Local businesses 'Paint the Town Red' for heart awareness

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- February is American Heart Month. In an effort to keep your heart healthy, Chippewa Falls Main Street and St. Joseph's Hospital teamed up for ‘Paint the Town Red’.

Doctors say educating yourself on keeping your heart healthy can help you in the long run.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women, but because of awareness deaths from the disease have gone down by 33 percent in the last decade.

The organization says more than one in three adults has some form of Cardiovascular Disease.

The color red in ‘Paint the Town Red’ represents the color of heart disease awareness.

“As busy moms, we definitely don't take the time to educate ourselves about health,” said Laura Bushendorf of Chippewa Falls.

Bushendorf was at Foreign 5 on Bridge Street with friend Kerrie Smithberg and their daughters. Foreign 5 was hosted “Ask the Doc with Dr. Laura Isaacson” where people got a chance to ask questions on heart health.

“We’re fortunate enough that the downtown area in Chippewa Falls offers such great opportunities and you have all these different businesses that are showing many things you can help to facilitate and take care of yourself with your heart health,” said Smithberg.

Dr. Isaacson said people at ‘Paint the Town Red’ she talked to were most curious about high blood pressure and cholesterol.

“It's important to look at the breakdown of the cholesterol. So if their good cholesterol is really good, that means something to me. If the bad cholesterol is bad, that's something we can work on,” said Isaacson. “So getting blood pressure under control, cholesterol under control, diabetes if you got diabetes, stopping smoking is a huge one.”

And awareness, she said, can help prevent heart attacks.

“There are many adverse effects of heart attack, developing congestive heart failure; quality of life isn't always what it was before. So while it’s not always exciting to have regular doctor’s visits and have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked, it does help in the long run.”

Once you're in your 40's and 50's, Isaacson said you should start visiting your physicians annually to check on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

In addition to activities at more than 25 downtown businesses, St. Joseph's Hospital hosted free screenings, shared health information and offer giveaways at several downtown businesses including:

-House Blend Lighting and Design Studio hosted a mercury thermometer exchange. People brought in their old mercury thermometer in and got a new digital one for free.

-Mason Shoe hosted rehabilitation therapists and wound care specialists to help determine the best course of action to strengthen the heart.

-Korger's Furniture and Decorating hosted free blood pressure checks. Specialists offered tips on how to keep your home safe from falls and showcase products to help make simple changes in your house.

-Foreign 5 hosted Ask the Doc with Dr. Laura Isaacson, Family Health Associates, who answered questions about heart care. People also learned about the new Coronary Calcium test available at St. Joseph's Hospital.

-Country Treasures, hosted Cindy Eckes, Family Nurse Practitioner from Family Health Associates, who answered questions about cholesterol and high blood pressure.

-Eevy Ivy Over hosted Chippewa Health Improvement Partnership. People discovered simple ways to reduce stress with inexpensive products in the store and learned about the new mental health team that has been created to help the community.

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