On April 11, 2017, Center for Vascular Awareness, a nonprofit, educated over 3,000 Capital Region High School students about the impact of hypertension, diabetes, smoking, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and genetics on their vascular and heart health in years ahead. The goal of this “V-Healthy™ day” was to empower students to recognize and manage their personal vascular risks.
Dr. Manish Mehta, of Vascular Health Partners of Community Care Physicians, is President and CEO of the Center for Vascular Awareness. Dr. Beulah Puthuparampil-Mehta, of Clifton Park Pediatrics of Community Care Physicians, spearheaded this program and worked on bridging the connection to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Several other providers also volunteered their time to educate students in the schools.
In summer of 2016, the Center for Vascular Awareness initiated the V-Healthy™ pilot project, which focused on bridging the gap of Vascular Health education in high school students. In one day, a team of nearly 20 physicians & allied healthcare providers entered Shenendehowa High School East and focused their education efforts on the impact of vascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, smoking, and genetics) on Peripheral Arterial Disease, Stroke, DVT, Aneurysms, and Heart disease. V-Healthy™ is a grass roots vascular awareness & prevention campaign that empowers young students to better understand the impact of vascular risk factors on their vascular health decades later.
Just one year later, the V-Healthy™ program has grown exponentially. This year “V-Healthy™ day” included over 100 volunteers from local healthcare organizations that connected with and taught over 3,000 students in 10 Capital Region high schools. Teams of vascular health educators were assigned to each participating high school and collaborated with teachers in delivering a standardized V-Healthy™ message. Participating high schools included:
- Albany High School
- Averill Park High School
- Ballston Spa High School
- Cairo- Durham High School
- Cohoes High School
- Glens Falls Middle School and High School
- Greenville High School
- Scotia- Glenville High School
- Shaker High School
- Shenendehowa High School
The V-Healthy™ program consisted of a 45-minute curriculum that was replicated throughout the day, from 8am to 3pm, at each participating school. It included a didactic presentation; a hands on break out session in which students participated in a blood pressure workshop and had the opportunity to ask educators questions; and a comprehensive Q&A session.
The Center for Vascular Awareness wanted to encourage students to continue the discussion outside of the classroom. Therefore, all classes participating in V-Healthy™ Day have been provided with blood pressure monitors for students to use at home for their own study. They can take a blood pressure monitor home, measure and record the blood pressure and pulse of 1-2 adults, over 19 years of age, for one week. This provides an opportunity for students to implement the tools and techniques learned at V-Healthy™ Day at home. Additionally, it provides a forum for students and adults to discuss how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Students who complete this 7-day blood pressure program and submit an essay will qualify for a $1,000 scholarship to be used towards their post-secondary education. Students can also qualify for the scholarship by submitting a Public Service Announcement answering the question: “What is the importance of Vascular Health and V-Healthy™ Day?” The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to one student from each of the 10 participating high schools.
Lead Educators at each school:
- Philip Paty, MD (Vascular Health Partners, Community Care Physicians)
- Dennis Basila, MD (Schodack Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Community Care Physicians)
- Beulah Mehta, DO (Clifton Park Pediatrics, Community Care Physicians)
- Dawn Paty, NP and Deborah Hill, RN (Vascular Health Partners, Community Care Physicians)
- Geri Aitken, DO (CapitalCare Family Practice Slingerlands)
- Ranen Chakraborty, DO (Clifton Park Family Medicine, Community Care Physicians)
- Lev Barats, MD (The Office of Dr. Lev Barats, Community Care Physicians)
- David Ford, MD (Albany Medical Center)
- Swatantra Mitta, MD (Clifton Park Pediatrics, Community Care Physicians) & Anita Puthuparampil- Suchdeve, RN (Vascular Health Partners, Community Care Physicians)
- Manish Mehta, MD (CVA and Vascular Health Partners, Community Care Physicians)
Be sure to V-Healthy! More information on the Center for Vascular Awareness can be found here. Contact Vascular Health Partners of Community Care Physicians for more information on vascular health, screening, diagnosis and treatment. They have locations currently in Queensbury, NY and Gloversville, NY, and a Latham, NY location coming summer 2017. Vascular Health Partners can be reached by phone at (518) 782-3900.