Health Care

Hospitals plan events for Heart Awareness Month

To help raise awareness for Heart Awareness Month, Wesley Medical Center and Galichia Heart Hospital have planned a series of events in February that are open to the public.

“Heart disease is very relevant in this country,” said Dr. Ravi Bajaj, director of cardiology at Wesley. “For men and women, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death.”

Although some factors such as genetics are beyond an individual’s control, there are measures, such as exercising and weight loss, that can lower the risks of developing heart disease, Bajaj said.

“Because it’s Valentine’s Day this month, some people think a glass of wine daily can be helpful, and there’s some data about dark chocolate being good for the heart,” Bajaj said.

The following events take place throughout February:

• Heart Health Screenings: Attendees can receive free heart screenings from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at two Meritrust Credit Union locations, 2900 S. Oliver and 2050 N. Tyler Road. Participants also will be able to consult with a health professional and receive a Red Day bracelet for registering with Go Red for Women.

• Go Red Challenge: Wesley will hold an online event that gives participants a chance to win a catered lunch. Participants will post online a photo or video of themselves or others who are “going red” at home or the workplace. The photo or video with the most “likes” on the Facebook page will win. The contest goes from Feb. 1 through Feb. 7, and the winner will be announced Feb. 8.

• Celebrate Womanhood: As part of the Women’s Fair Feb. 15-17 at Century II, Wesley will have a booth with free heart check screenings.

• Wesley Lunch and Learn: From noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Wesley Medical Center Cessna Conference Center, Bajaj will speak about heart health. Attendees should arrive at 11:30 a.m., and the cost of lunch is $5. For more information or to register, call 316-962-8400 or go to

• BetterU Makeover Challenge Casting Call: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 23 in front of Dillard’s at Towne East Square, 7700 E. Kellogg Drive, candidates will share information on camera and 15 people will be chosen to participate in a 12-week challenge. The winner of the challenge, which is hosted by the American Heart Association, will receive additional prizes related to health.