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A Holiday Heart Screening: Heart Attack Risk Program

A Holiday Heart Screening: Heart Attack Risk Program

On Dasher! On Dancer! On Valley Health’s Coach!

It wasn’t Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen that arrived in our community this month, but instead the Valley Health Health Coach pulled in, loaded with the gift of good health!

Over the past few weeks, members of the Valley Health team were in the community spreading holiday cheer -- and increasing awareness about heart health. Working with local employers, staff conducted Heart Attack Risk Program (HARP) screenings, and made healthy lifestyle recommendations to those screened.

Travelling in the Valley Health Health Coach (more practical on the highway than a sleigh!), nurse Cathy Judy, RN; health educators Courtney Miller, Delsie McCoy and Kelly Walker; and Elizabeth Keplinger, mobile service outreach coordinator, offered Virginia and West Virginia residents fasting blood work, a brief consult, a post-test snack AND customer service with a smile. Armed with educational materials tailored to the individual needs of those screened, our staff also shared practical advice and made recommendations for follow up care if needed.

Recently the Health Coach screened Miller Auto Group staff in both Martinsburg and Winchester, and has visited several Frederick County government locations to conduct screenings.

"I've been screened here once before," noted Martinsburg’s Miller Toyota salesman Jack Kirkpatrick. "My last screening motivated me to change my diet, so I cut back on soda and now eat oatmeal for breakfast."

At the Miller Auto Group screening, one person shared how one of his coworkers was sent straight to the hospital after his last screening. "That was a wake up call for me and now I come for a screening every time the Health Coach is here!"

“The Health Coach team’s goal is to reach folks where they work, and through the screenings, get them personal health information that helps them make healthy choices,” notes Tracy Mitchell, Valley Health director, Community Health & Wellness Services. “Our staff might recommend they get more exercise or lose weight, or join one of Valley Health’s free smoking cessation programs. Our health educators may also recommend that they share the test results with their primary care provider. We might not give them a “real” gift to unwrap, but the gift of good health is the best present anyone can give themself!”

We think Santa would approve … and he might even say that, thanks to HARP screenings, our community is Healthier – and Merrier—Together!

Valley Health offers free HARP screenings at hospitals and other facilities around the system. Visit valleyhealthlink.com/HARP to find a screening near you.