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Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin’s Latest COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Policy

Updated September 26, 2022

CDC Update to COVID-19 Guidance

Recently, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk of the virus and what actions to take if exposed or tested positive for COVID-19.

While COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, there are now many tools available to help us reduce its severity, along with significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death compared to earlier in the pandemic. As such, the CDC has dropped its universal masking guideline for healthcare workers after a long slowdown in COVID-19 hospitalizations and nursing home infections nationwide.

COVID-19 Policies for Patients and Employees

In support of the CDC’s latest update, Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin is loosening our mask requirements to a “Mask Optional” policy for patients and employees who have tested negative and aren’t experiencing COVID symptoms.

For patients who HAVE tested positive or are experiencing symptoms, the following rules will apply:

  1. CDC rules still apply in that if you test positive for COVID you must stay home for 5 days and wear an N95 mask for 5 days when you return. Please have courtesy and DO NOT come to work or your appointment sick.
  2. Patients will still be asked questions regarding if they have tested positive for COVID in the past 5 days. If they have, we will reschedule their visit.
  3. Patients may request that the HVI provider or employee who is delivering their care wear a mask during their office visit, diagnostic test, or procedure.
  4. Masks will still be available free of charge at the front desk for any patient who needs or would prefer to use one.

Last but not least, remember that we still have vulnerable patients (and employees) at HVI every day. We strongly encourage any immunocompromised patients and those with high-risk health conditions to continue wearing a mask, and we are trusting that you will respect their decision to do so.


With roots in Appleton since 1968, the physicians and providers of the Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin deliver compassionate care at six locations throughout eastern Wisconsin by using advanced and innovative technologies to provide patients with state-of-the-art treatments.

10 Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Ideas from the American Heart Association

10 Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Ideas from the American Heart Association

Valentine’s Day is all about showing your sweetheart how much you care about them. With it being National Heart Month, it’s also important that you show your heart how much you care about it, too! If you and your loved one are looking to indulge in some heart-healthy Valentine’s Day activities, here are some of our favorite ideas taken from the American Heart Association.

  1. Rather than tempting your loved one with chocolates, send a fruit basket that has natural sugar and healthy nutrients instead of sweets with added sugars.
  2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan a heart-healthy activity like ice skating, a wintery walk, or if you’re feeling adventurous, visit an indoor rock-climbing wall!
  3. If your children are having Valentine’s Day party at their school or daycare, consider sending pretzels, pencils, or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection, instead of candy.
  4. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control the quality and amounts of what you eat. Spend time with your loved one learning a new heart-healthy recipe and preparing a romantic, candlelit dinner.
  5. If you do go out for a romantic dinner date, consider ordering one entrée to share. Many restaurant servings are enough for two and splitting one can help keep you from overdoing it.
  6. Know before you go – make it a point to look up the menu and nutrition information for the restaurant you’re going to ahead of time (most restaurants should have this available online) and take note of what might be good to order.
  7. Take it slow! If you were gifted a luxurious box of chocolates from your sweetie, stick it in the fridge or freezer and enjoy in moderation over several weeks.
  8. Don’t forget to share your love with your pets! Give your pet a Valentine and take them for a long walk today. Not only do you get to bond with your pet, but it’s also a great healthy activity.
  9. Use this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how you feel about him or her, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness goals.
  10. One of the best things you can do for your heart is to give up smoking or help a loved one quit. Make a commitment for your loved ones that will have a lasting impact.

As always, Calcium Score Tests are only $25 at Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin if you’re looking for the ultimate heart-healthy Valentine’s Day gift! Schedule yours online today.

U.S. News Shares Annual List of Best Diets for Your Heart

U.S. News Shares Annual List of Best Diets for Your Heart

For the last 10 years, U.S. News has assembled a panel of experts to rank the best diets for improving heart health and preventing heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and the heart-healthy diets selected by these experts have been proven to help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even help reverse heart disease.

All the diets from this list are approved and recommended by Heart & Vascular Institute cardiologists. Before starting a diet, however, make sure to consult your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns.

The Best Diets for Your Heart:

#1 – Ornish Diet

Ranked as the #1 heart-healthy diet for the 9th time in 10 years, the Ornish diet has built a reputation as being THE most successful diet for improving heart health, preventing heart disease, and reversing its effects. Developed by Dean Ornish, a physician and professor at UC San Francisco, the Ornish diet is low in refined carbs, fat, and animal products, while also asking dieters to undergo several lifestyle improvements, including exercise, yoga, meditation, stress management, and more. That said, it’s the only scientifically proven diet program to reverse heart disease in randomized controlled trials without drugs or surgery, making the disciplined approach well worth the reward.

#2 – Mediterranean Diet

Coming in as the #1 Best Overall Diet by U.S. News, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most-studied diets for the prevention of heart disease. It’s long been known that people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less from cancer and cardiovascular ailments than most Americans, with their diet and lifestyle being key contributing factors. Today, the Mediterranean diet has become one of the easiest to follow and manage, as well as providing proven results for lowering the risk of heart disease.

#3 – DASH Diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to stop or prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). The DASH diet is fairly simple to follow, as it emphasizes healthy foods you’re used to eating like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy while discouraging foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium. It ranked only behind the Mediterranean diet for #2 Best Overall Diet according to U.S. News, in large part for its balance and ease to follow long-term. Not only is DASH an excellent diet for all-around health improvements, but also heart-specific improvements as well.

To see a complete list of the 12 Best Heart Diets, please visit U.S. News.

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