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heart health

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In honor of February being heart health awareness month, we learn about the scans that can test your cardiac age compared to your calendar age.


St. Elizabeth is traveling with its CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit.

Heart health is the responsibility of the young. After all, most of us get only one ticker.

Knowing how it’s working (circulation) and what it’s up against (plaque that can block the arteries) can help you make changes to protect your heart and keep it beating strong.

Long before symptoms appear, key medical tests can provide a baseline for you and your doctor. Four of those tests are offered on the St. Elizabeth Healthcare CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit, which visits shopping centers, churches and senior centers as part of St. Elizabeth’s community effort to promote heart health.

“For younger people that come on and have the screening, it’s kind of a nice affirmation of ‘yes, I’m doing things right’ or ‘boy, I need to straighten some things out because if I don’t, in 10-15 years, I could be at risk for cardiovascular disease,’” said Jeanie Foley, Patient and Wellness Coordinator for the mobile unit.

A quick blood test and smoking history, as well as height and weight, are used to determine your cardiac age. It estimates the risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years. “So, if you are 42 and you have a cardiac age of 64,” explained Foley, a registered nurse, “it’s a clear wakeup call.”

People are really surprised when they see their cardiac age is 20 years older than their calendar age, said Foley. “[They often say] I really do need to stop eating fried chicken and get moving a little more.”

Also offered on the mobile unit: carotid ultrasound which can reveal plaque buildup and blockages in the arteries of the neck which supply blood to the brain.

People can be doing all the right things – exercising and watching what they eat – and still want to check things out using the tests.

“If you are 55, there are ways to improve … perhaps your cholesterol isn’t quite being managed right … your statin isn’t as effective as it should be,” said Foley. A visit with the doctor may be in order.

The specifics:

  • Four tests are offered for $100; or you may choose individual tests for $25.
  • Bring a check, cash or credit card. Insurance is not accepted.
  • A typical visit is 30 minutes with a reservation at 859-301-WELL (9355).
  • A four-hour fast is required for the blood test.

“It is a non-threatening, easy way to get some good baseline information about your health,” said Foley.

 Upcoming dates for the St. Elizabeth CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit:

TUESDAY, FEB. 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Women Take Heart Screening Dillard’s
2900 Town Center Blvd.
Crestview Hills

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15 1-5 p.m.
R.C. Durr YMCA
5874 Veterans Way

THURSDAY, FEB. 16 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
9950 Berberich Drive

FRIDAY, FEB. 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Remke Markets
5016 Old Taylor Mill Road
Taylor Mill

MONDAY, FEB. 20 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Town and Country Sports and Health Club
1018 Town Drive

TUESDAY, FEB. 21 Noon to 6 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Florence
4900 Houston Road

TUESDAY, FEB. 22 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kroger Marketplace
375 Crossroads Blvd.
Cold Spring

THURSDAY, FEB. 23 8 a.m. to noon
Five Seasons Family Sports Club
345 Thomas More Parkway
Crestview Hills

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February is Heart Health Awareness month, so read on for all the exciting events and activities the American Heart Association has planned around the city!

Join a celebration of heart health at Cincy Chic’s annual Lady in Red event on February 3 at Macy’s in downtown Cincinnati.

Did you know that Cardiovascular Disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year? The American Heart Association in Cincinnati is an organization that wants to improve people’s heart health.

“The mission of the AHA/ASA is to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” says Lori Fovel, Director of Communications for the AHA in Cincinnati. “That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question.” It is Fovel’s job to tell AHA’s story and have Cincinnati connect to the mission. The goal of the AHA is to improve the cardiovascular health of people by 20 percent, and reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Fovel has personal experience with heart problems in her family. Recently, her husband, who is an athletic and fit 54-year-old, had a heart attack. “He had a blockage in one artery, which required a stent. This event hit very close to home as you can imagine,” Fovel says. “After sharing stories of those who have been affected by cardiovascular disease for so many years, it got very personal when it happened to my own husband. Heart disease doesn’t discriminate and touches people of all ages, ethnicities and gender.”

The month of February is National Heart Month. The Christ Hospital Health Network plays a big part in the month’s festivities “Their support enables us to activate grassroots programs in our community, such as Learn and Live days at all girls’ high schools to share the message that heat health begins at an early age,” says Fovel. “They also participate in our Little Caps Big Hearts campaign that provides hand knitted baby caps to all newborns in February. Moms receive take home information about heart health.”

To raise awareness for heart health, the AHA of Cincinnati is going to host multiple events. February 3 is going to be National Wear Red Day. “It’s a call to action to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans,” says Fovel. “Why go red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one women every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.”

You can paint the town red as you wear your red on Feb. 3 at the 8th annual Lady in Red event at Macy’s downtown. From 6-10pm, you can enjoy a 20% store-wide* Macy’s discount, fashion show, music, swag bag, refreshments, fun photo booth and fundraising activities. All proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets.

