Amid festive red and white balloons, and samples of heart-healthy and tasty pasta dishes, salads, and desserts, more than 500 individuals from Mount Sinai and the community attended a Mount Sinai health fair in Guggenheim Pavilion on Friday, February 1. The event was part of the American Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women® campaign that educates women about cardiovascular risks.
A special feature of this year’s health fair was the launch of H.A.P.P.Y. (Heart Attack Prevention Program for You), a cardiovascular screening and follow-up consultation program for all Mount Sinai employees that will continue to be offered over the coming months by Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
“It’s critically important that women everywhere were able to take stock of their heart health and the major impact it has on one’s overall wellbeing,” says Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, Medical Director of Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Health Program and Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology). “In addition to traditional risk factors for heart attack, including smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, age, and family history of premature coronary disease, women who have developed gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension; depression; or rheumatologic disorders are also at increased risk for developing heart disease. Additionally, post-menopausal women who have high blood pressure, are overweight, and tired all day, need to ask their physicians about sleep apnea, another disorder that increases cardiovascular risk.”
Throughout the four-hour event, staff from a variety of departments met with individuals, answered questions, and presented educational materials on cardiovascular risk factors; stress management and exercise; weight management and nutrition; risk-reducing medications; and diabetes and smoking-cessation programs. More than 400 of the attendees received free screenings and onsite consultations for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. In all, more than 60 staff volunteered, including Mount Sinai Heart physicians and cardiology fellows, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurses.
During the health fair, Annapoorna Kini, MD, Director of Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), launched the H.A.P.P.Y. program, which will offer free blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose screenings to all employees throughout February, as well as free follow-up consultations until the end of April, with cardiologists, nurses, nutritionists, and physical trainers who are volunteering their time. “We will do a cardiovascular risk profile on individuals, and determine if they are at low, intermediate, or high risk for a cardiovascular event and recommend follow-up as needed,” says Dr. Kini.
Volunteer staff will conduct screening sessions in Guggenheim Pavilion every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in February, from 10 a.m. to 2 pm. Follow-up sessions will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, 17, and 24, and Friday, April 12, 19, and 26. “We want to help everyone at Mount Sinai understand their risks and take steps to improve their cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Kini.
This article was first published in Inside Mount Sinai.