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  March 23, 2008 Release.
  For Immediate Release.
  Contact: Bonnie Arkus 609-771-9600

Women’s Heart Foundation Honors The Women’s Heart Center at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center with its Women's Heart Advocate Awards

Nurse Practitioners lead the way with developing a center that represents a new paradigm of care for women with heart disease

Paterson, NJ - The Women’s Heart Center team at the St. Joseph's Medical Center was honored by the Women's Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the survival and quality of life for women with heart disease. Ms. Bonnie Arkus, executive director, presented the Women’s Heart Advocate Award for Medical Excellence to Robert Faillace, MD, FACP, FACC, SJRMC Chairman of Cardiovascular Services and WHC Medical Director, the Women’s Heart Advocate Awards for Nurse Executive Leadership to Carolyn Strimike, RN, MSN, and Margie Latrella, RN, MSN, Advance Practice Nurses and the Women’s Heart Advocate Award for Administrative Leadership to Angela Harris, Director of Marketing. The award presentation was followed by a celebration held in the Johnson Board Room and attended by Maria Brennan, RN, St. Joseph’s Vice President of Nursing, cardiologists Anthony Losardo, M.D and Donna Konlian, M.D. and staff from throughout St. Joseph’s. (See the photos below that chronicle the March 23 award ceremony.)

"Every year, more women than men die of heart disease. Women are six times more likely to die of a heart attack than they are of breast cancer", said Nurse Strimike. "There is much we can do because 80 per cent of heart attacks are preventable if risk factors are controlled", she said. Ms. Arkus concurs. "The Women's Heart Center at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center is doing something proactive to reach women before their first heart attack", she said. "They have developed a team that prides itself in optimization of care and services. Dr. Faillace credits the nurse practitioners for their skilled assessments of women's symptoms and their ability to link women to other services in the community to improve quality of life." Nurse Strimike was instrumental in setting up the program with Dr. Faillace.

Dr. Faillace says that he will always champion the cause since learning first-hand what can happen to a woman when symptoms are dismissed. He vividly recalls his own experience... "While caring for cardiac patients through the night and the early hours of the morning, I noticed one young woman who came to the ER twice and was sent home each time by the ER physician. Although I was the cardiologist on duty for the hospital, I was not asked to consult on her case. When I questioned the ER physician about her, he told me that the woman was experiencing chest discomfort but that her symptoms were not related to heart disease. Sadly, when the woman returned to the ER several hours later for the third time, she was dead on arrival. She had suffered a massive heart attack."

The center conducts community outreach that links to referrals to the Women's Heart Center's assessment team. Ms. Harris coordinates the outreach and proudly reports that after only two years, the nurses have reached out to 6,000 community members and conducted more than 1,200 screenings. Dr. Faillace credits the entire team, including the secretaries Luz Ortiz and Gail Thompson, and of course the superb APNs.

The Women's Heart Center at St. Joseph's is located at three sites:

  • St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, 703 Main Stree, Paterson, NJ;

  • St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital, 224 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470;

  • St. Joseph's Ambulatory Imaging Center, 1135 Broad Street, Clifton, NJ 07013.

If interested in scheduling a Women's Heart Center educational program, please call 973-956-3738.

nurse Carolyn Stimike receives award from Bonnie Arkus   Carolyn Stimike, Bonnie Arkus, Dr. Faillace, Margie Latrella and Angela Harris receive Women's Heart Advocate award for Medical Excelence from the Women's Heart Foundation   nurse Margie Latrella receives award from Bonnie Arkus
L-R: Carolyn Strimike, MSN, RN, APRN and Bonnie Arkus; Carolyn Stimike, Bonnie Arkus, Robert Faillace, MD, Margaret Latrella and Angela Harris; Margaret Latrella and Bonnie Arkus


The Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) is the only Non Governmental Organization that designs and implements demonstration projects for the prevention of heart disease. WHF registered the trademark of The Gender Care Initiative® to promote care models that work best in women. Founded June 11, 1992 as a 501 c3 charity, the organization is dedicated to prevention and improving women's survival and quality of life. For more information, contact us.



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