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St. Mary’s celebrates heart institute with health fair

Jan. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute celebrated its 34th year Saturday by hosting a health fair in its outpatient center.

Those who attended Heart Healthy University were able to talk to health care professionals and get a variety of screenings, some free and some at reduced prices. That’s what attracted Jim and Libby Lewis of Huntington.

Both got free EKG screenings and paid $25 to have blood work. While they will have to wait for lab results to see if they have any cholesterol or blood sugar issues, both received positive EKG printouts and were able to speak to a doctor.

“It’s a good service,” Jim Lewis said. “We have our doctor who takes care of us, but we could do this at a reasonable cost.”
Regina Campbell, director of provider relations, said the event was all about giving people a chance to get up to date on their health.

“Overall, just a reminder of a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “Screenings can let you know if you have risk factors.”
Grace Pemberton and her daughter, Fran Mosley, both came to get screened for diabetes. It is rampant in their family and both have avoided it thus far.

“We just want to keep in check,” Mosley said. “It’s important to keep up. We go wherever they have (health fairs and screenings) to keep track.”

Those who attended were able to talk to pharmacists, dietitians and representatives from the sleep center and the pulmonary service center, among others. Registered nurse and exercise specialist Jeff Heflin works in the cardiac rehab department and spent much of Saturday talking to people about risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

“They are here getting some labs or checking their blood pressure and then they can find programs that tailor to the needs they have,” Heflin said.

The focus, hospital officials said, was on helping people stay healthy.

“I appreciate that the focus is on preventative care,” Jim Lewis added. “They are trying to keep you out of the hospital and not trying to get you in.”

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