Listen to your heart
February is National Heart Month and Latino Perspectives Magazine is proud to partner once again with the American Heart Association (AHA) to help spread information about the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Learn more about the AHA’s local initiatives and how you too can take simple steps to positively impact your health and our community.
Check for Life Helps Latinos Get Healthy
At several Valley salons and barbershops that cater to a Latino clientele, people looking for a cut and style can receive an unexpected surprise — a free blood pressure screening.
The blood pressure screenings are offered as part of the American Heart Association’s Check for Life program, in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) – Valle del Sol Chapter. Check for Life is designed to reduce health disparities among underserved Latinos. The program began in December, 2011.
Through the program, nurses from the NAHN train the staff at participating salons to check their clients’ blood pressure. After taking a client’s blood pressure, the specially-trained stylists give feedback about the blood pressure reading and offer information about creating a healthier lifestyle. Local nurses are also available to consult with patients over the phone if they need more information or have questions.
“I participate in Check for Life because I want to make my community healthier,” says Vianey Rosas, owner of La Tijera mágica Salon, which was one of the first three salons to participate in Check for Life. “My clients like knowing they can get their blood pressure checked here for free, and my staff and I are proud to provide a service that helps Latinos take charge of their health.”
The stylists also offer each client a wallet-sized card that they can use to keep track of their blood pressure. This can help people monitor their health over time and allow them to track their progress. Already, Check for Life is helping Valley Latinos get healthier.
“One young man reluctantly got his blood pressure checked,” says Bertha Sepulveda, B.S.N., R.N., Grants Committee chair of the NAHN. “He was shocked to discover he had high blood pressure. We provided him with information about diet and exercise, answered all of his questions and encouraged him to visit a doctor.”
The facts about heart disease and stroke among Hispanic men and women are startling: heart disease and stroke combined are the leading cause of death among Latinos in the U.S. Check for Life aims to help underserved Latinos know their risk for high blood pressure and give them the tools they need to get and stay healthy.
The program is available in three Valley salons: Hadley’s Salon in Scottsdale, Studio 12 in Glendale and La Tijera mágica Salon. The American Heart Association plans to add more salons to the program as resources become available.