Heart Health Fair being held at Trinity Health

February is American Heart Month, as proclaimed and signed by the governor, and Trinity Health will observe this by holding a Heart Health Fair today from 4 to 7 p.m. at Town & Country Center for everyone in the community.

Health screenings will be offered, as well as information booths and displays. Additionally, local clinicians will address a variety of topics related to heart health.

Cholesterol and blood glucose screenings will be available at the health fair for a cost of $15 and there will also be free blood pressure checks. Educational booths will focus on a variety of topics such as healthy eating, exercise, heart failure, smoking cessation, and the Million Hearts campaign.

Jerilyn Alexander, Stroke and STEMI Coordinator for Trinity Health, will discuss “Time is Muscle” at 5 p.m., followed by Margo Dailey-Filipkowski, who will discuss “Getting to the Heart of Atrial Fibrillation” at 5:45 p.m. Janet Maxson, a nurse practitioner, will discuss women’s heart health at 6:30 p.m. All talks will be held in the Community Conference Room at Town & Country Center.

Trinity Health has not held a health fair focusing on the heart before, according to Alexander. They have had fundraisers for heart health in the past, she said, but this time thought the health fair would be a good idea. The health fair seemed like a better way for folks to ask questions and find out what heart disease is, Alexander added.

There will hopefully be a sizeable crowd attending the Heart Health Fair, said Alexander. “We want to see folks come out,” she added. The health fair is new since it’s the first year of having it and Alexander’s first year as the STEMI coordinator, the part of her job that focuses on heart disease.

The idea to hold a heart health fair for American Heart Month was a collaboration between Alexander, Maxson and the marketing department, which is why they have the three topics being presented at the health fair.

“We want to get the word out about awareness,” Alexander explained, and that’s why they’re having a heart health fair. “We’ve been seeing a lot of folks going to the walk-in clinic with chest pain and that gets them a trip in an ambulance to the emergency room.” The walk-in clinics are not equipped to handle potential heart attacks, so Alexander said she encourages patients to go to the emergency room instead of to the clinic. “You need to come in and be treated right away,” she emphasized. “Know the symptoms, call 911, and get to the ER right away.”

Alexander said she’s hoping people will recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and understand prevention two things she would like for people to walk away with after attending the health fair. “If we can prevent a heart attack, that’s the way we want to go,” she noted. “We want to keep people healthy, active and at home with their families. If one person listens to me, that’s one less victim of heart disease.”

Eating right and exercising are the two key elements to making sure your heart is healthy, Alexander said. Those two elements decrease the risk of developing other diseases that will lead to heart attack, she added. “It’s important to know your risk factors and try to (maintain) control of your health. Just living a healthy lifestyle,” is a way to keep your heart healthy.

It’s important for people to be aware of their heart health mainly because of prevention, Alexander said. Prevention is key, she added. The average age of a heart attack victim is currently 66, Alexander said, and that’s young. “If we can focus on younger folks, maybe that young age of 66 won’t be the common age.”