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Connected care brings Ellsworth auctioneer back to full speed

Jake Hines

Thanks to the excellent cardiac care he received, Jack Hines is back to full speed after two open heart surgeries.

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Jack Hines isn't one to slow down. A lifelong resident of Ellsworth, he learned the value of hard work at an early age. The oldest in a family of 13 children, Hines grew up on a dairy farm where he and his siblings milked 23 cows by hand, morning and night.

Hines, now 77, continued to work hard his entire life as the owner of the Hines Auction Service in Ellsworth, becoming one of the country's top auctioneers. In addition, Hines makes time to be active in his community and with his family as a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

A surprise diagnosis

Hines always tried to keep himself healthy — he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink and has hardly taken a sick day in his life. So when he learned he needed not one but two open heart surgeries to repair his heart valves and clean out a 90 percent blockage in one of his arteries, he was shocked.

"I didn't really know what to expect. I was anxious, but my fears were quickly laid to rest by my cardiologist, Dr. Sara Murray," Hines said. "Dr. Murray took the time to talk with me and answer all of my questions."

"Jack is a pretty healthy guy and just as active as someone 30 years younger, so his diagnosis was a surprise to all of us," Murray said. "We wanted to make sure he had the best care possible and get him well again."

Connected care

Murray is a cardiologist from the United Heart & Vascular Clinic who travels to see patients in River Falls. Both River Falls Area Hospital and United Hospital in St. Paul are part of Allina Health, which enables River Falls residents to receive sophisticated services close to home through a seamless continuity of care. And because both hospitals are part of Allina Health, all of Hines' medical records were readily available to his medical teams in both locations.

When Hines drove to United Hospital for the surgery, he was worried about what it would be like at such a big hospital. He was concerned about being treated as "just another number."

"Boy, was I wrong," said Hines. "Everyone there — the nurses, the nurses' aides, the cleaning staff - was great to me. They stopped to explain what was going on, talked with me, asked if there was anything else I needed."

After just seven days in the hospital, Hines was well enough to go home to Ellsworth, but he needed continued cardiac rehabilitation. He was able to do all his rehabilitation closer to home with therapists in the River Falls Area Hospital cardiac rehabilitation department. "The therapists in River Falls were great at keeping me motivated and helping me get back to full strength. It took 36 sessions, but I finally graduated from the program," he said.

Today, Hines is back running at full speed. "Honestly, I've never felt better, and I owe my thanks to the staff in River Falls and to the care they connected me with at United Hospital," he said. "We are so lucky to have this kind of expert care right in our own backyard."


Source: Healthy Communties Magazine, Summer 2014
Reviewed by: Sara Murry, MD, cardiologist
First Published: 10/01/2012
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2012