ELIZABETHTOWN - What better way is there to show a little love for your heart?
That was the thought behind the annual Healthy Heart day, sponsored by the Elizabethtown Community Hospital's Ladies Auxiliary and held at the ECH Health Center Feb. 16.
"February is the perfect time to talk about heart health," Laura Sells-Doyle, president of the ECH Auxiliary, said. "We combine this with a hunter's screening in the fall to offer a couple times each year where people can come in and be screened for free."
Sells-Doyle said the Healthy Heart Day has been a staple of the auxiliary's calendar for the past several years.
"They were looking to come up with an idea for a community service project and event that could be done together with the hospital," Sells-Doyle said. "Since, it has been growing and more and more people come every year."
For the event on Feb. 16, the lab staff from ECH did 45 blood draws while 49 people in total signed up for the screenings.
"You would be surprised how many people just do not know what the health of their heart is," Sells-Doyle said. "There have definitely been people who have been caught with risks during these screenings and have had to follow up."
Sells-Doyle also said the day was a great chance for people to see the new cardiac rehabilitation center at the health center, along with information provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension and Essex County Public Health, among others.
"They offer a variety of information from diabetes to nutrition programs," she said. "but this is a nice day because we really get to show off our new cardiac center. We are very proud of it and we want people to see it."
Overall, Sells-Doyle said the event was a great chance for locals to learn about healthy heart habits and get a screening at no cost.
"We have had a great turnout from throughout the county," she said. "It is a great opportunity, especially for those without health coverage, to get a screening and a checkup for free."