Harlingen – Heart disease claims the lives of more men and women, in the U.S., than any other disease. It is sometimes referred to as the silent killer, because symptoms are hardly felt until an extreme episode occurs, such as a heart attack or stroke. But, you can prevent it from affecting your life by making healthy food choices, opting to exercise, and manage any chronic health conditions you may have.
To educate the community about heart disease and raise awareness of its effects, Harlingen Medical Center is observing National Heart Month by hosting the Annual Healthy Heart Expo on Friday, February 5, 2016, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. in the hospital's main lobby.
"The Healthy Heart Expo is a wonderful opportunity for community members to come and receive free medical screenings and educate themselves about heart disease and its dangerous effects," said Maggie Ramos, Marketing Coordinator at Harlingen Medical Center. "This is also a wonderful opportunity for people to learn the importance of making healthy food choices, incorporating regular exercise into their daily life, and managing any chronic disease they may have, such as Type II Diabetes, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke if left untreated."
The Annual Healthy Heart Expo will feature free medical screenings, among others, that include: cholesterol level, blood sugar level, blood pressure, vision and dental. Health and wellness education, as it relates to the heart, will be available. A Diabetes Educator will be on hand to discuss the illness, its affects and treatment. A Nutritionist will be in attendance to discuss healthy food items, offer tips on how to prepare healthier meals and what you need to eat and foods to avoid. A Doc Talk Lecture, featuring the Nutritionist, will follow the Expo at 10:00 a.m. in the hospital's Administration Classroom. The topic is "Eat Healthier, Live Healthier."
"Education is key to maintain health. If people equip themselves with the knowledge to prevent heart disease then they will have a better chance of keeping the disease at bay," said Eva Selvera, Registered Dietitian at Harlingen Medical Center. "People who want to lower their risk of heart disease should 1) maintain their weight at a healthy number, 2) if they smoke, they should quit and stay away from second-hand smoke, 3) control their bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, 4) if they drink alcohol, drink only in moderation, and 5) get active and eat healthy."
Stroke Prevention: Vascular Screening
In recognition of National Heart Month, Harlingen Medical Center will offer its month-long special, "Stroke Prevention: Vascular Screening."
The non-invasive vascular screening is used to take an image of the 1) Carotid Artery, 2) Abdominal Aorta, and 3) Peripheral Arterial. The carotid artery is screened for buildup of fatty plaque, which can lead to a stroke if left untreated. The abdominal aorta is screened for the presence of an aneurysm, which can lead to a ruptured aortic artery and cause instantaneous death. The peripheral arterial are screened for plaque buildup in the lower extremities, which if present can lead to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), also known as atherosclerosis, and even cause heart disease.
All three screenings are performed for a nominal fee of $139.00. Most insurance companies usually do not cover the cost of this screening unless the person has already suffered from heart disease. The screenings are completed all at once, in the same room (Radiology and Imaging Services Department at Harlingen Medical Center), and take about 45-minutes to complete.
To register for the "Stroke Prevention: Vascular Screening," please call the Scheduling Department at (956) 365-1839, to book your appointment.
HeartSaver CT Scan
If you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormally high cholesterol level, use tobacco, have a family history of heart disease, and/or are post menopausal, then you may want to consider having a "HeartSaver CT Scan" performed.
The HeartSaver CT Scan is a non-invasive tool that is exclusively available at the Harlingen Medical Center Imaging Center, located at 512 Victoria Lane, Suite 5, in Harlingen. It is the only one of its kind in Cameron County. It is considered to be one of the finest ultimate heart disease risk assessment tools available today. It can indicate calcium or plaque build-up in the coronary arteries and it can disclose heart disease, at all stages, making it easier for your cardiologist to treat.
This unique, prevention and risk assessment costs only $50.00 and takes less than 45-minutes to complete. To register for the "HeartSaver CT Scan," please call the Scheduling Department at (956) 365-1839, to book your appointment.
About The Cardiovascular Center at HMC
The Cardiovascular Center at Harlingen Medical Center is paving the way for progressive treatment of cardiac patients. The award-winning and nationally recognized hospital specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It features a top-ranked heart team that provides minimally-invasive diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as advanced cardiac and vascular interventions, such as angioplasty, stenting, cardiac ablation, open heart surgery, minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement, and coronary artery bypass graft.
At its inception in 2002, Harlingen Medical Center opened its doors to the South Texas as a heart hospital. But, since then, in meeting the increased medical needs of the community, the nationally recognized hospital has expanded its clinical service lines and health and wellness programs.
Harlingen Medical Center's heart program continues to be at the center of this hospital. Its commitment to this program has catapulted the hospital to national recognition for its heart program and has saved and improved the lives of thousands.
To learn more about Harlingen Medical Center, log on to www.HarlingenMedicalCenter.com.