Westland native receives life-saving heart care at Trinity Health Livonia thanks to new technology

In July 2022, 66-year-old Westland resident Kurt Dominiak was getting out of the shower at his home after a long day and instantly began sweating and gasping for air. His fiancé, Linda, called 9-1-1. While being transported to the emergency department of Trinity Health Livonia by EMS, his heart stopped. He was resuscitated, but his heart stopped again upon arrival.

“I got in the ambulance and that’s the last thing I remembered for three days,” Kurt said.

His heart stopped five times as he was experiencing cardiac arrest. Dr. Tanmay Swadia, a board-certified cardiologist with the hospital, was on call that night and drove in to perform a life-saving procedure.

Dr. Tanmay Swadia

Testing done at the hospital showed Kurt had two blood clots in his lungs, which directly led to his cardiac arrest and his kidneys, liver and pancreas to begin shutting down. Considering this was a potentially fatal situation, Dr. Swadia had to act quickly.

“In the past, we would have had to transport the patient to a larger hospital for treatment, but that isn’t always the most successful course of action,” Dr. Swadia said. “Thankfully we had new technology available to us here in our Livonia hospital that eliminated the need to send him somewhere else.”

That technology referenced by Dr. Swadia is the Impella RP — a heart pump device that goes into the patient’s thigh, takes blood from the vein and pumps it through the pulmonary arteries.

Dr. Swadia and his team successfully performed the procedure and just one day later, Kurt’s kidneys, pancreas and liver began functioning properly again. His heart was completely back to normal just a couple days after that.

“I was still weak, but feeling better,” Kurt said. “I was there for 6 to 7 days and I progressed and got stronger every single day.”

Kurt Dominiak

After leaving the hospital, Kurt was tasked with physical therapy and further evaluations, which only lasted about a month.

“One day the physical therapist said he couldn’t believe how well I was doing and how fast I had recovered. I started walking up and down the steps and everything,” Kurt said. “Dr. Swadia referred to me as a ‘living miracle.’”

“The care Kurt received from beginning to end was impeccable,” Linda said. “Those nurses watched him like a hawk and explained everything thoroughly. We have a great deal of gratitude for Dr. Swadia and the rest of the staff at Trinity Health Livonia.”

Seven months following his cardiac arrest, Kurt says he feels like he is back to 100%. He doesn’t take for granted the simple pleasures of life and says he enjoys the routine, everyday activities he gets to do outdoors, like walking his dog and doing yardwork.

If you have concerns about your heart health, speak with your primary care physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, you can find one near you by visiting http://www.stjoeshealth.org/find-a-doctor.

Nurse-Midwives Elevate Birthing Experience and Care Options for Expecting Mothers in Oakland County

Alexandrea Garbus, CNM

Expecting mothers at Trinity Health Oakland now have increased access to high quality evidence-based care through pregnancy and labor with Certified Nurse-Midwives.

If you are not familiar, midwives are nurses specialized in advanced practice nursing. These experienced medical professionals have both a nursing degree and a master’s degree. Though midwife services are not a new concept, the hospital’s introduction of them in our outpatient office in Bloomfield Hills greatly expands access to their services in northern Oakland County.

As midwives, our focus with every patient is to empower them, to ensure their voice is heard and listened to, and to have them actively participate in decision making throughout their prenatal care and labor. At the end of the day, we advocate for our mothers, and we work to provide them with the best options available so they can have a customized birthing experience in keeping with their faith, traditions and expectations. We do so in the safest possible environment, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both the mother and her baby.

Another reason expecting mothers choose nurse-midwives as their healthcare provider is for the guidance and counseling we offer, including preparing for labor. From start to finish, the process of bringing a newborn into the world can be daunting, so our nurse-midwives offer critical support and anticipatory guidance, so mothers feel informed and supported.

The specialty care provided by nurse-midwives is proven to be very effective. When women use a midwife, the chances of them needing a cesarean section are greatly reduced, as are preterm birth rates, according to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine. Midwives can combine the necessary prenatal care while also providing additional support and encouragement during this critical time in a woman’s life.

