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CCMH Honors American Heart Month with WomenHeart Donation

March 15, 2024

Cathy Porter from Midwest/Midsouth division of WomenHeart speaks about her heart event and the importance of knowing the signs of heart attack and stroke in women during the CCMH Community Lunch and Learn February 29, 2024.

CARROLLTON, Mo. – Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It is also the most treatable. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Carroll County Memorial Hospital acknowledged Heart Health Awareness by encouraging employee involvement and raising funds for WomenHeart, a national coalition for women with heart disease.

For the month of February, the hospital displayed red decor. Red dresses and a fun photo booth were placed outside of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department in honor of the Go Red for Women theme associated with American Heart Month. A table packed full of information from the American Heart Association (AHA) and WomenHeart was also available to patients, visitors and staff.

Employees sported red attire for National GO RED Day on February 2, and held two more dress down days throughout the month for the cause for monetary donations. These efforts raised $435 for WomenHeart.

A Community Lunch and Learn was held on February 29. Cathy Porter from Midwest/Midsouth division of WomenHeart was the guest speaker. She spoke about the importance of taking care of yourself as a woman and understands the challenges of rural living. She told her own story about her heart event journey and stressed the importance of knowing the signs of heart attacks and strokes in women.

“One in three women die from cardiovascular disease,” said Melissa Cochran, CCMH Director of Cardiopulmonary and Rehab Services. “According to the American Heart Association’s 2023 statistics, this makes it the leading killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills one woman approximately every 80 seconds, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined, and yet only 44 percent of women recognize that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first American Heart Month proclamation in 1964 and since then, U.S. presidents have annually declared February American Heart Month. In its 60th year of recognition, the importance of heart disease awareness and the fact that, in most cases, it is preventable and still very prominent to this day.

“Heart disease is preventable when people adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week and getting regular checkups,” Cochran said.

Eating right and reducing stress are other important ways to keep your heart healthy. CCMH addressed this by offering a heart healthy breakfast, lunch and supper dining option for staff.

“On Wednesday, February 14, a special lunch was prepared to promote Heart Health Month,” said Kristy Heussner, CCMH Registered Dietician. “This menu was chosen with heart health as the goal. The meal included ground turkey lettuce wraps, brown rice pilaf, San Francisco blend vegetables, fresh fruit and angel food cake with fruit topping.”

HEARTY was the theme behind the meal. H: Halt the salt! Did you know that we cook our vegetables with no salt? E: Excellent lean protein. Fish is a great source of lean protein and is a source of monounsaturated (good) fats. A: Add fiber – whole grains and beans. R: Rich in veggies and fruit. Choosing vegetables and fruit helps make your meal heart healthy. T: Think about fat. Choose healthy fat like grilled fish to keep your meals heart healthy. Aim for two servings of fish a week. Y: Yes – say yes to planning. Plan out your meals to ensure your heart has what it needs to be its best.

“On Friday, February 23, a special supper was prepared of tuna steak, quinoa, greens, fruit and avocado/chocolate pudding,” Heussner said.

Staff were able to partake in a Heart Healthy Breakfast involving a yogurt bar with fresh fruit and additional toppings. They were also offered several free heart healthy snacks, including dark chocolate trail mix and garlic hummus with carrots and celery.

“One person dies every 33 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. That’s about 695,000 people each year, which is about one in every five deaths,” Cochran said.

CCMH offers a 36-session, 3-month Cardiac Rehabilitation program – a supervised exercise program to help people recover from heart attacks, heart surgery, and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) stenting and angioplasty.

“Roughly, each year 805,000 Americans have a heart attack,” Cochran said. “Twenty four percent will have a second and potentially fatal one. There is hope. Cardiac Rehab decreases the risk of a future cardiac event.”

Some health benefits of Cardiac Rehab are:

  • Reduction of all-cause mortality of 15 percent at 1-year follow-up, and of 45 percent at a 15-year follow-up.
  • Roughly 30 percent lower CVD mortality.
  • Improved adherence with preventive medication.
  • Increased exercise performance.
  • Improved health factors, such as lipids and blood pressure.
  • Enhanced ability to perform daily activities.
  • Improved psychosocial symptoms and health related quality of life.

As CCMH’s mission states, “CCMH is dedicated to the health and well-being of all we serve.”

“You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease,” Cochran said. “Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk: watch your weight; quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke; Control your cholesterol and blood pressure; If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation; and get active and eat healthy.”

For more information about the services at Carroll County Memorial Hospital, visit our website or call 660-542-1695.

Carroll County Memorial Hospital (CCMH), the area’s premier healthcare resource, is a 25-bed Critical Access facility serving Carrollton and the surrounding communities. It offers 24-hour emergency care, specialized services such as advanced diagnostics, post-acute skilled care (swing bed) and comprehensive family care. CCMH is dedicated to the Health and Well Being of All We Serve. For more information, visit