Free health screening, counseling available to reduce heart disease
FREE HEART-HEALTH SCREENINGS
For anyone 18 years and older at Hilltop’s Connect for Health Colorado office, 602 Bookcliff Ave.
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, call Amanda Salinas at 970-244-0839.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.
In many cases, however, heart disease is preventable.
Rosa Cox of Grand Junction saved time and money recently when she took advantage of a free cardiovascular screening administered by Hilltop at its Connect for Health Colorado office, located at 602 Bookcliff Ave. Previously, Mesa County Health Dept. had offered the screenings.
“We thought it would be a good match for Connect for Health Colorado as we’re helping people get health care coverage,” said Hilltop’s health access manager Rhonda Lofing.
The Connect for Health Colorado office is also where people go for assistance in signing up for federally mandated health insurance.
Cox estimated she saved a $60 co-pay charge she would have paid if she’d visited her primary care physician. Plus, there would have been associated laboratory costs.
She was also able to save time as the lab results were ready before she left the office. Test results are available within five minutes.
Community health worker Amanda Salinas measures clients’ blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose level, body mass index and checks to see if the person is at risk for stroke or heart attack. If testing shows a person is at high risk, Salinas will send results to the client’s physician or refer the person to Marillac Clinic.
Salinas also counsels people who are interested in making lifestyle changes that are known to reduce risk of heart disease.
Cox said she appreciated that Salinas is bilingual and conducted their interview in Spanish.
Paid for by Colorado Public Community Health, the program is available to anyone 18 and older.
“The program is not about pushing people into changing,” Lofing said. “It’s about helping people decide for themselves what steps they are willing to take and following up with encouragement. The goal of the program is to reduce people’s risk of heart disease.”
Handouts are available such as “Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).”
The cardiovascular screenings are part of a national program and ongoing study showing how lifestyle changes affects health.
Retesting six months, a year, or two years later is encouraged to see the results of any changes that were made. If lifestyle modifications were not implemented, rescreening is still important for keeping track of one’s health, Lofing said.
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