Friday, January 29, 2016

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – February is known as American Heart Month, a time where efforts are focused on spreading awareness about the nation’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease. 

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all Americans have at least one major risk factor, many don’t know it, and others are slow to act upon warning signs.

“It is important to understand that if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes, you are at increased risk for heart disease,” explained Summit Health’s Manager of Community Health, Nickie Fickel. “To reduce your risk and help protect your heart, engage in health behaviors such as maintaining a diet low in fat and salt, engaging in physical activity, and limiting your alcohol intake and not smoking.”

During the month of February, Summit Health will be focusing efforts on spreading awareness of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure; including offering free cholesterol screenings; hosting a free event discussing heart disease; offering heart healthy grocery store tours; increasing educational materials on its website; and encouraging children to reduce screen time.

Cholesterol Screenings:

Community members can call (717) 262-4472 or click here to see if they qualify for a free voucher to get blood work done at any Summit Health lab.  Any patient with abnormal results will receive a phone call and coached on ways to reduce risk factors.

Heart Event:

This free community seminar, “No one wants a broken heart, know your risk for heart disease,” will be held Thurs., Feb. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wilson College’s Brooks Complex Auditorium in Chambersburg.

Cardiologist, Dr. Arshad will speak at the event, offering information about improving eating habits, increasing physical activity, and reducing alcohol use.

The event is free, but registration is required by February 11. Call (717) 262-4472 or visit click here to register.     

Heart Healthy Grocery Store Tour:

This free tour will be held at the Giant Food Store on Norland Ave. on Wednesday, February 25 from 6-8 p.m.  It will be led by a registered dietitian and participants will learn to be a heart-healthy savvy shopper and avoid grocery store “pitfalls”.  Space is limited, and registration is required.  Call (717) 262-4472 or click here to register.

Screen Time Challenge:

This challenge aims at helping elementary school aged children reduce their time in front of a screen to two hours a day.  It encourages them to engage in family time and physical activities over watching television.  For more information in participation, please contact Nickie Fickel at (717)262-4472 or at