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Highlighting Your Health: Regional effort improves heart, vascular health

January 29, 2020 posted by Vidant Health News

As seen in The Daily Reflector

With an emphasis on keeping care close to home, Vidant Health is helping to improve a long-standing health challenge in eastern North Carolina.

Heart and vascular problems commonly begin with high blood pressure, which can result in poor heart health. Lifestyle and social determinants of health have magnified the issue for the people of eastern North Carolina.

To face the issue, Vidant has made a focused effort to target heart and vascular issues, such as hypertension, at their earliest stages. Through screenings, doctor consultations, wellness, nutrition, smoking cessation, community outreach and education, Vidant has helped community members improve their blood pressure numbers.

“We know that lifestyle plays an important role in controlling your blood pressure,” said Dr. Michael Smith, cardiologist at Vidant Heart & Vascular Care in Greenville. “Smoking is a big one. I have that conversation almost every day with patients. It’s also monitoring their weight and I encourage my patients to walk 30 minutes a day.”

Recently three Vidant clinics were recognized for their efforts to control the blood pressure of patients through the Target BP program created by the American Heart Association and adapted by Vidant Health. Vidant Family Medicine in Greenville, Pinetops and Wallace all received Gold Status awards. The honor means 70 percent or more of the adult patients seen at the clinics with high blood pressure were controlled in 2018.

Vidant is committed to giving patients the access to care and resources to keep track of their heart health and prevent chronic diseases. Patients can help avoid these issues by knowing their numbers, eating healthier foods and exercising.

“Helping people take control of their heart health in their local clinics is an important part of our work to keep people healthy,” said Patricia Lockamy, director of quality for Vidant Medical Group. “Patients have relationships with their family physicians and care providers so those meaningful conversations about necessary lifestyle changes are able to resonate on a more personal level.”

Vidant Heart & Vascular Care – Washington is just one example of the efforts made to keep care close to home for patients in the East. Where in the past patients would be sent to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville to receive care, patients in and around Beaufort County can travel fewer miles to get the level of care they need.

Vidant also offers patient access to heart and vascular care in Ahoskie, Edenton, Jacksonville, Kenansville, Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Tarboro. Vidant also offers heart failure clinics in Ahoskie, Greenville and Tarboro.


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