Wellness Center hosts screening in time for American Heart Month

Published 10:02 am Thursday, February 8, 2024

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February is Go Red Month, a campaign to spread awareness of the risk of heart disease in women. The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center is hosting a health screening event on Friday, Feb. 16, just in time for American Heart Month. 

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, the center is offering free comprehensive health screenings, medication reviews, weight assessments and information on local support and referrals. 

While there, guests can also receive screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and nutrition education. All they need to bring with them is a medication list, medical history and vaccine records. 

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Auburn University staff and students from nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, social work and speech-language pathology will man the event. Rachel Helms, health screening leader with Auburn University Nursing, said the program is part of AU’s healthcare interdisciplinary education program.

“We know that in healthcare it’s best when these disciplines work together. That’s going to improve patient outcomes. It’s going to better improve continuity of care,” Helms said. “We also know that students will work better together after graduation when they’re in the ‘real world’ if they’re trained that way.”

According to the American Heart Association, it’s important to be proactive about heart health. By keeping up with your blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight, you can stay ahead of heart issues in the future. 

Helms said screening events allow them not only to screen patients for early intervention of heart disease but also provide education on nutrition and health to address it. 

“We would much prefer that preventative approach versus the reactive approach, and so that’s why events like these are so important for our communities,” Helms said. 

The goal of the event is to provide equitable health and wellness services to the rural parts of the county where there is a healthcare disparity. Auburn University’s Rural Health Outreach Project partnered with the Chambers County Commission and the city of LaFayette to bring these services in.

The center also hosts the OnMed Care Station, a telehealth station that offers free and reduced consultations with certified clinicians virtually. Citizens can visit the telehealth station anytime that the center is open and speak to a clinician in a private, soundproof, ADA-certified environment. 

Clinicians with OnMed are not yet able to dispense medications but can give prescriptions or write referrals for local providers.

With heart health high in our minds this month, it’s also important to know the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack but both should be taken seriously. Cardiac arrest is when a heart malfunction causes the heart to stop beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when an artery blocks blood flow to the heart.