Welcome Dow Members!
Welcome Members!

Heart health made simple

Don’t miss a beat! Show your heart some love with tips to help you understand and manage the health of your heart.

Heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths in America

That makes it the leading cause of death. More deadly than cancer, even. But what separates heart disease from cancer or other unavoidable causes of death is that it’s reversible and preventable.

The problem is that understanding how your heart works and how to manage it can be challenging. That’s why we’re making it simple with heart health education and tips you can start making today.


Do you know why wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand? Or why the heart is considered the organ of love?

Hear from QuadMed Medical Director Gregg Stefanek as he pumps out interesting facts about the heart and its connection to love, and discusses the best ways to show your heart the love it needs to prevent heart disease.

If you have questions about your mental health, log in to MyChart or call your QuadMed health center to make an appointment.



Why is Blood Pressure important to heart health?

Every time you see a health care provider, one of the first things they do is check your blood pressure. And if you’re like most people, the numbers you hear mean absolutely nothing to you. But your “BP” really does matter, as it is one of the most obvious indicators of your risk for heart disease.

Shot of a young man using a blood pressure gauge at home


Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your artery walls. It is measured in two numbers:




(Top Number)

Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure.

(Bottom Number)

When your heart is at rest, between beats, blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.

Less than 120

Less than 80

120 – 139

81 – 89

More than 140

More than 90

High blood pressure has no symptoms. In fact, many types of heart disease don’t. So, the only way to know your risk is to have regular blood pressure checks – which is why it’s taken at every appointment.


  • If you don’t smoke, vape or use tobacco products, don’t ever start.
  • If quitting smoking or tobacco is a challenge for you, ask your QuadMed provider for help to kick the habit using proven methods.
  • Don’t just swap one tobacco source for another.
  • Try to avoid secondhand smoke, too!
  • Incorporate more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish.
  • Limit refined carbohydrates, processed meats and sugary drinks.
  • Pay attention to nutrition facts labels to help cut back on sodium, added sugars and saturated fats, and avoid trans fat.
  • Move more – it’s one of the best ways to stay healthy, prevent disease and age well.
  • Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
  • If you’re already active, you can increase your intensity for even more benefits.
  • If you’re not active now, get started by simply sitting less and moving more.
  • Stay at a healthy weight for you or try to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese.
  • Start by eating fewer calories and moving more.
  • Keep track of your body mass index (BMI).
  • If you need help, talk to your QuadMed health care provider about a weight loss plan.
  • High blood pressure and elevated blood pressure often have no symptoms, so checking your BP is the only way to know for sure whether it is too high.
  • Use a home BP monitor or visit your QuadMed provider to have your BP checked.
  • If you learn that you have high BP, take steps to control your BP to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol causes major cardiovascular risks.
  • Excessive alcohol use is defined as more than 3 drinks per day for men or more than 2 drinks per day for women.
  • Patients that have certain heart rhythm abnormalities or have heart failure are advised by doctors not to drink at all.
  • Excessive lipids (fatty substances including cholesterol and triglycerides), especially in the form of LDL cholesterol, cause the build-up of fatty deposits within your arteries, reducing or blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart.
  • Aim to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Even if you do not have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you can reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • Sugar has been attributed to a higher risk of diabetes, an increased risk of certain cancers, and high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which increase the risk of heart attack.
  • Research suggests that long-term anxiety or emotional stress can increase the risk for sudden cardiac death.
  • To reduce your anxiety level, try activities that reduce stress like yoga, walking meditation, traditional meditation, guided imagery, or other methods. 
  • Establish a Primary Care Provider (PCP) and be sure to get an annual physical.
  • Your provider can evaluate your risk factors to determine if you have a low, moderate, or high risk of developing heart disease.
  • A primary care provider can also offer resources and suggestions to make healthy habits easier.


The average heart is the size of your two hands clasped together.

Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.

Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas.

More heart attacks happen on a Monday than any other day of the week.

Your heart beats over 100,000 times per day.

During exercise, your heart beats faster so that more blood gets out to your body.


Your heart is a vital organ. It is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood pumped by your heart provides your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.

Click on the hearts in the image to learn some fun facts about the heart.



Heart attack symptoms are the same for men and women.


The symptoms of heart attack are often very different in men and women. Men tend to present with more classic symptoms, like chest pain, related shoulder or arm pain, and sweating, but women often suffer from ‘silent heart attacks’ (also common in diabetics). They may only feel fatigued or have flu-or cold-like symptoms.


