Medina Memorial observes American Heart Month with tips to promote heart health

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 February 2023 at 3:59 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Megan Johnson (left), director of Orleans Community Health Foundation, and Amanda Luckman, admissions coordinator, hold one of the red hearts given to employees of Medina Memorial Hospital in observance of February as American Heart Month.

MEDINA – With heart disease being the number one killer of men, women and many ethnic groups within the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control, Orleans Community Health is celebrating February as American Heart Month with a number of events and giveaways.

It is reported that one in every four deaths is due to heart disease and approximately 805,000 people have a heart attack every year.

On a positive note, according to information from Scott Robinson, director of marketing at Orleans Community Health, heart disease is largely preventable by following basic tips. These include eating foods that promote heart health, avoiding smoking tobacco products, making sure to get at lease 30 minutes of physical activity for five days a week and talking with your doctor to make sure you’re keeping track of blood pressure and checking for other warning signs.

February was declared American Heart Month by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, nine years after his own heart attack. Orleans Community Health is taking the opportunity this month to highlight the importance of heart health and the fact that heart disease is largely preventable.

“The time is now to take heart disease seriously, and research steps you can take to reduce your own personal risk,” Robinson said.

Medina Memorial Hospital offers several services in the Cardiac Department that can help. Electrocardiograms (or EKGs) are an innovative diagnostic tool. An EKG records the electric signal from the heart and is useful in detecting arrhythmias, heart attacks and heart failure.

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that uses two-dimensional, three-dimensional and Doppler ultrasound waves to create a clear image of the heart. That image can then be used to diagnose conditions that affect the heart’s valves and chambers.

Vascular ultrasounds use similar techniques to form images of blood vessels. At Medina Memorial, this tool is used to diagnose blood clots, blockages and other sources of congestion.

Cardiac stress tests are used to measure the heart’s ability to respond to stress, such as exercise or other stimulation. A stress test is an essential tool for identifying problems with blood flow, like blockages or arrhythmias aggravated by stress.

In addition, the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute opened a location in Medina Memorial Hospital in 2022.

Robinson added February is great time to take advantage of heart health information, and that is why Medina Memorial is celebrating the month by handing out red heart stress balls and sponsoring several other giveaways in an effort to raise more awareness of heart disease.