Learn About Heart Health From the Experts - The Missourian: Feature Stories

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Learn About Heart Health From the Experts

Mercy Makes “Rounds” at Health Events

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Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 6:32 pm

Mercy health experts are offering health advice as the community hosts events to raise awareness and educate the public about important health matters.

Starting off, Mercy will host its own Speaker Series Wednesday, March 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mercy Medical Building South, 901 Patients First Drive in Washington.

“This is something we can do in support of the Franklin County Heart Walk that lets us talk directly with the community about the topics that affect them the most,” said Mercy Clinic cardiologist John Mohart, MD.

Speakers are:

• Bonnie Eckelkamp, a Washington native and longtime community advocate, who will share her personal story about living with heart disease, including the night she was awakened with heart attack symptoms.

• Mercy Heart and Vascular cardiologist Joseph Polizzi, MD, who will discuss lowering our risks for heart disease.

• Mercy Heart and Vascular cardiologist John Mohart, MD, who will talk about how advances in medicine are helping people with heart disease.

• Beth Howard and Cyndi Lohrer, both physical therapists with Mercy Therapy Services, will discuss exercise and offer a demonstration in stretching for better health.

During the evening, representatives from other heart care-related departments at Mercy will be available for questions. They include nutrition, the chest pain center, cardiac rehabilitation and Mercy Heart and Vascular.

After the Speaker Series, on Saturday, March 29, Mercy health experts will make a presence at the Franklin County Heart Walk, which starts with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. at the Washington Fairgrounds. Mercy will have an informational booth at the pavilion and teams walking to raise money for the Heart Association.

On the same day, from 9-1 p.m. at the City Auditorium, Mercy health experts will offer information at the Wake Up to Wellness Health Fair. Guests will learn about heart health, sports medicine, pain management, nutrition and more.

Dr. Mohart said these events go far in teaching people how to take control of their health.

“They learn about their risks and what they can do to reduce those risks. If more people do that, we would greatly reduce the incidence of heart disease and heart attacks,” said Dr. Mohart.

Still, many people would benefit from seeing a physician and, in particular, a cardiologist for a cardiology checkup.

“A lot of people don’t see a cardiologist until after they’ve had a heart event, but people at high risk for heart disease very likely should be on medications and should be tested for threatening blockages or other cardiovascular illnesses,” said Dr. Mohart. “Cardiologists are often able to identify specific heart issues and intervene before an emergency happens.”

For more information about treating and preventing heart disease, or to schedule a wellness exam with a cardiologist, people should call Mercy Heart and Vascular at 636-239-2711.

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