As long as I take my medication, diabetes won’t affect my heart.


Diabetes and heart disease have coinciding risk factors. So even if your blood sugar level is under control, anyone with diabetes is more prone to develop cardiovascular disease. You can help lower your risk for heart problems if you stop smoking, exercise a few times a week, and eat a healthy diet.


Heart disease is colorblind.


Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, but it takes a particularly heavy toll on minority groups. Black Americans are about a third more likely to die of it as the overall population. They’re also nearly twice as likely to have a stroke and die from the condition. More than 33% of Native Americans die from heart disease under age 65, compared with 17% for the U.S. population overall.


I don’t have to worry about heart disease until I’m older.


Even young people can have heart problems, obesity and diabetes. Plaque starts building up in your arteries at a young age. This is especially so in those who have diabetes and smoke. What we put into our bodies and how we take care of ourselves affects us later in life. Staying active is vital as well as enjoying sweets and fatty foods only on occasion and making healthier choices a daily habit!


If I had high blood pressure or cholesterol, or other risk factors for heart disease, I'd know it.


Of the 75 million Americans who have high blood pressure, almost 15% -- about 11 million -- don’t know their BP is too high. This means they aren’t getting treatment to control it. Oftentimes, people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are completely asymptomatic. Genetics also plays a strong role in both, so you could still silently be at elevated risk even if you’re active and not overweight.


Heart disease runs in my family, so I can’t do anything to increase my heart’s health.


Moderate exercise a few times a week, eating a healthy diet that’s low in fatty foods and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight are all within your control and can help your heart to be healthier even though you’re at risk for heart disease. If you’re a smoker, the sooner you stop smoking the better it is for your heart and your overall health.

If you have questions about your mental health, log in to MyChart or call your QuadMed health center to make an appointment.



"We'll keep you well;
and if you get sick,
we'll take care of that too."
- Harry V. Quadracci

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Happens when the arteries in the heart are narrowed or blocked. It’s the most common kind of heart disease and causes most heart attacks as well as chest pain.

Heart Failure

Typically caused by heart attack or high blood pressure, heart failure develops after the heart is damaged or weakened. There is no cure, but risk can be managed through lifestyle changes.

Heart Arrhythmias

Heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, cause the heart to beat irregularly – either too slowly, too quicky or in a disorganized fashion. Often have no symptoms or warning signs.

Heart Valve Disease

Occurs when one or more of the heart’s four valves are no longer able to open or close properly, causing blood flow to the heart to become disrupted.

Heart Attack

Occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. This blockage is often due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances which form plaque in the arteries that feed the heart.


More commonly referred to as high blood pressure, hypertension occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high, which can cause heart disease and stroke.

MyChart allows you to schedule and start a virtual visit with a QuadMed health care provider. It also provides additional features that help you to manage your health completely online.

Click the buttons below to log in or to sign up
if you don’t already have an account.

Download the MyChart app!

QuadMed Everywhere will be available
in your state beginning Wednesday, November 1!

Scheduling and patient care will open on November 1.
Check back in November to schedule your first appointment!

In the meantime, Live Health Online powered by Anthem provides eligible Quad employees and families with access to 24/7 virtual care services.

QuadMed Everywhere will be available in your state beginning Friday, September 1!

Scheduling and patient care will open on Friday, September 1.
Check back then to schedule your first appointment!

In the meantime, Live Health Online powered by Anthem provides eligible Quad employees and families with access to 24/7 virtual care services.

Good news! There’s a QuadMed licensed therapist in your state!

Call the Emotional Support Connection to schedule an appointment.

Carrie Hofstad, LSC
Licensed Therapist

QuadMed Everywhere is not currently available in your state, but is coming soon!

We’re working to bring QuadMed Everywhere to all 50 states.
Check back soon to see if your state has access

In the meantime, Live Health Online powered by Anthem provides eligible Quad employees and families with access to 24/7 virtual care services.

Good news! QuadMed Everywhere is available in your state!

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Established patients can also reach a provider 24/7
for follow-up questions from a previous visit.

There are two ways to schedule.

Call 1.800.888.8932

Call 1.800.888.8932 to
speak with a QuadMed representative.

Online With MyChart

Visit myquadmed.com 
or download the
MyChart app.

Looking to learn more or need help getting started?
Call us to schedule a no-cost virtual orientation!


Powered by Anthem, Live Health Online is also available
for any new, after-hour virtual care needs.