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Wheeling Hospital to Provide Free Screenings For Adults at Risk for Vascular, Heart Diseases

October 26, 2017

WHEELING, W.Va. – Wheeling Hospital is now providing free vascular disease screenings to all at-risk adults as part of its newly launched Dare to C.A.R.E. initiative.

The screenings, sponsored in collaboration with the Heart Health Foundation, will be held each Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Tower 4, Suite 402, beginning Nov. 7.

Dare to C.A.R.E. was established to raise awareness of the hidden risks associated with vascular disease and encourage early intervention to prevent serious complications or disabilities. Many of the conditions associated with vascular disease can go undetected until they are severe and can cause serious complications or death.

The Dare to C.A.R.E. program screens for common vascular diseases:
• Carotid artery disease: cause of preventable stroke
• Abdominal aortic aneurysm: highly deadly if the aneurysm ruptures
• Renal artery stenosis: when untreated, frequently leads to the need for hemodialysis
• Extremity artery disease: can cause serious complications in the lower legs

The screenings are quick and non-invasive. They are completed in approximately 20 minutes, and written results are sent to each patient and their primary care physician. While the renal artery stenosis screening will not be included in the initial program, plans are to include it in the future.

Dr. John Klay, cardiovascular surgeon and director of Vascular Laboratories at Wheeling Hospital, said vascular and heart screenings are done by other health care organizations, but usually for a cost to the patient. However, the service at Wheeling Hospital is totally free.

“With cardiovascular disease being the number one health issue in the U.S. today, we know that a substantial number of adults living in our area are at risk for complications from vascular issues that may currently go undetected,” said Klay. “We are asking any adult who is older than 60 years of age – or younger if other risk factors are present – to be proactive about their overall heart health and take advantage of the free screenings.”

Chris Coffield, manager of Cardiac Services, said, “If vascular diseases are detected early, the more likely they can be managed with lifestyle interventions and medications instead of invasive surgery.”

Potential at-risk criteria for vascular disease include age (greater than 60) and risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or smoking. Individuals over the age of 50 who have any if the listed factors also are considered at-risk. Family history of vascular disease also is a contributing factor, including events in the immediate family such as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney failure, sudden cardiac death or abdominal aortic aneurysms.

To make an appointment for a free screening, call 304-243-8362.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Every year, more than 600,000 people die of heart disease – that’s one out of every four deaths. Unfortunately, the majority of people with the disease are living unaware of their risks. Cardiovascular disease affects the heart and arteries of the body. It is called coronary artery disease – CAD – when the heart is involved, and peripheral arterial disease – PAD – when it involves arteries in other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, kidneys, intestines and brain.

Dare to C.A.R.E. is offered through a collaboration between community hospitals and the Heart Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. John Martin and Louise Hanson, nurse practitioner, of Annapolis, MD. Since the program began screening patients in 2000, more than 100,000 people have been screened.

“Wheeling Hospital is proud to participate in this program and continue our commitment to the community,” Coffield said.
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Contact: Gregg Warren, Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing, 304-243-3260

Cardiovascular surgeon Dr. John Klay today explains at a news conference the details iof Wheeling Hospital’s new free Dare to C.A.R.E. initiative, which provides free comprehensive vascular and cardiac screenings.