USF Health, American College of Cardiology to offer free heart health screenings on Valentine’s Day

WASHINGTON (Feb. 8, 2012) — The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine is partnering with the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart initiative, a program that encourages patients to play an active role in their own heart health, to offer free cardiovascular health screenings 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, as part of a National Heart Health Awareness Day taking place at major health care institutions across the country.

 Members of the community will have access to body mass index measurements, glucose (non-fasting) testing, cholesterol tests, blood pressure tests and waist circumference measurements. Cardiologists and cardiology nurses will be on hand to answer questions, and patients will have access to CardioSmart educational materials that offer tips for living a heart healthy lifestyle.

The free screenings will be offered at the following two USF Health locations.  (A minimal parking fee may be required):

-          USF Health Morsani Center for Advanced Health Care, 13330 USF Laurel Drive, Tampa FL 33612

-          USF Health South Tampa Center for Advance Health Care, 2 Tampa General Circle,  Tampa, FL 33606

“Health screenings are important in helping identify people with cardiovascular disease who may not notice any symptoms yet.  Many people are not even aware of the risk factors, which include diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol,” said Arthur Labovitz, MD, FACC, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “USF Health is committed to reaching out to the community to offer a full spectrum of services, including prevention and early detection.”

Major healthcare institutions and academic medical centers nationwide will offer similar screenings in mid-February as part of CardioSmart’s American Heart Month initiative to raise awareness of preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

“To reduce their risk of heart disease, people need to learn what the risk factors are, know their individual numbers associated with those risks and know how to improve those numbers if needed,” said CardioSmart Chief Medical Expert JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC. “Lifestyle changes that are implemented today, like eating healthy and being active, can make a measurable difference in a person’s risk for heart disease in the future.”

For more information on the cardiovascular screenings at USF Health, contact Bonnie Kirby at bkirby@health.usf.edu or (813) 259-8543.

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit www.health.usf.edu

 The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit www.cardiosource.org/ACC.

Media Contacts:
Nicole Napoli, American College of Cardiology, nnapoli@acc.org, (202) 375-6523
Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications, abaier@health.usf.edu, (813) 974-3303

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