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Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare teaches G-R teens about heart health

April 27, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in Iowa according to Vital Statistics of Iowa in Brief 2012 Data. But did you know that heart disease is preventable and controllable? This is what Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare aimed to teach teens at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School through their new Heart Screen for Teens program.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to have my students get involved in this heart health program," said Tom Boheman, Science Teacher at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School. "High school students have not changed much over the years in that they have a feeling of invincibility when it comes to issues regarding their health. It is my hope that this program will demonstrate to them that heart health is not just for those over the age of 50. I think this program will demonstrate that they need to be aware of health issues throughout their lifetime and do what they can to improve their overall health and prevent future problems they may have some degree of control over."

The program was open to students taking Anatomy and Physiology class, which consisted of upperclassmen and students interested in a health care career. It spanned over five days April 21 through April 25. Topics focused on heart health education including:

Day 1: Heart Health Screen

Day 2: Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart, Heart Conditions and Disorders

Day 3: Daphnia Lab: The Effects of Substances on the Heart

Day 4: Nutrition Presentation on Heart Health

Day 5: Cardiologist Presentation to Class

The program was led by Lexie Juhl, Community Health Coordinator with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Special guests included Dr. Robert Palusinski, a Cardiologist at Sartori Memorial Hospital, Val Bovy, a nutrition specialist at Covenant Medical Center, and Tia Smith a clinic nurse at Covenant Clinic in Gladbrook.

"According to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (2014), Grundy County is above the national and state benchmark for adult obesity. Tama County is above the national and state benchmark for physical inactivity, and above the national benchmark for adult smoking and adult obesity all things that can have negative impacts on the heart," said Mrs. Juhl, "The purpose of the Heart Screen for Teensprogram is to educate and inform students on the importance of heart health so that they can make informed decisions about their health as they grow and impact those risk factors that can be changed."

You don't have to be a teen to gain more information about how to prevent or control heart disease. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare also encourages adults in Gladbrook and Reinbeck communities to 'Take Action' against heart disease by visiting to view variety of links that provide resources to learn more about heart disease, gauge personal risk for developing heart disease, and get tips about how to manage controllable factors that may contribute to heart disease. 'Take Action' today!



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