DeLashmit, continued

Director of Cardiovascular Services for the Heart Care Center at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi since 1990, DeLashmit has dedicated her life to keeping the hearts of area residents strong. She said her UM degrees were essential to her career path in the health care profession.

"As a health, physical education, and dance major (now Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management) at Ole Miss in the early 1980's, I took a great number of courses that focused on therapeutice exercise," she said. "But, it was while working on my master's degree that I became seriously interested in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation."

Although the St. Louis, Missouri, native did a stint as a physical education teacher after earning a Bachelor of Science in health, physical education, and dance in 1984, she decided her true calling was not as a public school teacher.

 

It was while working as a graduate assistant in the Department of Exercise Science in 1985 when DeLashmit discovered her interest in health care.

"The heart care program at the hospital was still new when I completed my master's degree in the summer of 1985," she said. "I was offered a training program in cardiac rehabilitation at Baptist Central in Memphis. After that eight week internship I knew cardia rehabilitation was my calling and that I would continue my education and focus on a career in health care. In June 1986, DeLashmit was hired to develop the cardiac rehabilitation program for Oxford-Lafayette Medical Center, renamed Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in 1989. Five years later, she completed course work to earn a doctorate in health and physical education from UM.

 

 
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Megan Vann of Madison, a graduate assistant at the Heart Care Center , poses with recovering heart patient Jim C. Miller of Pope.
"Cardiac Rehab is an amazing field. It is so rewarding when a patient who is seriously ill one week is physically well 10 days later," DeLashmit said. "Yes, the medical field has its sad moments. But, mostly there is constant gratification. It's wonderful to know you're helping someone."
     
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Helping UM students who have internships and assistantships at BMH is another plus for DeLashmit. "The graduate assitantships and undergraduate internships offered at Baptist are beneficial and definitely prepare Ole Miss students for a career in cardiac rehab," she said.
 

Megan Vann of Madison, an exercise science major and graduate assistant in cardiac rehabilitation, agreed.

"Working with Dr. DeLashmit and the other staff members at the center has provided me with valuable knowledge on intervention cardiac procedures. Seeing patients progress after surgery is rewarding. This is a full-service heart center with a great staff who not only share their knowledge, but encourage student-patient interaction to complete the hands-on learning experience."

With 13 staff members, more than 15 physicians, dietitians, and UM interns and grad assistants, the Heart Care Center at Baptist Memorial-North Mississippi bills itself as one of the state's most comprehensive programs for heart care. Established in 1986, the center assists patients from more than 27 counties and several nearby states and offers an innovative three-phase rehabilitation program that is designed to restore a person to normal levels of activity and reduce future risk of heart problems.

DeLashmit and her husband live in Waterford with their children: Michaela, 13, and Jake, 10.