The next day, February 4, there is a Ride Your Heart Out event. This event consists of “indoor cycling classes that are happening all over the country, hosted by our CycleNation sponsor, CycleBar. The proceeds from this event go to AHA.”

Another event happening is Kendra Scott in Liberty Center. Kendra Scott is a store, and 20 percent of the sales for the whole day will go to AHA. “Dollars raised are used to support local heart and stroke research, educational programs and advocacy efforts,” she says. At Kendra Scott, there will also be a mini event, “Sips, Sweets, and Jewels” from 5-8pm, where there is going to be door prizes, sweets, and drinks. There are also a variety of other events happening, such as the Greater Cincinnati Heart Ball, Heart Mini, and HeartChase NKY.

To keep up with what the AHA is doing, you can follow them on Facebook or check out the Heart Mini’s page; Instagram for both the Cincinnati AHA and the Heart Mini, and on Twitter.

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February is American Heart Month, and here at Cincy Chic we’re taking the topic to heart. Keep reading as we learn about the innovative ways one local healthcare provider is promoting and improving heart health across the region, especially for women.

Red-MHeart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and that’s why cardiovascular care is now at the heart of some big initiatives at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

With six main campuses, 1,200 licensed patient beds, and more than 100 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio — they’re trying to make it easier than ever to get you the care you need. “[We have] vast resources to serve the Greater Cincinnati area,” says Theresa Taylor, manager of marketing and communications, “including a physician organization [with] more than 400 providers, a medical staff of more than 1,200 physicians with admitting privileges, almost 7,300 associates, more than 1,200 volunteers and three freestanding imaging centers.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has come a long way since the Sisters of the Poor founded it more than 150 years ago; Taylor says technology has a lot to do with that. “Technology has come a long way in recent years and allows us to be more in touch with our healthcare records and results in a way that hasn’t always been possible,” she explains.

For example, Taylor says, St. Elizabeth Healthcare was the first healthcare system in Greater Cincinnati to have a mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones. The app features contact information for and driving directions to any St. Elizabeth Healthcare hospital or physician facility. It also offers Health and Wellness Tools, such as a food diary and RunTracker to give you what you need to stay healthy right at your fingertips.

insightly new year chic publicationState-of-the-art technology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare is allowing the network to help people get and stay healthy thanks to a “secure, internal electronic medical records system that not only gives providers access to their patients’ medical records at any St. Elizabeth Healthcare or St. Elizabeth Physicians facility, but also gives you, the patient, faster, more convenient access to your personal medical records, test results and healthcare providers through a web portal called ‘My Chart,’” explains Taylor.

This spring, the hospital network will be opening the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute, which Taylor says will be a game-changer for the region’s cardiovascular health. Through the institute, St. Elizabeth Healthcare has pledged to reduce heart-related deaths in Northern Kentucky by 25 percent in 10 years. “That’s why we’re already hard at work across this region promoting the habits and lifestyles that promote premium heart health,” says Taylor.

Last fall, St. Elizabeth started its journey toward making cardiovascular disease prevention a priority when it launched two new health education programs. One of the programs was created for third-graders, the other for adults. “We figure by putting the best prevention information out in the community now and making it fun and interesting to learn, pretty soon it will be second nature for people locally to live more healthfully for their hearts,” adds Taylor.

Recently, St. Elizabeth began a major health education program that was piloted in the Kenton County School District called “My Heart Rocks.”

There is also a program available through St. Elizabeth Healthcare that cater to those who are older and missed out on the chance to learn about cardiovascular health called Take Time for Your Heart. It’s an hour-long, weekly class at St. Elizabeth’s Edgewood campus that are build around a Mayo Clinic manual on beating heart disease.

Because heart disease is the leading killer of women, Taylor says the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute created a program called Women Take Heart. “The program is free and makes learning about heart health easy and fun,” she adds. The program provides several benefits including monthly email newsletters with heart health tips just for women as well as information about upcoming heart health programs and screenings, news updates on women’s and cardiac health topics from Smart Health Today and priority registration for the popular “Women Take Heart” health conference and the “Women Take Heart” cardiovascular screenings at Dillard’s.

In addition, Taylor says, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the first and only healthcare system in Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana to pass the Mayo Clinic’s rigorous review process to become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This collaboration allows physicians from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to consult with Mayo Clinic physicians and provide their patients with event better care.

St. Elizabeth is also heading into its third year of membership with the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Taylor says the relationship is paying off in improved health for residents across the area. “And the great news is that this is just the beginning,” she adds. “In fact, initiatives that have just gotten under way with Mayo Clinic promise to bring patients still more benefits in the years ahead.”

For example, two students that were started in late 2014 may help save people from the potentially fatal effects of a heart attack while another study puts its focus on individualized medicine.

To learn more about St. Elizabeth Healthcare, click here.