Hospital sponsors a ‘heart affair’

It wasn’t Valentines Day – but find out why Adventist Medical Center was decked out in hearts, as they restarted an annual event from the past …

Hontz, a medical technologist, takes blood for a cholesterol screening of Kathi Hunter at the Adventist Medical Center’s “A Fair for the Heart” event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Heart decorations were everywhere, including the pink balloons festooning the entrance of the Adventist Medical Center (AMC) Pavilion that houses the Northwest Heart Center.

“No, it’s not Valentine’s Day,” smiled organizer Sandi Dykes, RN and Fellow of the American Association of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, on February 7. “We call it ‘A Fair of the Heart’. We have a bit of history with this event. From 1992 to 2002, we held an event like this every year in various locations. We’re restarting it here, in the AMC Pavilion, home of our Northwest Heart Center.”

Fair organizer, Sandi Dykes, RN, brandishes a “goodie bag” filled with hearth-healthy products and information.

Their goal, Dykes said, is to help people become aware that heart disease is “The number one killer in the United States. Secondly, to help guests examine their personal risk factors: cholesterol, blood pressure. Third, we offer heart-healthy free screenings.”

The hospital’s marketing manager, Judy Leach, said people started lining up at 10 a.m. for the event that began at noon. “This was a greater response than we could have imagined,” Leach said afterward, adding that about 600 guests attended the event.

Pauline Miriam made a special effort to attend the fair; here, she’s having her blood pressure checked by Walla Walla College nursing student Emma Ryan.

In addition to exhibits relating to heart health, screenings, and a cooking demonstration, guests were able to attend lectures – such as the keynote talk presented by Dr. Katie Strelich, “Women and Heart Disease”.

While getting her blood pressure checked, Pauline Miriam told us she made a special effort to attend the fair. “We were in Seattle for the weekend; we left early just so I could come here for the screening. This is a wonderful service to the community they’re providing.”

To learn more about the hospital – and its Northwest Heart Center – CLICK HERE to visit their website.

Rebecca Cunningham, RDMS-VT, is performing a carotid ultrasound, to check for any plaque or blockages in the carotid artery of guest Carol Huff.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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