At Trinity Health Oakland we are part of a large medical care team.  Our nurse-midwives can collaborate with Obstetrics and Gynecology physicians as necessary throughout the pregnancy and delivery, including in the event a delivery becomes high-risk or if an emergency procedure is required. Nurse-midwives and physicians work closely together to ensure the mother is part of the decision-making process, all while making it the safest environment for both the mother and the baby.

Beyond the birthing experience, midwifery services are also used after the pregnancy, from annual exams, well-woman care, cancer screening, preconception counseling, pregnancy, postpartum and peri- and postmenopausal needs.

We are thrilled to now offer this service in Oakland County and encourage every expecting mother to ask questions, do their homework, and choose a care provider that best meets their needs.

To schedule an appointment with a nurse-midwife, please call the Trinity Health IHA Medical Group, Nurse Midwives – Bloomfield Hills office at (248) 334-3213.

The Farm at Trinity Health Michigan Shares Heart Healthy Swiss Chard Salad Recipe

If you are interested to learn some fun, new heart healthy meal options, look no further than our friend Amanda Sweetman, Regional Director of Farming and Healthy Lifestyles for Trinity Michigan.  This week they shared a delicious and refreshing Swiss Chard Salad, enough to feed you and your special someone this Valentine’s Day.

Where to Go for Medical Care

When you experience a sudden unexpected illness or an injury, you want to be seen right away. Yet not all concerns are life-threatening and therefore may not warrant a trip to the emergency room. Knowing where to go for your symptoms not only helps you receive the right type of care, but also helps clinical staff provide care in a timely manner for you and other patients.

When should you go to your Primary Care Provider?

For all non-life-threatening emergencies, always call your primary care provider first. Your provider knows your history and can advise you when to use the other options for care.

Need to find a doctor?

Our high-quality primary care doctors are ready to care for you. Schedule an appointment with one today.

When should you go to the Urgent Care?

Visit the urgent care for minor illness or injury that’s not life-threatening occurring outside of your primary care provider’s regular hours.

When should you go to the Emergency Room (ER)?

Making a visit to the ER should be reserved for severe symptoms and/or life threating conditions. Emergency physicians are experts in life-threating situations like the ones listed below. Their goal is to quickly diagnose, treat and stabilize your condition, and then they will typically refer you back to your regular doctor or specialist for any follow-up care that is needed.

Find a location near you:

If you’re still unsure of where to go for appropriate medical care, it’s best to check with your primary care provider. And remember, for a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Colleagues Promote Movember, Compete for Best Stache

In honor of Movember, the national movement to recognize and promote men’s health in the month of November, we invited our colleagues to engage in some healthy competition. And boy did it get hairy! Check out all of the submissions and vote for your favorite facial hair here. And remember, men’s health issues are no joke. Please encourage the men in your life to get a primary care physician if they don’t have one and to attend their annual wellness visits.

Jacob (Jhakoby) K. Hecksel
Pharmacy Technician
Trinity Health Grand Rapids

Jordan Ginebaugh
Medical First Responder
Trinity Health Muskegon ProMed

Tim Andrews
ER Lead Tech II 
Chelsea Hospital

Mike Giddings
Trinity Health Muskegon

Miles Kamaloski
Medical Technologist
Trinity Health Grand Rapids

David Harangozo
Case Manager
Trinity Health Grand Rapids

Dan Stewart
Respiratory Therapy
Trinity Health Muskegon

Lucas Vermaire
Phone Triage RN – Diabetes and Endocrine Center
Trinity Health Medical Group

Rafael Ohli
Trinity Health Grand Rapids

Evan Schmidt
Lab Assistant
Trinity Health Muskegon

Pat Milostan
Director of Emergency Department
Trinity Health Livonia 

Dr. Brent Gustafson
Family Medicine Specialist
Trinity Health Grand Rapids

Richard Bame
Lab Tech
Trinity Health Ann Arbor

Jarrett Leunk
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Anesthesia Services

Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Completes 50th Convergent Procedure to Treat Afib

Pictured above are: Sue Keaton, Julie Opalinski, Jihn Han, MD, Robert Lyons, MD and Angela Marison.

Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor recently completed its 50th Convergent procedure to treat atrial fibrillation (afib). Convergent is a procedure that combines surgery and catheter-based ablation to treat patients with persistent or paroxysmal afib. The procedure, performed by electrophysiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, utilizes radiofrequency to block irregular electrical signals by producing lesions, or scar tissue, on the heart.

Convergence is a relatively new treatment option for afib and performed only in organizations with the most advanced cardiovascular services. The Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor team celebrates this milestone number as the most experienced team in the state of Michigan. The procedure is ideal for patients with persistent or paroxysmal afib who have not had success with other afib treatments. As a collaborative treatment, Convergent provides a minimally-invasive approach without cardiopulmonary bypass. This means a shorter hospital stay, minimal discomfort and faster recovery.

Afib is the most common heart arrhythmia disorder, with 2.3 million people living with Afib in the United States. It is caused by rapid electrical signals in the upper chambers of the heart that can disrupt blood flow, causing an irregular rhythm, and can lead to stroke.  

To learn more about Trinity Health’s afib program, click here.

Trinity Health Michigan Promotes Skin Safety Among Concertgoers

It’s been another amazing summer concert season at the historic Pine Knob Music Theatre.  With little more than a month remaining on the summer schedule, it’s important that concertgoers continue to take precautions to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

As the exclusive health care partner of Pine Knob Music Theatre, Trinity Health Michigan wants to help keep you and your loved ones safe.  David McNaughton, MD, a family medicine physician at Trinity Health Primary Care in Clarkston, offers these safety skin tips for those looking to spend extended time out in the sun.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water when you’re out in the sun and heat. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can dehydrate you so stick to water or Gatorade. Even pop or other soft drinks can increase dehydration. Aim to drink 16 ounces of water every 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Prioritize skincare. Use a water-resistant sunscreen that has an SPF 30 or above. Apply to all exposed skin before you go outside. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Spray on sunscreen is easy to use but creams may last longer.
  • Wear protective clothing. Consider wearing a hat that covers your face and protective clothing for your body, such as long sleeves. This is even more effective than sunscreen.
David McNaughton, MD
  • Avoid overexposure. Limit direct sunlight by seeking shade when possible.
  • Watch out for cloudy skies. Even when it’s cloudy and the weather is hazy, your skin can be exposed to strong UV rays.  UV light can pass through clouds even when visible light doesn’t.

  • When to get help. Seek medical help onsite right away if you experience any heat-related symptoms, such as excessive sweating, facial flushing, muscle cramps or if you are feeling weak, dizzy, or confused.

If you have questions about skin conditions or an area of skin changing in color, size, or shape, reach out to your primary care provider for a skin check.

For more information about Trinity Health Michigan or to find a doctor near you, visit trinityhealthmichigan.org.

Team Trinity Tackles ‘Hill Day’ in First Leg of Wish-a-Mile

Trinity Health is participating in the 35th annual Wish-a-Mile bicycle tour through Michigan. Our cyclists are pedaling 300 miles from Traverse City to the Eaton proving grounds over three days to support wishes granted to seriously ill children. Team Trinity For Make A Wish Michigan.

Trinity Health Michigan President and CEO Rob Casalou is blogging his experiences on the ride. Read on for the Day 1 entry –

Friday, July 29

Alarm clocks went off early this morning as all of us got ready for what is probably the most challenging of the three days of WAM.   The journey from Traverse City to Ferris State University in Big Rapids winds through many small towns many of us have not heard of before.  And this is our hill day with over 3,300ft of climbing along our 99 mile route today.  Team Trinity, after an early breakfast at the Traverse City East Middle School that served as our starting point, gathered at 6:15am for our traditional team picture.  Then we headed out on the route.

I always tell first time WAM riders not to judge the entire ride by the opening 10 miles of the first day.  It is essentially one long hill and serves to wake up the legs!  Unlike many past WAMS, we had an absolutely perfect weather morning with calm winds, cool temps and that weather continued to be perfect the entire day. That is, until the wind gusts slowed our ride in the afternoon (almost forgot to mention that).

