The Ethnic Health Institute will host the annual Frank E. Staggers, Sr., MD, Hypertension Screening and Education Sunday February 26, 2017.
“Hypertension Sunday” was created as a screening and awareness event held in faith organizations for congregants and surrounding community members. Over 25 years ago, Ethnic Health Institute founder and community champion Frank E. Staggers, Sr. MD chose the last Sunday in February in celebration of National Heart Health Awareness month. In addition to serving a community health event, Hypertension Sunday also provides rich tiered mentorship for teams of volunteers.
This year, 29 churches throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties will host SMU students and faculty, along with medical students, physicians, registered nurses, other health professionals and community members. Volunteer teams will provide free blood pressure readings, education and resources. Other participating organizations include the National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Self-Care Reform Wellness, and the East Bay Regional Park District.
According to the American Heart Association, one out of every three people in the United States is suffering from hypertension, without even knowing it. Hypertension is elevated blood pressure over time. Having your blood pressure checked once does not mean you have hypertension, but can tell you whether or not you need to follow-up with your regular health care provider. High blood pressure puts extra stress on the arteries in your heart which can lead to life-threatening conditions like a heart attack or stroke.
The good news is that high blood pressure, or hypertension, can often be prevented or treated. Early diagnosis and simple, healthy lifestyle changes can keep high blood pressure from seriously damaging a patient's health.