Pelham mayor raising heart health awareness

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy recently devoted seven minutes to Shelby Baptist Medical Center’s free online heart risk assessment called HeartAware, and now he’s urging others to spare seven minutes of their time.

HeartAware, SBMC’s latest community initiative in the fight against heart disease, is a basic, step-by-step assessment that asks users questions about their weight and height, family medical history, blood pressure, cholesterol and exercise regimen. All information is kept confidential.

Users deemed at risk for heart disease are offered a free follow-up appointment with a cardiac rehab nurse at SBMC, where they will receive a comprehensive evaluation that includes blood pressure measurement and a finger-stick blood test to measure cholesterol and glucose. Those results can identify the need for early intervention even if no symptoms have been experienced.

Aside from being told to “lose a little weight,” Murphy received a good bill of heart health. He encourages youth and seniors to take advantage of the free service.

“I got good news with the results of my evaluation,” said Murphy, who also serves on SBMC’s hospital advisory council. “It was also quick and convenient. I’m not real computer savvy, but this was easy to do.”

Murphy said people who are wary of doctors and hospitals may prefer the online assessment, which asks the same questions one would answer at a routine appointment.

HeartAware can be found on the Web site Click on the blue icon at the left of the page.

For more information, call toll-free 1-877-222-7847.