We don’t all ride as a team because our riders have different capabilities and preferences for riding speed (as is the case of many WAM teams). I rode in a group of seven ride around the same speed (well, except me on the hills).  We were blessed that Ashley pulled for much of the day, which means she led our line so that we could draft off each other.  I was very grateful, for sure!

The Make-A-Wish team doesn’t miss a detail and provides us with an incredibly organized and supported ride. Multiple vehicles provide riders with protection and support, and there are numerous break stops along the route for riders to refresh and refuel.  We even had police officers on motorcycles riding with us and helping keeping us safe.  The WAM staff and volunteers are just incredible.  We were all humbled by their dedication.

Our team members finished at various times, from our quick Probility Physical Therapy team making quick work of the route to a few who came in the later afternoon.  The only WAM rule on timing is that we cannot start before 6 a.m. and we cannot end after 6 p.m.   I am happy to report that all Team Trinity riders were in well within the time limit!

After the ride, we headed to our hotels to clean up. We returned to Ferris State where they provided a wonderful dinner for us.  It was quite the combo with pasta for all of us who wanted a carb load for the next day’s ride. There was also a full turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes and gravy. Of course, most of us tried everything! After dinner, we all headed back to our hotels to get ready for tomorrow and crash as early as possible.  The alarm is set for 4:30 a.m.

Donations continue to come in….thank you to all who have supported.  If you would like to support our team, or a rider on our team, go to wishamile.org and search for Team Trinity or any of us by name.

Thank you all for the support!  Have a great evening,


Team Trinity – Fundraising For Make A Wish Michigan (donordrive.com)

Team Trinity Embarks on 2022 Wish-A-Mile Bike Ride Across Michigan

Rob Casalou (left) and members of Team Trinity meet up on the eve of the 2022 Wish a Mile bike tour through Michigan.

At dawn this morning, 23 colleagues and friends of Trinity Health hit the road for the 35th annual Wish-a-Mile bicycle tour through Michigan. Our cyclists are pedaling 300 miles from Traverse City to the Eaton proving grounds over three days to support wishes granted to seriously ill children.

Organized by the Make a Wish Foundation of Michigan, Team Trinity has raised more than $108,091 for this ride so far, the second highest of all teams riding in this year’s edition of the Wish a Mile.

Team Trinity For Make A Wish Michigan

Team Trinity is led by Trinity Health Michigan President and CEO Rob Casalou, who is blogging his experiences on the ride. We are proud to share his entries with you daily:

(Thursday, July 28, 2022)

The last time that we all gathered for the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bike tour was three years ago this weekend.  Team Trinity has been a fixture in this challenging and amazing 3 day, 300 mile tour that raises funds for Make-A-Wish Michigan.  In fact, this is Team Trinity’s 10th year in WAM and I am so grateful for our team members and all the riders who raise funds and put their bikes and their butts on the road!  

The last three years has seen change, challenge, sadness, relief, anxiety and disagreement.  But one thing that WAM does is bring people together from all walks of life for the sole purpose of granting wishes.  And it a purpose that binds us together as we get on the road tomorrow.  For me personally, the last three years has also brought change and I am happy to share this WAM with my significant other, Ashley Sandborn.  As an active cyclist and Ironman triathlete, she is made for this tour.  And I have not been shy in telling her I will gladly draft off her for all 300 miles…lol

This year, we have 23 riders on Team Trinity including myself. They come from all over our health system and also include a few close friends. The 2022 Team Trinity riders are –

Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD
Robert Bunnell
Jamie Callison
Zach Carter
Tom Chouinard
Kris Colone
Dylan England
Kathleen England
Matt Griffin, MD
Jeff Hamilton
Patrick Hoban
Christian Hoban
Greg Hodder
Gregg Kopp
Michelle Gordon-LaForest
Brandon Lorenz
Dean Mengel
Russ Olmsted
Rob Pavlik
Dan Pheps
Ashley Sandborn
Jack Sylvestre

The team showed up at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, Michigan this morning for check-in. It’s a 300-mile journey to the Proving Grounds in Brooklyn on Sunday so we come here, drop our cars, put our bikes on trucks provided by Meijer, and load onto buses for the drive to Traverse City.  It was so great to see everyone and the energy was palpable.   While some of us wish we were better trained for this WAM, there was nowhere else any of us wanted to be.

