York City looking to make residents 'heart smart'


It might be time to get that heart looked at.

According to the Healthy York County Coalition's 2015 community health assessment, 45 percent of adults have high cholesterol. About 38 percent have high blood pressure.

In an effort to get the heart healthy, the City of York - Bureau of Health is helping launch a community collaboration called Million Hearts.

In partnership with local health organizations, leaders hope to make effective changes in York City's health choices.

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one of every three deaths in the U.S., yet many major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes are controllable.

The bureau is partnering with East Side Health Center/Family Practice and Counseling Network Resources for Human Development and Minnich's Pharmacy and YMCA of York.

Matthew Howie, medical director for the City of York- Bureau of Health,said the partnerships are one way to help tackle the national issue.

"Some people are managing well, but some aren't," he said. "The numbers show it- 45 percent of adults here have high cholesterol."

Last month, local health organizations brainstormed ways to help get the initiative off the ground.

The East Side Health Center would like fund an RN-facilitated tobacco cessation and prevention group program. Employees at Minnich's Pharmacy would like to purchase a high-tech blood pressure machine for customers' use to ease anxiety of visiting a primary care provider and encourage regular screenings

Over at the YMCA York, they would like to host educational workshops to address health disparities and improve overall wellness.

Community members are invited to pledge support of better heart health at millionheartsyork.org. By taking the pledge, signers commit to seeing a health professional regularly, eating healthier, getting more exercise and quitting smoking.

Million Hearts is a national initiative aiming to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017, by focusing on appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.

— Reach Sara Blumberg at sblumberg@yorkdispatch.com.