Heart Health Month is recognized and celebrated each February as a way to educate people on the signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart events, as well as remind them about the need for healthy living.
New Albany Elementary School (NAES) continues to promote the coordinated school health model-Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child-developed by the Center of Disease Control and revised several years ago. This current model emphasizes the importance of the ten components necessary to develop the whole child so that they are healthy and ready to learn.
One of these components is Employee Wellness. “Staff wellness is such an important part of providing a healthy school atmosphere,” said Tammie Reeder, BSN, RN who serves as the Health Services Coordinator for the New Albany School District. “It is important that our teachers feel their best so they can give their best to our students each day.”
Reeder coordinated a Heart Health presentation for teachers and staff at NAES on February 20-21. Mary Foley, a nurse educator, from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County spoke to staff members about heart disease and the importance of healthy living. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults. The best possible way to avoid heart disease is to live healthily and for many people that means a lifestyle change. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and being active are necessary for healthy living. Taking life-long responsibility for your own health is the most important factor in avoiding preventable conditions such as heart disease.
Staff members were reminded that the following are also important in heart health:
- Management of stress
- Managing blood cholesterol
- Managing blood pressure
- Managing diabetes
- Maintaining a smoke-free environment
Foley also shared with teachers and staff about the “broken heart syndrome”. She shared a personal story and reminded them that a real-life broken heart can lead to a real cardiac event. Signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome may include chest pain and irregular heartbeat. If these symptoms occur, always see a doctor for evaluation. The main treatment for this syndrome is to recognize and manage your stressors.
Staff members who participated in the employee wellness session received small gift compliments of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.