At SIH, we don’t just treat your heart. We treat you as a whole person. Our heart and vascular specialists are here to help find the right treatment plan for you, whether it’s lifestyle modifications, medicine or surgery. Let’s take a look at some of the most common conditions we help treat:


You might refer to it as “my heart skipping a beat,” a “racing heart” or an “irregular heartbeat,” but physicians call it an arrhythmia. This means that sometimes the heart can beat too fast, too slow or beat out-of-sync. Whatever the issue, it can be debilitating when it causes you to miss out on your active lifestyle. Learn more about how SIH Prairie Heart Institute developed a heart rhythm services program to diagnose and treat arrhythmias.

Coronary artery disease

This disease happens when the major blood vessels that give your heart blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become diseased or damaged. The most likely culprit for this disease is plaque and inflammation in your arteries. Symptoms can be tough to spot, but they might be chest pain or shortness of breath. In some cases, a completely blocked coronary artery will cause you to suffer from a heart attack.

Heart attack

When a heart attack strikes, it’s a race against time. Experts agree: Treatment within the first 90 minutes of a heart event is essential. In a region as vast and rural as Southern Illinois, we want to make sure you’re getting treatment as fast as possible, just like you would if you lived in a big city. To close the gap between diagnosis and treatment, Prairie STAT Heart Hospital Network was born. This coordinated program was created by SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and medical staff at area community hospitals throughout Southern Illinois.

High blood pressure

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, it means that the walls of your arteries are receiving too much pressure on a relentless basis. High blood pressure can be detected quickly and easily by your physician. We can help you control your blood pressure with medication or advising you on making a few lifestyle changes. The reason why you want your blood pressure to be under control is that if it’s not, you could suffer from a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm.

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia describes issues related to memory, reasoning and judgment. It’s caused by brain damage from decreased blood flow to your brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure/cholesterol and smoking raises your risk factors for developing vascular dementia. It can happen gradually, just like Alzheimer’s disease or sometimes, it can be caused by a stroke.


A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain becomes reduced. Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die. That’s why if you’re having a stroke, you need to call 911 immediately. The sooner you can get help, the better chance you’ll have to reduce brain damage. At SIH, our providers will help you minimize your risk factors to prevent a stroke from happening in the first place.