Spirit of the Heart Brings Heart Screenings to New York

Contact: Stephanie Abraham, sabraham@acc.org, 202-308-8574

NEW YORK (Dec. 7, 2012) —- The Association of Black Cardiologists and the American College of Cardiology this weekend are conducting a community health fair in Harlem and in Queens called Spirit of the Heart to check for risks for heart disease and to help teach residents about the 7 steps to a healthy heart. 

“We are bringing experienced health care professionals to residents in low income communities,” said Ola Akinboboye, MD, president of the Association of Black Cardiologists and practicing Queens cardiologist. “The Spirit of the Heart program is free. Friends and family are welcome to take part in heart health screenings and interact with health professionals from the Association of Black Cardiologists and American College of cardiology that will be on site at the health fair.”

On Friday morning, Spirit of Heart weekend kicks off with complimentary blood pressure screenings at Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop in Harlem. There, ABC will premiere the video, “Before you Eat the Church Food….Watch this Video,” which encourages greater awareness about faith based eating habits. On Friday evening, a public community leader’s forum will feature top New York doctors, public health officials and civic leaders who will discuss how to prevent and treat heart disease.

On Saturday the community is invited to health screenings at New Greater Bethel Ministries in Queens Village providing participants with heart disease risk assessment that includes: high blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index, waist circumference, lung health function and bone density. There will also be healthy food and cooking demonstrations, hourly exercise instruction and live performances by local artists. The Saturday event will feature a children’s education area designated to the food pyramid and concept of “Portion Plates.”

Participants will also receive follow-up counseling, and healthcare professionals will be available for consultations. On Sunday, members of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the American College of Cardiology visit local churches to talk about the role spirituality and the church community can play in heart health.

“Our ability to treat heart disease has improved significantly over time, but coming directly to the community makes much more of a direct impact,” said William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, president of the American College of Cardiology. “Spirit of the Heart brings screening tools and practical health information to communities where people can use them to help each other live healthier lives.” 

"I congratulate the Association of Black Cardiologists and the American College of Cardiology sponsoring free heart and cholesterol screenings in the new Fifth Congressional district this weekend as part of their national Spirit of the Heart weekend, stated U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks.  Meeks continued, “I urge my constituents to remember that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' Heart disease -- often related to diabetes, obesity, and hypertension -- is a major health issue in many of our families. Please take advantage of the screenings to monitor your cardiovascular health. We need healthy hearts and a strong spirit to meet the challenges that lay ahead."

“I encourage all Queens and city residents to take part in this national program,” said Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens). “This healthy heart initiative can improve the quality of health, save money in terms of increased worker productivity, and affect morbidity and mortality rates. For attendees who are patients and consumers of health services, Spirit of the Heart activities are a win, win proposition that will help improve the quality of their lives.”

“With the minority community still having the lowest rates of early detection initiatives, having the ABC sponsor community based screening events this weekend, will be an opportunity for people who cannot afford these lifesaving initiatives to receive them,” said New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie. “That makes it all the more important to help spread the word about these initiatives. By making it easier for people to receive a checkup, they are more likely to do so, helping them live longer and healthier lives. I would like to thank the ABC and the ACC for organizing this effort and I encourage everyone in the community to attend these events.”

“Through the Spirit of the Heart weekend, we are able to reach many New York residents, but especially people living in inner cities who often don’t have the resources to get regular check-ups,” Dr. Akinboboye said. “Through local civic, health and community leaders, churches and religious institutions, we will send a clear, strong message about the importance of prevention and treatment of heart disease.”

Participants are encouraged to sign up for ACC and ABC texting programs which send helpful prevention reminders straight to wherever patients are located. Text SPIRIT to 227346 (cardio) to sign up.


Friday, Dec.7

Free Health Screenings
Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop
2496 Frederick Douglass Blvd., Harlem, New York
10:00am – 1:00pm

Community Leaders Forum
Location: New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Saturday, Dec. 8

Free Health Screenings
Location: New Greater Bethel Ministries
215-32 Jamaica Ave, Queens Village, NY
1:00pm - 6:00pm

Sunday, Dec. 9

Message from the Pulpit
Presbyterian Church of Saint Albans
190-04 119th Avenue
Saint Albans, NY  11412
11:00am Service

New Greater Bethel Ministries Church
215-32 Jamaica Ave
Queens Village, NY
11:00am Service

The Cathedral United Baptist Church
1137 Prospect Avenue (167th Street)
Bronx, New York 10459
11:00am Service

For more information please contact Stephanie Abraham at sabraham@acc.org or visit http://www.cardiosmart.org/spiritoftheheart.aspx.

Founded in 1974, the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., (ABC) is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of 2,500 health professionals, lay members of the community (Community Health Advocates), corporate members, and institutional members. The ABC is dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease in all people of color. Our mission is to champion the elimination of cardiovascular disparities through education, research and advocacy.  We believe that good health is the cornerstone of progress. We are firm in our resolve to make exemplary health care accessible and affordable to all in need, dedicated to lowering the high rate of cardiovascular disease in minority populations and committed to advocacy and diversity. We are guided by high ethics in all transactions and strive for excellence in our training and skills. Today, the ABC's public and private partnerships continue to increase our impact in communities across the nation. For more information, visit http://www.abcardio.org/index.html.

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit www.cardiosource.org/ACC.

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