Mount Sinai Goes Red for Women
On February 5, 2016, Mount Sinai Heart's Magnet recognized nurses collaborated once again with the American Heart Association and other Departments at The Mount Sinai Hospital to organize and host the annual "Go Red for Women" Community Heart Health Fair with free screenings. February is "American Heart Month" and every year for the past 14 years, Mount Sinai Heart's nurses have been the driving force behind the Go Red for Women health screening, aimed at raising awareness of heart disease among women.
This year, under the leadership of Beth Oliver, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President of Cardiac Services for the Mount Sinai Health System, Go Red health fair events were offered at five health system locations: The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai Saint Luke's, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Brooklyn.
"Our goal this Heart month is to raise awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death of Americans and to educate our communities and employees about heart," says Beth. "Although heart disease used to be thought of as a man's disease, now health care providers understand that women are at equal risk for this condition, especially as they get older. It's vitally important for the health care community to engage women in understanding that they are at risk for heart disease, and to empower them to take charge of their heart health by understanding their risk factors, and how to manage them."
Beth Oliver and Mount Sinai Heart's nurses are passionate about seizing every opportunity to promote the health of the community, and of health care provider themselves. "Obesity and overweightness are at epidemic levels in America, and are prevalent in health care worker as well as in the community," Beth Oliver said. "Eating a healthy diet year-round is critical to preventing heart disease. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, up your fiber intake, eat more fish instead of red meat, and avoid foods with high-saturated fats, high sodium, high sugar, and those that are highly-processed. Also, drink plenty of water, and limit sugary drinks, sodas and alcohol."
The Go Red for Women screening gives Mount Sinai Health System employees the opportunity to take care of their own heart health and that of their coworkers, as they provide an important service to the community.
"Our Go Red for Women screening is educational, but it's also fun," says Beth Oliver. "Participants receive a ‘Passport' as they enter the fair, and take their passport with them as they visit a series of stations, where they receive health screenings and education. As they visit each station, the passport is stamped."
This year, 16 stations at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and 14 stations at Mount Sinai Beth Israel offered screening and educational demonstrations for nutrition and diet, diabetes, stress management, smoking cessation, yoga and other relaxation techniques.
Heart healthy food tastings were prepared and offered by hospital chefs. Participants make the rounds from station to station at this festive event, and on checkout receive a Go Red for Women "goodie-bag." At the final screening station, participants are counseled by Mount Sinai Heart nurse practitioners and physicians on their results, and referrals for follow up care are made if needed.
At The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan 350 community members and employees received free screenings for high blood pressure, blood cholesterol, weight, blood sugar (which might alert participants to pre-diabetes), and peripheral vascular disease. At Mount Sinai Beth Israel, more than 79 community members and employees received free screenings.