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Providers tout preventive medicine

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By Don Pace

Health providers from around Las Vegas and the state gathered at the Healthy Heart Fair, sponsored by Victory Home Health Center, on Valentine’s Day to promote ways people can live a longer and healthier life.Ramona Ulibarri, clinical director of Victory Home Health, said, “What we are focusing on is disease prevention because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to deal with matters of the heart. So, we’re talking about ways to recognize early signs of heart disease and ways to prevent it. Presenters through out the day spoke on topics ranging from strokes, hypertension, heart failure and health and fitness. Physician liaison Martha Mowry, at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, was passing out cookbooks with recipes for heart health. She said there are a couple of things that can make a huge difference in preventing heart disease: “Quit smoking and diet and exercise.”Public Health nurse Darlene Shelton said heart disease has many symptoms like swelling in the legs, dizziness, headaches, and, of course, family history. She agreed with Mowry’s suggestions on prevention, but added quitting drinking, monitoring cholesterol levels, maintaining your weight and routine physicals.Alta Vista’s Brenae Christiaens, director of physician practices and recruiting, said the hospital is sponsoring a program dedicated to healthy living with free membership to the community. “It’s a program for women or men and every month they will receive information at a meeting on a variety of topics like fitness, health, eating right, childcare problems or issues, financial guidance and things like that,” Christiaens said. She said people could stop by Alta Vista to pick up a registration form.Victory Health Care is an agency providing home health services and serves San Miguel, Mora, Guadalupe and Colfax counties. “We help people get better and get them to where they can live on their own again,” Ulibarri said of her agency.Margaret McKinney, Children Youth and Families foster and adoptive parent recruiter, also had a booth explaining how citizens can make a difference in children’s lives and enrich their own through adoption or by becoming a foster parent.Professional Home Health Care was started by Niki Sebastian in 1990 and had an information booth talking about the care of the disabled and elderly.“We’re the oldest established home health agency in Las Vegas and only local agency that does both disabled and elderly waiver, which is a Medicaid-funded program offering long term care so that people can stay at home and be looked after with nursing, homemakers, emergency response and general support,” Sebastian said.Ulibarri said Victory Home Health Center would sponsor another event in April at the recreation center that will center on kids safety as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.