February is American Heart Month, and thanks to our donors, OneWorld is able to help patients monitor and protect their heart health throughout the year.
According to OneWorld’s Chief Medical Officer, Kris McVea, M.D., in 2016, OneWorld clinicians cared for 2,789 people with diabetes, 427 patients with heart disease and 3,275 patients with high blood pressure. Staff also counseled 1,990 patients on smoking cessation.
“We have a number of programs to help people with hypertension, diabetes, being overweight and high cholesterol to help them lower their risks of developing coronary artery disease or having a heart attack,” she said.
OneWorld recognizes that discussions about heart health are important for those with diabetes. Heart disease is a common complication of diabetes, and having diabetes doubles a person’s risk for heart attack or stroke.
“Our diabetic educators work with diabetic patients to make sure that they stay healthy,” McVea said. “They provide individual and classroom education about diet, exercise and managing their diabetic control.”
Similarly, for patients with high cholesterol, OneWorld offers a class that helps people identify ways they can increase their exercise regimens and improve their diets in order to manage their risk factors for heart disease. Patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) can receive a number of services, many of which are directed by our clinical pharmacists.
“Patients can get blood pressure monitors to check their blood pressure at home,” McVea said. “They can come to the OneWorld pharmacy and have their blood pressure checked or have their medication adjusted by a pharmacist. They can also meet with one of our pharmacists, both at the Livestock Exchange Campus and at our satellite clinics, to make sure that their blood pressure medications are optimized.”
In addition to heart health-related services in the clinics, OneWorld also offers screenings to community members in Sarpy, Dodge and Douglas counties through the promotora program. OneWorld’s promotoras are peers and community members who connect with their neighbors, families, friends and communities to promote health and prevent disease. In addition to providing screenings, they work to educate people in the community about the value of diet, exercise and managing diseases like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
“As many of us are aware, personally or through the world of statistics, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity represent the biggest threats to the health of our communities,” Luis Vasquez, OneWorld’s minority health outreach program manager, said. “Not only nationally, but internationally, health promotion has become a major method to improve and prevent these conditions…These health conditions can be prevented and be drastically improved when a person receives the proper and facts-based education.”
To schedule an appointment to discuss your heart health,
call (402) 734-4110.