Baptist Health offers students awareness program
Baptist Health Center is helping to provide a healthier future for the children of East Tennessee by offering the CARDIAC Program to area elementary schools in an effort to pinpoint any adolescents who may one day be a candidate for heart disease, the state’s number one killer.
The CARDIAC program, developed by William Neal, M.D., was first implemented in West Virginia. CARDIAC educates fifth-grade students and screens them for early indicators of heart disease. Because heart disease is often genetic, at-risk children often lead physicians to at-risk parents.
Baptist’s Community Health Partnerships Director Dena Mashburn and Baptist Laboratory, M.T, Rose Ann Fetzer, brought their mobile check-up clinic to Caton’s Chapel School March 24. Caton’s Chapel was the first of six Sevier County schools the program will visit this spring.
“In the pilot—this spring—we will visit six schools,” Mashburn noted. Mashburn and Fetzer planned to visit New Center Elementary School after leaving Caton’s Chapel.
“In the fall, our goal is to visit all of the schools in Cocke, Sevier and Knox counties.”
Neal, a Pediatric Cardiologist at West Virginia University, started with the program five years ago in West Virginia as a research project.
“We’re trying to emulate them (West Virginia) because they have five years of data and this is a research project,” Mashburn added. “I’m sure other states are doing similar studies in a different program, but not exactly like this.”