February is National Heart Health Month

Apicha Community Health Center Feb 16, 2017  

American Heart Month has been taking place throughout the month of February since December 30, 1963, when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed it. The twenty eight days of February are federally dedicated to cardiovascular health, to encourage the population to be more aware of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

heart health month

Did you know...

17.3 million lives are lost to cardiovascular disease each year and that number is not expected to decrease anytime soon.

By 2030, 23.6 million lives are expected to succumb to it. Someone passes from cardiovascular disease every forty seconds on average. After you do the math, that adds up to about 2,200 deaths each day.

Do you know what else happens every forty seconds? Someone suffers from a stroke. With a little more math, that means 795,000 strokes occur each year. However, a stroke claims a live every four minutes, accounting for almost one in every 20 deaths in the United States.

Additionally - an estimated 34% of Americans has hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure and 9.1% have diagnosed diabetes.

In addition, according to the Center for Disease Control, 22.2% of deaths among Asians or Pacific Islanders is due to heart disease. So heart disease is definitely affecting our communities. But what can we do about it?

Don't miss this: How to Lower Your Heart Age

What can you do about it?

Although cardiovascular disease is a prominent cause of death, it is the most preventable. First and foremost, it’s important to know your family health history and start making heart-healthy choices. If you’re not sure where to start, schedule an appointment and talk with your doctor to make a plan that is suitable for you.

Adding light exercise to your daily routine can make a huge impact. Just walking fifteen minutes a day, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator, makes a difference! What you put into your body really matters as well. Eat at home more and reduce the amount of sodium used to cook with.

If you’re a smoker, it’s time to start taking the necessary steps to kick the habit. If you are taking prescribed medicine, it’s extremely important to take it just as instructed by your doctor.

Don’t let the fact that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death frighten you. Be encouraged by the fact that it is the most preventable with the easy steps that it takes to prevent it.

How to get involved

February is Heart Health Month. There are a variety of ways to get involved and spread awareness about managing the health of your cardiovascular system. Below, we've included a short list of ways to get involved this month:

  • Educate yourself on how to better your heart health
  • Donate to the American Heart Association to support heart research
  • Make a purchase of any apparel from the AHA and all proceeds are donated to the organization's mission
  • Engage in physical activity 
  • Talk with friends and family about the importance of good heart health

Daniel Hale Williams | Heart Health Month

In addition to being February being heart health month, February is also Black History Month. And we can't talk about those two things in the same sentence without mentioning Daniel Hale Williams.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

Williams successes are many and earn him a respected place both in Black history and medical history alike.

In May 1891, Williams—who was called Dr. Dan by patients - opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, in the South Side of Chicago. This hospital became the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had a racially integrated staff. At this time, African-Americans were still barred from being admitted to hospitals and African-American doctors were typically refused staff positions.

Williams also became one of the first physicians to perform open-heart surgery in the United States. In 1893 a man named Cornish was brought to the Provident hospital with a severe stab wound to the chest. Without the aid of blood transfusions and now widely-used modern medical procedures, Williams successfully sutured Cornish's pericardium, the membranous sac that encloses the heart.

With this successful operation, he became the third surgeon in the world to have conducted open-heart surgery, behind only two others: Physicians Francisco Romero and Henry Dalton.

In 1894, Williams moved to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed the chief surgeon of the Freedmen’s Hospital, which provided care for formerly enslaved African-Americans.

Then, in 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for African-American medical practitioners, as an alternative to the American Medical Association, which didn’t allow African-American membership.

Upon his retirement, Dr. Dan received honorary degrees from Howard and Wilberforce Universities, was named a charter member of the American College of Surgeons and was a member of the Chicago Surgical Society. Williams died on August 4, 1931. (Black Inventor)

New Call-to-action

Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Cocaine is another commonly abused substance. It has a number of negative health effects and is...
Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most popular, easily accessible, and dangerous substance people can abuse....
How to Celebrate Pride Sober

How to Celebrate Pride Sober

Pride Month is all about being proud of who you are and celebrating yourself. For the LGBTQ+...
Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

When it comes to sex, there’s a serious lack of resources available to transgender people that...
Project Connect Presents: Queer Self Defense Workshop

Project Connect Presents: Queer Self Defense Workshop

No matter who you are or where you are, knowing how to protect yourself can be a lifesaving skill.
Changes to New York State Medicaid & Public Charge FAQ

Changes to New York State Medicaid & Public Charge FAQ

The federal government has issued changes to "public charge," which will become effective October...
Mental Health Disparities Within Minority Communities

Mental Health Disparities Within Minority Communities

Taking care of your mental health is important for everyone. However, for minorities, it is...
Apicha CEO Honored as a Crain's 2019 Notable Women in Health Care

Apicha CEO Honored as a Crain's 2019 Notable Women in Health Care

Apicha CHC is proud to announce that its CEO Therese Rodriguez has been recognized as one of...
Apicha CHC Showcases HIV Services During HRSA Visit

Apicha CHC Showcases HIV Services During HRSA Visit

This week, the Human Resources and Services Administration visited Apicha CHC to tour our...