Shirley Cooper

Finding support through Care Transitions program

 Shirley Cooper knew heart surgery was coming someday, she just didn’t know when.

She had been diagnosed with a heart murmur 15 years ago and made annual visits to her cardiologist to stay on top of her condition. Then after one visit, her physician asked to see her again sooner than usual.

Ultimately, Shirley needed an aortic valve replacement. While at Banner Boswell Medical Center, she learned about something else that would be vital to her recuperation: Sun Health’s Care Transitions program.

The program is designed to ease the transition from hospital to home through nurse visits and calls. Comfort and support are critical as patients recover, so program staff focus on helping patients to self-manage their health conditions and break the cycle of hospital readmissions by improving their confidence.

The program is provided at no cost to patients thanks to the generosity of Sun Health Foundation donors.

“When they (Sun Health) contacted me and they came it was like a shock,” Shirley said. “I didn’t know they had that. They were really nice and I was happy to have them.”

Shirley, who retired from the airline industry, had never received services through Sun Health. She was thrilled to make the connection with R.N. case manager Marianne Del Debbio.

During an in-home visit, Marianne took Shirley’s blood pressure, reviewed her medications and went over warning signs that Shirley should look for as she recovered.

“She gave me a notebook full of really good information,” Shirley said. “I really liked her. She went over that book with me and marked things I should know.”

After the home visit, Shirley also received phone calls through the program to ensure that she had all of her questions answered. She was glad to have Sun Health by her side.

“It made me feel good that they follow up,” she said. “They stick with you, you know?”

Shirley highly recommends Sun Health’s Care Transition program to others in the community.

“You need to have them come over,” she said. “It’s really helpful. It just feels good that you don’t have to wait until the next doctor’s visit to see somebody in the medical field.”

For more information about Care Transitions, visit or call (623) 832-4300.

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