The bus ride up north is usually uneventful but this year had a slight twist. We had a very nice bus driver who was unfortunately directionally challenged. We ended up taking wrong exits and ending up in taking the scenic tour through Michigan. But we did make it safely to the Traverse City East Middle School where we would leave our bikes for the night and is our starting point for tomorrow morning. As we debarked from our buses, we went through the routine of gathering our bikes and setting them up for the night and morning, grabbing our bags and heading to shuttle buses that would take riders to nearby hotels. Several riders, including members of Team Trinity, choose to stay at the school either on air mattresses in the gym or in a tent they can pitch on school grounds.

By the time we arrived and settled in, it was already 7 p.m. so the rest of the evening was spent having a quick dinner and getting organized for the morning. The alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. in our room (even earlier with some riders) so going to bed early is a must. And that is where I am heading now at 9:00. I will conclude by saying thank you to all from our Trinity Health family that supported our ride through donations. We could not have done this without you. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is awesome with low temps and even a little tailwind.  Please pray for the safety of all the riders who will be on the road tomorrow as we head to Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Goodnight.


Heat Illness: What It Is and How to Respond

In Michigan, we associate sunshine and warmer temperatures with more access to healthy outdoor activities and fewer illnesses from viruses and bacteria.

However, summer can bring extreme weather conditions, including unusually hot temperatures for long stretches. That is why it is important to be on guard for heat illnesses. The CDC reported that heat-related deaths are one of the deadliest weather-related health outcomes in the United States.

Common heat illnesses — heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat rash, heat cramps, and sunburn — can affect anyone, at any age, regardless of race or ethnicity, and you don’t need to live in the Southwest to be affected by them.

Children up to age 4, adults older than 65, and people who are overweight or have an existing medical condition — such as heart disease or diabetes — are at greater risk for a heat-related illness. During hot weather, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat when participating in strenuous physical activities or sports.

Use Common Sense

The best way to avoid heat illnesses is to use common sense.

  • Limit your sun exposure and avoid the hours of most intense heat in midday.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • When in the sun, be sure to wear a hat or have access to an umbrella or other shade.
  • If beginning a vigorous activity or sport, pace yourself and take time to build up to more activity.
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a car, especially in a hot car.
  • Dress infants and children in cool, lose clothing, and shade their heads and faces from the sun.

Two of the most serious heat illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion (mild to moderate heat illness)

Learn to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Core temperature may be normal or high; the person’s skin may be cool to the touch
  • Rapid, strong or weak pulse
  • Fatigue
  • Profuse sweating
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

If you notice someone with these symptoms, take the following course of action:

  • Remove the person from the hot environment to a cool environment.
  • Hydrate with water.
  • Elevate the legs.
  • Remove excess clothing.

It may take hours to recover, so do not leave the person unattended.

Heat Stroke (severe heat illness)

Heat stroke can cause permanent brain damage and even death. It is a medical emergency. If you notice someone with these symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • Skin feels hot and dry (not sweaty)
  • Temperature is greater than 104 degrees
  • Rapid, strong or weak pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness

Seek immediate medical attention:

  • Call 911.
  • Actively cool the person by using cool mist/fanning, cool-water bath or shower, and cool, wet towels or ice packs (on groin, neck, and armpits).
  • Move into air conditioning, if possible.
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Maintain the airway for breathing.

A physician will advise the person on follow-up care and recovery.

With some advanced planning, you and your family can enjoy fun in the sun safely. And keep one more thing in mind: It is becoming more common for people without air conditioning — and people who are older, homebound, or isolated — to succumb to heat waves. Checking on such neighbors during the warm summer days could save lives. And if you are ever unsure, call 911.

Find a Provider Near You.

We offer more ways to care for you, your family and our community. Whether you need routine care or treatment for an injury or chronic condition, our providers are here for you.

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