Just for a moment, imagine the impact of empowering high schools students to become the Sherlock Holmes in their communities and diagnose the risks of developing one of the fastest growing health care crisis that Americans face today; peripheral arterial disease. What if we were then able to then connect the dots and educate them on the implications of the genetic and environmental risks they are exposed to today on their vascular health decades later? V-Healthy™ is designed to be a grassroots vascular education, awareness & prevention campaign that empowers young high school students to do just that.
On March 13, 2018, nearly 150 medical professionals, vascular patients, and teachers will team up with 14 Capital Region schools to teach teens about Vascular Health. In one day, over 3,500 high school students will learn about the impact of vascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, smoking, and genetics) on their vascular and heart health in years ahead.
V-Healthy™ Day is an initiative led by Center for Vascular Awareness, a nonprofit, located in the Capital Region. Dr. Manish Mehta, President and CEO of Center for Vascular Awareness, is a practicing vascular surgeon at Vascular Health Partners of Community Care Physicians In three short years, the V-Healthy program has increased from 1 high school to 14 high schools, from 15 volunteers to 150 dedicated volunteers, and has already educated and impacted over 7,500 students and their families.
The V-Healthy™ program consists of a 45-minute curriculum that includes didactic presentations, hands-on break out sessions where students speak to patients and understand their perspectives, and participate in understanding vascular diagnostics and innovation in vascular intervention surgery and medicine. Students first learn the risks for developing vascular disease. They take the lessons learned into their homes and communities and utilize the tools and techniques learned at V-Healthy™ Day in diagnosing vascular disease risks in their families, and discuss healthy lifestyles with primary focus on prevention.
In 2017, the V-Healthy™ Day focused on educating high school students on diagnosing hypertension, a risk for developing vascular disease, in their families. Students measured blood pressures in their parents for 1 week and the findings were alarming; only 14% of the parents had a pre-existing HTN diagnosis, and of the previously undiagnosed parents, students diagnosed Pre-HTN in 10% (120-139/80-89 mmHg), Stage 1 HTN in 30% (140-159/90-99 mmHg), and Stage 2 HTN in 25% (≥160/≥100 mmHg). These findings support the need for early vascular education in our communities and young adults are integral in vascular health education and awareness.
The V-Healthy program has also gained support from local organizations: Vascular Health Partners of CCP, Glens Falls Hospital, Community Care Physicians (CCP), Ellis Hospital, and CDPHP.
Participating high schools include:
- Academy of the Holy Names
- Albany High School
- Averill Park High School
- Bethlehem High School
- Cairo- Durham High School
- Cohoes High School
- Glens Falls Middle School and High School
- Greenville High School
- Hudson High School
- Mohonasen (Draper) Middle School
- Niskayuna High School
- Scotia- Glenville High School
- Shaker High School
- Shenendehowa High School
Follow Community Care Physicians on Facebook on Tuesday for pictures and videos during V-Healthy Day!