Friday, June 15, 2012

Community event focuses on women’s heart health

COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: From left, Paul Dakin, superintendent of Revere Public Schools; Debra Jacobson, administrative director of MGH Revere; Bernice MacIntyre, MGH Revere Marketing/Operations; Pasinski; Wood; and Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo

Although sunbathers were scarce on Revere Beach June 6 due to the unseasonably cool temperature and overcast skies, more than 90 staff and community members gathered across the street at the MGH Revere HealthCare Center to celebrate Community Health Day. This year’s event – an annual opportunity for community health care professionals to network and attend presentations by MGH faculty – featured speaker Malissa Wood, MD, co-director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program.

Roger Pasinski, MD, director of the Revere HealthCare Center, welcomed guests and introduced Wood, who in 2007 launched the Heart Awareness and Primary Prevention in Your Neighborhood (HAPPY) Heart program at the health centers in Revere and Chelsea. The group-oriented program aims to reduce cardiovascular disease in women ages 40 to 60 through screenings and aggressive prevention efforts such as exercise, smoking cessation and relaxation techniques. According to the results of a corresponding study, Wood said, HAPPY Heart program participants have experienced decreases in blood pressure, waist circumference and hemoglobin A1c – a marker of long-term glucose levels – as well as reduced stress, depression and anxiety levels. Wood emphasized that by improving their own heart health, women can encourage family members and friends to do the same.

The event culminated with the presentation of the annual Community Health Award to Ann Marie Costa, deputy superintendent of Revere Public Schools, honoring her commitment to the Revere community and its youth throughout her 31 years in the school system.

Read more articles from the 6/15/12 Hotline issue.


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