Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:42 PM on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Activities in February aimed at heart health

A free community forum on Heart-Smart Eating will kick off a month of special programs and activities at South Peninsula Hospital in recognition of Heart Health Month.

Heart disease is the No. 2 cause of death for Alaskans, and these offerings will help people screen for heart disease or learn how to prevent it, according to a press release from the hospital.

Heart Smart Eating will focus on how to incorporate tasty, heart-healthy foods into your diet. This forum is perfect for the person confused about all the diet dos and don'ts, and who just wants basic tips on how to eat heart-smart on a regular basis.

The presenter will be Bette Seaman, registered dietitian and nutritionist at SPH. Seaman has more than 30 years experience in nutrition and is known for her great healthy cooking.

The forum will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at the hospital Training Center at 203 W. Pioneer Ave. Heart healthy refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact the hospital's education department at 235-0258.

Two screening tests will be offered at a discounted rate of $99 each during the month of February. The first, a Cardiac Scoring CT scan, is a non-invasive, 15 minute imaging procedure which scores calcium buildup in the arteries. A physician referral, appointment and prepayment are required. For more information, contact the Imaging Department at 235-0363.

The second screening, a Heart Health Blood Test, screens for cholesterol, cardiac risk, anemia and diabetes. No appointment or referral is necessary, but registration and pre-payment are required. For more information, contact the Laboratory at 235-0338.

Mary Fries, RN, community health educator, will host an information table from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at Safeway. She will offer plenty of take-home literature on heart health, and be on hand to visit with the public about heart disease. If you can't make it there, visit the hospital website at www.sphosp.org and click on Wellness and Education for current heart health information.

A stroke support group will kick off Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the hospital training center at 203 W. Pioneer Ave. This is a free support group for survivors and their caregivers to gain an understanding of how stroke impacts one's life and the importance communication plays in recovery and maintaining quality of life.

This is the first of monthly gatherings planned for the second Wednesday of each month. For more information, contact Amy Lower, speech language pathologist at the hospital, at 235-0372.

Since heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined, the hospital reminds community members to show support and awareness by wearing red on Feb. 3 for "National Wear Red Day." More information can be found at www.goredforwomen.org.

Visit www.sphosp.org for additional information on heart health activities.