MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. February is American Heart Month and National Women’s Heart Health Month. In recognition, West Virginia University Hospitals-East is sponsoring several programs throughout the month to educate the community on how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Red Dress Day, Friday, February 3, officially kicks off the Heart Month celebration with a focus on women’s heart health. Both City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital will be offering free blood pressure screenings in the main lobbies of each hospital from 11 am until 2 pm and distributing red dress pins. The free blood pressure screenings will be offered each Friday in February from 11 am – 2 pm in celebration of Heart Month.
On Tuesday, February 21, WVUH-East and the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center Eastern Division will sponsor a community mini-medical school program on heart disease. The presentation titled Heart Failure will focus on the early signs and symptoms of heart disease.
Dr. Neal Gaither, cardiologist with University Cardiovascular Associates and medical director of cardiovascular services at WVUH-East, will be the guest presenter along with Dr. Cathy Funk, board certified internist at Internal Medicine of West Virginia. Both physicians are on the City Hospital medical staff and serve as faculty for the WVU School of Medicine.
The mini-medical school program will be held from 7 – 8 pm in the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center on the City Hospital campus. Registration is at 6:30 pm. To reserve a seat in advance, phone 304.264.1287, ext. 1760.
On February 29, WVUH-East and University Cardiovascular Associates will launch a new heart and stroke prevention screening program. The testing includes a cholesterol screening, carotid ultrasound (CIMT) and rhythm evaluation all for a fee of $50.
Family history, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and physical inactivity are all risk factors for both heart disease and stroke. “It is well documented that the risks of both diseases can be lowered or prevented with a few simple tests,” stated Lynette Dalton, RN, director of cardiovascular services at WVUH-East and co-director of the screening program along with Dr. Philip J. O’Donnell, FACP, cardiologist with University Cardiovascular Associates.
According to Dalton, screening dates have already been scheduled for February 29 and March 28 with more to follow throughout the year. All testing will be performed in the cath lab at City Hospital and an appointment is necessary because of limited space. For more information or to schedule an appointment, phone 304.596.5750.
All of these February heart month activities and programs are being offered as a community service of WVUH-East, the WVU Health Sciences Center Eastern Division and University Cardiovascular Associates.