.

October 9, 2018 – Spiritual Health Empowering Your Physical Health with Chaplain Larry Charles

Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Chaplain Larry Charles serves as the faith liaison to our patients, their families and our staff, bringing spiritual wellness and guidance. Brother Larry, however, didn’t start out as a chaplain — he began as a gastroenterology tech in the operating room. He’s in the studio today to share his story — moving from the operating room to the chaplaincy — and how spiritual health can profoundly impact your physical health.


October 2, 2018 – Benefit Heart Health at the Festival of Wines with Dr. Gary Nash

Drinking wine has proven to have great benefits for heart health. So it’s only natural that we talk about the Festival of Wines: Cocktails & Cuisine, which benefits the American Heart Association. We have former Festival Chair Dr. Gary Nash in studio to talk about the event and what you can expect. Happening on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 in North Little Rock, Ark. at Dickey-Stephens Park, this amazing event will help fundraise for better heart health care across the state and nation. The festival features more than 20 wines to sample, along with food from 20 restaurants, craft beer, cocktails and more!”

September 25, 2018 – Healthy Eating: How To Cook After A Heart Attack with Chef Mark 

After a cardiac event, your life changes — and so does what you eat. But what are the best ways to eat healthy when it comes to your heart? Chef Mark Elliotte, Arkansas Heart Hospital’s full-time chef, is in the studio with us to share his best tips for cooking great-tasting, heart-healthy meals. More than a great cook, Chef Mark is also an educator for our cardiac rehab facility, Strong Hearts, spending each day with patients to teach them how to prepare wholesome, healthy foods.

September 18, 2018 – Celebrating 10 Years of Wound Care with Dr. Loretta DePalo

Today, we’re celebrating! For 10 years, Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Wound Care Center has been treating non-healing and chronic wounds for patients in Little Rock. So we’re speaking to Dr. Loretta DePalo, director of the Wound Care Center, who’s here to talk about the life-changing work the center does for patients who have suffered from chronic wounds for weeks, months and even years.

September 11, 2018 – Leg Pain, Peripheral Arterial Disease And How It Ties Back To The Heart With Ian M. Cawich, MD

Experiencing leg pain that doesn’t go away? Or perhaps wounds in your legs and feet that heal very slowly? It may have to do with your heart. Consistent leg pain may be due to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which goes hand-in-hand with heart disease. With September being PAD Awareness Month, we brought interventional cardiologist Ian M. Cawich, MD into the studio to talk about how you can lower your risk for PAD, and how a history of smoking can increase that risk.

September 4, 2018 – Is Your Heart Aflutter? With Dr. Monica Lo

Kicking off Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, today we sit down with Electrophysiologist Dr. Monica Lo. Electrophysiology, for those who don’t know, is the study of the electrical system of your heart. If you deal with A-Fib, or are interested in how the electrical functions of the heart work, you’ll want to hear some of the lifesaving options as well as how to keep living your best life.

August 28, 2018 – Diabetes and Endocrinology with Dr. Beth Crowder, PhD

Arkansas Heart is proud to offer a new outpatient service! Offering diabetes education and nutrition consulting in our Little Rock and other selected clinics. This program will provide outpatient Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) classes with a certified diabetes educator, as well as Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) with a registered dietitian who will work with you to meet your individualized needs to better manage your diabetes.

August 21, 2018 – Listen To Your legs with Ian M. Cawich, MD

The superficial venous system is more important than it sounds. Those aching legs may be trying to tell you something. Circulatory problems in the legs usually come with symptoms like swelling, aching and changes to your skin.


August 14, 2018 – Digital Medicine, Augmented and Virtual Reality — The Future Is Here with Dr. Murphy

Every August, Arkansas Heart hosts Heart Summit. This year, hospital CEO Dr. Bruce Murphy continues to push AHH to new frontiers — including digital medicine, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Digital medicine and AR are changing how patients access and receive care. AR is being used right now in innovative pain management. VR improves educational opportunities for providers.

August 7, 2018 – Champions For Health and Champions For Our Children with Sue Owens

Arkansas’s child obesity rate is 40%. Children are our most precious asset. Which is why the hospital Foundation got a make-over. Champions for Health. They are partnering with experts across the country and have formulated a pilot program for Morrilton Intermediate School teaching students how to be champions for themselves.

July 31, 2018 – Is It a Charlie Horse or Something More Significant with Dee White 

Vein and Vascular Institute Clinical Director Dee White wants you to know your legs don’t have to hurt and if they do what it could mean. Awarded Best Vein and Vascular Treatment, how your legs can give clues if there’s something wrong with your heart.


July 24, 2018 – Don’t Let the Arkansas Heat Beat You with Christine Alongi

Hydration before, during, and after exercising, working outside, even going to the pool. It’s the rule to staying healthy this summer. Don’t let the humidity and heat take you out of the game.


July 17, 2018 – Discover the Only Cardiac Prehabilitation Program in the Nation with Dr. Eric Martin

Arkansas Heart Hospital is innovative in its techniques and this new way of preparing patients for surgery is no different. Discover the only cardiac prehabilitation program in the nation, is right here in Little Rock.

July 10, 2018 – Our History — Past, Present and Always Patient-Focused with Andrea Nelson

Arkansas Heart Hospital is located in the heart of Little Rock. It started with humble roots as the state’s first specialty hospital completely dedicated to the heart more than 20 years ago. The road to success was paved with uncertainty and determination. Today that mission continues to be patient-driven and is as innovative as ever.

July 3, 2018 – Good vs. bad cholesterol; which is which? with Dr. Michael Huber

Cardiologist Dr. Michael Huber breaks down the vocabulary when it comes to cholesterol. HDL, LDL, Triglycerides: What do these words mean, their effects on you and how you can have better numbers?

June 18, 2018 – Healthy Eating – You are the CEO of you with Samantha Stewart 

From shopping and preparation to portion planning, take power into your own hands and know more about healthy eating. Registered Dietitian Samantha Stewart is your food coach.

June 12, 2018 – Nursing – The Career with a Heart with Kelly Hall

Nurses make an impact every day. They are caring, compassionate and at Arkansas Heart treat patients like family.  According to the Labor Department it’s one of the fastest growing professions. If you’re looking for a career change or just curious about the profession, you won’t want to miss this podcast.

June 5, 2018 – Food for the Heart: Food Services with Casey Atwood

With grass-fed meats, ramen and a food truck, Arkansas Heart Hospital’s menu is far from that of a typical hospital. This week, we’re talking to AHH culinary department director Casey Atwood about all things food services and what makes the menu at AHH something special.

May 29, 2018 – A Change of Heart: Intensive Cardiac Rehab with Christine Alongi

Just like any other muscle, your heart needs to be strengthened when it’s been sick. In this week’s episode, we’re talking to Christine Alongi, director of strong hearts cardiac rehabilitation program, about intensive cardiac rehab and how it can help your heart get back on its rhythm.

May 23, 2018 – Good Bones: Osteoporosis Prevention with Eric Martin

Heart heath and bone health go hand in hand, and you might be more at risk for osteoporosis than you think. This week, we’re talking with Eric Martin, Director of Wellness and Prehabilitation at Arkansas Heart Hospital about osteoporosis and how you can prevent it.

May 22, 2018 – Sleep Well: Sleep Studies with Jason Henry

In our very first episode, Jason Henry, Senior Clinical Director of Ancillary Services at Arkansas Heart Hospital, is answering all the questions you never knew you had about sleep studies – is snoring really a bad thing? When is a good time to turn off your phone before bed? There’s a lot we can learn from sleep studies, and Jason is here to fill us in.


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