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St. Mary's Medical Center Offering Free Heart Screening

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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON – St. Mary's Medical Center will mark the 34th anniversary of its Regional Heart Institute this year, and in observance of the anniversary is offering free and discounted heart screenings on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Doug Korstanje, the hospital's director of marketing and public relations, noted that St. Mary's inaugurated "a new dimension of heart care" in 1979 when the region's first cardiac catherization and first open-heart surgery were performed at the hospital.

Today, St. Mary's offers a broad range of cardiac care, including interventional, non-invasive and diagnostic procedures. The hospital's Regional Heart Institute is the centerpiece of a $30 million, three-story building constructed at the south end of the hospital campus in 2006.

Diagnostic procedures play an increasingly important role in quality cardiac care. said Regina Campbell, RN, BSN, director of the Heart Institute. Hence the decision to offer a day of free and discounted screenings. "We wanted people to start the year being heart healthy, so we decided to offer several free and discounted heart screenings," Campbell said. "Patients often ignore signs and symptoms of heart disease. These screening exams help identify needed lifestyle changes or the need to follow up with their physician."

"We've seen dramatic changes in treatment and technology over the 30-plus years we've been providing advanced heart care to the Tri-State. If a patient does discover a heart problem through these screenings, we have a number of treatment options that can help them."

The screenings, dubbed "Healthy Heart University," will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Mary's Outpatient Center. Free screenings include blood sugar, cholesterol, body composition analysis, blood pressure, stroke risk assessment and COPD. Free consultations and health information will be provided. Advanced screenings will be available.

Pre-registration is required due to limited space. Call (304) 526-1492. These will include: electrocardiogram (free with pre-registration); vascular screenings (available at a discounted price of $75 for three tests -- peripheral artery disease, carotid artery and abdominal aortic aneurysm), and wellness blood profiles (available at a discounted price of $25 for 29 tests).

The blood profiles will only be offered from 9 a.m. until noon.