Red and pink Valentine’s Day cards and conversation heart candies are what many traditionally associate with the month of February. But it’s the heart beating inside each and every one of us that St. Luke’s Health Memorial values the most.
On February 25, the hospital celebrated American Heart Month with a free lunch and seminar to educate members of the Polk County community about how to love their heart.
Livingston cardiologist C. Kuruvilla Mani, M.D., F.A.C.C. explained to the group how vein and leg health play an important role in heart health.
“We must keep our bodies fine-tuned through exercise and proper nutrition, despite one’s age or physical condition,” said Dr. Mani. “Movement is the key to a healthy vascular system.”
St. Luke’s Community Education Coordinator Julie Warren, RN, BSN, SCRN, spoke about the importance of learning about Ejection Fraction (EF), the percentage of blood that is pumped from the heart during each beat. On a scale of 1-100, an EF of 35 or lower puts a person at a greater risk of having heart failure.
The hospital’s new Know Your EF community education campaign is aimed at increasing the knowledge of ejection fraction and heart failure in order to prevent long term complications from undiagnosed and untreated heart failure, Warren said.
“Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and heart failure is the leading cause of hospital admissions in people over 65. Our goal is to educate the community so they can identify these diseases and seek treatment early, and also to equip them with the information they need to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic illness,” Warren said.
Attendees also toured St. Luke’s Health’s newest agent in the fight against heart disease – the Heart and Vascular Mobile Imaging Unit which features outpatient, diagnostic cardiac procedures on-the-go. The new van will travel to different locations across deep East Texas providing echocardiograms, carotid scans and most vein studies to identify common precursors to heart disease.