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Bala staff nurse recognised as Welsh ‘heart hero’

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A staff nurse from Dolgellau Hospital has won a prestigious award from the British Heart Foundation for her dedication to preventing cardiovascular disease.

Anne Thomas, who works for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, was awarded the BHF Cymru Heart Hero Innovation Award at a ceremony in Cardiff.

“We warmly congratulate her on this achievement”

Ruth Coombs

The award is presented to a person who has demonstrated drive and commitment to bring about innovation and improvements to fight heart disease in Wales.

Ms Thomas, who has been a nurse for 35 years, said she was “absolutely honoured” to receive the award.

She is credited with running a “healthy heart” programme for patients in rural areas, which she hopes to develop into an outreach service, and also efforts to boost the health of colleagues.

Ms Thomas said: “I couldn’t have started the Healthy Heart Programme without the training, help and support of the British Heart Foundation as well as the use of their extensive library of health promotion leaflets.

“I’ve spent many years supporting patients who are rurally isolated and lacked confidence to find health and lifestyle information to make positive changes to improve their health,” she said.

“It is hoped that in time, we will start going into patients’ homes to support them to make lifestyle changes that may benefit their health,” said Ms Thomas.

She added: “As well as supporting patients, I have also developed a Wellness@work programme for staff, to help them make healthy lifestyle changes and this has proved very popular.”

British Heart Foundation Cymru

Bala staff nurse recognised as Welsh ‘heart hero’

Ruth Coombs

Ruth Coombs, head of BHF Cymru, said: “Our annual Heart Hero awards recognise and reward supporters, fundraisers, volunteers and partners who have made an exceptional contribution to our fight for every heartbeat.

“We are delighted that Anne Thomas, who was nominated by her own colleagues, won this award and we warmly congratulate her on this achievement,” she said.

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