The beat goes on at La Porte Hospital’s HealthPorte talk with Dr. Mark Dixon

The beat goes on at La Porte Hospital’s HealthPorte talk with Dr. Mark Dixon
By: Kole Rushmore Last Updated: October 24, 2019

The heart is the most efficient pump known to man. It pumps 150,000 times a day and doesn’t require a single drop of oil to run.

When we talk about the heart, we need to understand the importance of preventing and effectively treating heart conditions, which was the goal of La Porte Hospital’s HealthPorte talk on Thursday morning.

More than two dozen people filled the hospital’s auditorium eager to learn from one of the best Electrophysiologists in the Region, Dr. Mark Dixon, DO, Medical Director of the Arrhythmia Center at La Porte Hospital. Following breakfast, Jennifer Spitz, the community relations coordinator for La Porte Hospital, introduced Dixon.

Electrophysiology, Dixon explained, is the specialty that focuses on the electrical function of the heart. Tests in this field are used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia. “Electro” refers to the mechanical system that runs the heart, and “physiology” refers to the function and activity of the heart muscle itself.

Five areas of electrical conduction are very important to heart muscle function. The heart is a pump. The upper chambers (atria) pump to fill the lower chambers (ventricles), which then pump blood out to the body. The electrical impulse starts at the SA node and begins the normal heartbeat.

“Today was about educating the community about electrophysiology and a generalized overview of it,” Dixon said. “The idea was to expose attendees to the jargon, and to get them to think about these kinds of disorders - what the symptoms are and where they need to go to get them treated,” he said.

HealthPorte members came to the event ready to learn more about their heart health. After the event, audience members asked about their heart conditions and treatment.

Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019

Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019 40 Photos
Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019Dr. Dixon Talk at HealthPorte 2019

“I like educating people,” Dixon said. “The word physician comes from the Greek word ‘physios’ which means teacher. Our job as doctors is really to educate the patient as much as we take care of them.” 

HealthPorte member and Michigan City resident Marcia Orbovich attended the event to expand her knowledge on the body’s strongest muscle, the heart.

“I’m really glad I came today. It was great and very informative. I try to come to just about every one of HealthPorte’s events,” Orbovich said. “One of the biggest things I took away today, and there were many, was the importance of seeing a doctor even at the slightest amount of concern. There is a lot that I don’t know and things that have happened to me. I often wonder ‘should I have gone to the doctor?’, and today told me, yes –get everything checked out.”

HealthPorte was created for seniors age 50 or better who are interested in pursuing an active lifestyle and learning about their health and wellness. For more information on becoming a HealthPorte member and the services offered, visit

For more information about the Arrhythmia Center at La Porte Hospital or heart rhythm disorders in general, visit