February 13th was a sunny day at the County of San Diego Library – Lincoln Acres Branch in National City, where five organizations came together to help library patrons learn how to take care of their heart health. Today’s Love Your Heart event at the library was coordinated by Elizabeth Terrazas of the San Diego Medical Society Foundation’s “Project Access,” which brings clinicians out into the community to meet people face-to-face to make a difference. While children perused brightly colored books, such as Cool Sandwich Food Art, Michel Vargas, a health educator from South Bay Community Services’ NEOP Program, invited families to try samples of mandarin beet salad, showed how many teaspoons of fat there were in a bag of chips, and distributed handouts for CalFresh and MyPlate.
Several first-year nursing students from Concorde University located in Southeastern San Diego took blood pressures of parents and library visitors. Georgina Thomas and her husband both got their blood pressure taken.
Thomas stated, “These events are so informative and help families be aware of what we put into our bodies. I make sure to include fruit and vegetables in what we eat every day and serve fruit pies instead of donuts.”
She was pleased to get her blood pressure taken at the library.
“And my husband too, since it’s hard for him to make time to go to the doctor.”
Their nursing instructor, Pandora Lockwood RN BSN/Vocational Nurse, who is a member of the San Diego Black Nurses Association, enjoys bringing students to community events to provide blood pressure screenings and sometimes also measure blood glucose for diabetes and take height and weight for BMI. These events give her students exposure to various communities and education to be aware of what services are offered and how they can help their clients in the future.
Jose Ocadiz, Lincoln Acres Branch Manager was enthusiastic about today’s event.
“This is what we do! We pride ourselves in providing education to our community and advocate for literacy, health, nutrition and fitness.”