Area residents concerned about their heart health now have more convenient options when it comes to getting their blood pressure checked.
Through Floyd's More Heart initiative focused on educating the African American community about cardiac health, automated blood pressure kiosks have been installed in the lobby of the Rome Housing Authority's #3 high rise on North Fifth Avenue, Lovejoy Baptist Church on Branham Avenue, Wraps Styling Salon on East Second Avenue and at One Door Polk in Cedartown on North Main Street.
The devices offer free blood pressure readings. A user places his or her arm into the automated cuff, presses a button and waits briefly for the results. The machines are not intended to take the place of a visit with a physician. See your doctor if you have concerns about your blood pressure.
“We are hoping the community uses this," said the Rev. Cary Ingram, Pastor of Lovejoy Baptist Church. “People walking by on the sidewalk can come in and get their blood pressure checked. We want them to know it is here."
Ingram is a member of the More Heart Advisory Board, which is working to help Floyd improve heart health in the African American community, which has a higher mortality rate from cardiovascular disease than other populations.
Sherica Bailey, owner of Wraps Styling Salon off Second Avenue, is a More Heart Ambassador, working to spread the word about the importance of heart health. For her, the message is a personal one; she recently started taking high blood pressure medication.
Her business is a perfect place for one of the blood pressure kiosks.
“Some of my customers are older and it is not always convenient for them to go see their doctor," Bailey said. “I think it is important that people know more about blood pressure and get it checked out."
Greg Shropshire, EnVision Center coordinator for the Rome Housing Authority, was present when the blood pressure monitor was installed there.
“This is a high-traffic area," he said of the lobby of high rise #3, also known as the Alfred Lee Barron Apartments. “We see a lot of foot traffic through here. The access is good and I really hope the residents take advantage of it."
Shropshire said he hopes they can develop some sort of incentive program to encourage more residents to regularly check their blood pressure.
In Cedartown, a blood pressure monitor was installed in the One Door Polk facility at 424 N. Main St. The facility includes a variety of agencies that served the needs of local families.
“This is a great resource for our families," said Rhonda Heuer, who manages the Resource Center. “A lot of families come in here on a regular basis, and this will give them an easy way to check their blood pressure."