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Nash Heart Center hosts Healthy Heart Fair

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Exercise Specialist Allison Boone, left, demonstrates exercises to Juanita Latten Saturday during the Heart Health Fair at the Nash Heart Center.

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Lindell John Kay
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Seventy-six-year-old Ruth Bowens has the blood pressure of a teenager. She received the good news Saturday at the first Healthy Heart Fair, held in the lobby of the Nash Heart Center on the campus of Nash UNC Health Care.

The free fair was meant to help participants understand how to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Staff and vendor booths were set up to provide information on nutrition, heart-healthy eating and smoking cessation.

“It's all been good news,” Bowens said of the multiple screenings offered at the fair. Her blood pressure was 118/66. That’s really good news considering her condition just a year ago.

Last March, Bowens had no energy, was short of breath, couldn't sleep and felt weird. Her daughter took her to Nash Heart Center where doctors installed a stint because she had a 100 percent blockage.

“I tell anybody I see if you have a problem with your heart, go to Nash,” Bowens said.

As if heeding the advice, dozens of people showed up Saturday for the fair, which provided the first 100 participants free lipid and glucose testing. Blood pressure checks and heart health screenings were available to everyone.

Nearly half the adults in the United States have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

The fair was the right thing for the community, said Sarah Heenan, the center's director who's been with Nash UNC for 20 years.

Heenan said she had a patient at the center recently who was concerned about his heart, but didn't have health insurance. She said she told him to attend the fair and receive the important test for free.

Chick-fil-A provided lunch.

“We had really good vendor participation,” Heenan said.

Nashville resident Jasen Mills, 38, participated in the fair. He said he was happy with the results of his blood pressure and cholesterol tests.

“This has been very informative, lot of information,” Mills said.

At the fair, which was hosted as part of American Heart Month, staff explained early warning signs and symptoms of heart attack including chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder or arm pain and weakness. Medical staff answered questions about heart disease and schedule appointments. To set up your appointment at UNC Cardiology at Nash call 252-962-2328.

“I'm glad to see the turnout,” Bowens said. “It's super good.”

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