Is Your Heart Healthy?

Is Your Heart Healthy?

Heart health, Emory and you

February is National Heart Month which means it’s a good time for us to focus on our heart health! Fortunately for those of us who work at Emory, our employer is a national leader in cardiovascuar research, diagnostics, preventive care, education and treatment. Even more good news, two teams from Emory Healthcare, Employee Health Services and Occupational Injury Management, joined forces in 2017 to launch the Emory Health Management Program (EHMP), a new effort to help improve employee health.

Building bridges to heart health

The EHMP serves as a bridge for those Emory employees who do not have a PCP and who are identified through an initial or annual health assessment as being at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. The program provides short-term care and resources for these employees until they are able to transfer into the care of a physician.

One of the first Emory employees referred to the new program was Jamila Williams, who worked in a temporary position as an animal care technician at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

When Jamila received her health assessment as a new hire, she was referred to the EHMP because of her high blood pressure. There, she was treated free of charge and her condition continues to be monitored until she can receive more permanent care from a physician. Jamila also participated in a six-week class focusing on high blood pressure, which was led by a nurse educator. As of today, her blood pressure is under control and she has made the lifestyle changes needed to manage it long term. An added benefit is that she also lost 20 pounds during the course of this program. “Now, I educate my co-workers on what they need to do to manage their blood pressure,” says Jamila.

The two EHMP leads, Nurani Madhani, NP of OIM and Mickey Evans, RN with Employee Health, agree on the vision for the program, “Our goal is to empower employees to manage their own chronic conditions, because – now, more than ever – there is a need to prevent and promote a healthier workplace for all employees.

Taking steps to love your heart

Efforts such as the EHMP, or even simple lifestyle changes, can make a tremendous difference in fending off heart disease. The good news is you can help prevent or control your risk for heart disease by:  

  1. Eating a healthy diet
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight
  3. Engaging in physical activity
  4. Avoiding the use of tobacco products
  5. Limiting alcohol cosumption

Know the Warning Signs

It is important to know the ways in which heart attack symptoms appear in men versus women.

Check out the symptoms below:

Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:

· Chest pain/pressure that feels like “an elephant” is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation that may come and go or remain constant and intense

· Upper body pain or discomfort in arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw or stomach

· Rapid or irregular heartbeat

· Indigestion or gas-like pain

· Shortness of breath, even when resting

· Lightheadedness or dizziness

· Breaking out in a cold sweat

Symptoms of heart attack in women include:

· Unusual, long-lasting or severe fatigue

· Changes in sleep (insomnia or sleeping too much)

· Anxiety

· Lightheadedness or dizziness

· Shortness of breath, even when resting

· Indigestion or gas-like pain

· Upper back, shoulder, jaw or throat pain

· Pressure or pain in the center of your chest, which may spread to your arm or up to the jaw.

 

 

For more information about the EHMP, contact Nurani.madhani@emoryhealthcare.org or mickey.evans@emoryhealthcare.org.