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Roxbury Community College nursing students participate in a heart disease screening in partnership with the college and BWH’s Cardiovascular Wellness Service.
At Roxbury Community College earlier this month, more than 100 students, employees and community members were screened and counseled about risks for heart disease during a health fair hosted in partnership with the college and BWH’s Cardiovascular Wellness Service.
“RCC nursing students provided one-on-one counseling sessions and simple screening tests to measure risk factors for heart disease,” said Annette Rubin, director, Cardiovascular Wellness Service. “It was a great step for all who participated toward taking control of their own heart health. The event was so successful that there are already conversations about making this a regular occurrence at the college.”
At BWH and elsewhere in the community, efforts to provide screening and education to community members are already well underway through Heart Happenings, BWH’s Cardiovascular Wellness Service’s community education program. In addition to screenings, the program also holds monthly seminars at the hospital, presented by BWH cardiologists.
“We need to reach members of our community in a variety of ways if we really want to make an impact on preventing heart disease. It’s important for people to know their own risk, and know their numbers, which is why screenings are so important and why we hold them all over the city,” Rubin said. “Our screening service also includes counseling and an opportunity for follow-up, and everyone who is screened gets information about our online wellness program.”
Rubin adds that while it’s important for people to know their own risk for heart disease, it’s also critical for people to be informed about cardiovascular disease.
“Heart Happenings seminars are offered to help people understand risk and the disease itself, and to give people information that they may not be able to get from other sources,” Rubin said. “They have been a great way to educate people in our community about heart disease.”
The talks, which are held on the third Wednesday of every month, cover a variety of topics, from recognizing signs of peripheral artery disease to screening for carotid artery disease. Attendees are offered parking vouchers and a healthy dinner.
“The seminars are so informative, and they’re an opportunity for people to learn about an important topic, for free,” said Anna Precourt, who has attended two seminars so far and plans to attend more. “You have to be proactive about your health and educating yourself. Especially about your heart—you only have one!”
A complete list of seminars and upcoming screening events is available online at www.brighamandwomens.org/heartevents