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Physician, nurse named Health Care Heroes

Aug 23, 2019

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital’s Byrne, Wilmoswski honored by business publication

PHOENIX (Aug. 23, 2019) – Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital interventional cardiologist Dr. Timothy Byrne and structural heart program nurse navigator Sarah Wilmowski were named Health Care Heroes in their respective professions by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Health Care Heroes awards annually honor people whose lives are based around helping the community through innovation, treatment and philanthropic contributions.

Timothy ByrneByrne, who also oversees cardiac programs, research, education and quality for Abrazo Health, was named winner in the Physician Category. Nurse navigator Wilmowski, who helps guide patients and their families throughout hospitalization and after discharge, won in the Nursing Category.

Viewing his work as a calling more than a profession, Byrne has contributed to Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital’s reputation for complex cardiovascular procedures, research and patient-centered care.

“Recognition as a Health Care Hero certainly reflects individual accomplishments, but it’s also a reflection of the entire team it takes to create a culture of care and excellence. We’re proud of all the physicians, nurses and other caregivers at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital,” noted hospital Chief Executive Officer Jeff Patterson.

The legacy of innovation, patient-first advocacy and education at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is stronger than ever, said Patterson.

“Today’s patients are more empowered and take a more active role in their health. Although we have a history of delivering care for some of the most complex heart and vascular conditions, we also want to continue that legacy while continuing to help Arizonans prevent and manage the risks associated with the disease,” he said.

Sarah WilmowskiWilmowski is responsible for guiding and educating patients and their families from pre-op to one year following procedures. Structural heart care focuses on the degenerative disease process of the aortic, mitral and tricuspid heart valves.

She serves as a liaison between patients and their family members and caregivers, including physicians, hospital and ancillary staff. Her job is to engage all of these stakeholders in the patient experience as a way of improving clinical outcomes, reducing costs and recovery time, and helping patients get back to what’s most important – resuming their normal daily activities.

Nurse navigators are relatively new to many hospital systems. Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital was among the first in Arizona to add this role to advocate for heart patients. Patients benefit with continuity of care and seamless transitions in care from the time they are referred, to beyond their hospitalization.

“Sarah is always trying to find ways to improve the care and experience of our patients,’” said Cardiovascular Services Director Tammy Querrey. “It’s one thing to be able to provide our patients with the best technology available to treat severe aortic stenosis. With Sarah, patients are comforted, reassured, put at ease and have a chance to achieve optimal health.”

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