For Donna Block, Poway Villas Community Building Coordinator, heart
health is a very personal matter. Her father passed away at age 57
from a sudden heart attack. She was happy to learn about the
opportunity to partner with the County of San Diego’s Love
Your Heart campaign to offer free blood pressure screenings to
the residents at Poway Villas on Valentine’s Day.
“We are active in bringing every resource we can to our residents,” said Block. “Love Your Heart is a great opportunity to remind people of just how easy it is to stay healthy, by getting their blood pressure numbers checked.”
More than 17,400 residents across San Diego County joined Block in this simple act of prevention by having their blood pressure checked on Valentine’s Day. And like Block, many of them shared personal stories about love and family as their motivation for the screening.
One resident stated, as his reason for getting screened; “I love my wife and she wants me to love my heart.”
Another young woman got screened for the love of her husband and children.
And 83-year-old Donald Cochenour got a blood pressure screening for his own health and the health of his community.
“I have always been very active in any community in which I’ve lived,” said Cochenour. “I felt very good getting my blood pressure screening today, and I encourage everyone to know their numbers. Not getting screened can lead to a very unhealthy life.”
The County Health and Human Services Agency teamed up with more than 90 organizations and businesses to offer free blood pressure screenings at more than 200 locations, including fire stations, libraries, community centers, health clinics, businesses and County facilities. Many of the sites also hosted farmers market and health fairs alongside the free blood pressure screenings to help remind attendees to eat healthy, be active and seek health resources if needed. This was the third year the County and participating organizations hosted the screenings on Valentine’s Day.
“San Diego County residents this year took the screenings to heart and more people got checked than the previous two years combined,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, County Board of Supervisors. “The success was largely due to all our partners who hosted screening sites, which made it possible for many residents to get checked near where they live or work.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death in San Diego County. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease can put an individual at greater risk.
“For some people, getting their blood pressure checked delivers a wake-up call,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts. “It’s great to see that so many people were able to take that first important step to leading a healthier life by getting screened at a Love Your Heart site.”
Love Your Heart supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve the health and safety of residents in the region. Read the summary report to learn more about participating screening sites and blood pressure summary data for 2014.