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Mark Twain Medical Center and Soroptimists Kick Off American Heart Month


As part of a continuing partnership with Soroptimist International of Calaveras County, Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) will be offering FREE cholesterol tests for women in Calaveras County during American Heart Month in February.

“Today, there are many health concerns that are more prominent in the media. We tend to forget that heart disease is the No.1 killer of women over the age of 25,” stated Craig Marks, Hospital President. “Partnering with the Soroptimists, our shared goal is to ensure that every woman in the Calaveras Community has a comprehensive cholesterol test. Last year over 500 Calaveras County women benefitted from our FREE Cholesterol screenings.”

This FREE screening is also known as a lipid panel. The test measures good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides helping to identify women at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. “Those identified to be of greater risk may be more mindful of lifestyle changes and treatments that preserve the quality of life,” concluded Marks.

"Many people who are at risk for a heart attack and stroke don't know it,” stated MTMC Cardiologist Courtney Virgilio. “The good news is that many of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are preventable and/or treatable. Health screenings are one way to get ahead of potential cardiovascular issues. It is important to review these results with your doctor so that you can come up with a plan together to keep you doing well. Cardiovascular disease prevention is just one of the areas we will focus on in The Heart Center at Mark Twain Medical Center, opening spring 2015."

The “Take It to Heart Program” offers the free cholesterol tests throughout February to women who live in Calaveras County. A 12 hour fast is recommended or no food after midnight, as is proof of address. Women needing the FREE cholesterol screenings do not need to schedule an appointment.

Calaveras County women wanting to participate can come to the MTMC laboratory, or any one of MTMC’s Medical Centers located in Angels Camp, Arnold, Copperopolis, and Valley Springs. Vouchers can be obtained in the above listed locations as well as other healthcare providers countywide.

“This is one of our most important services that we provide each year,” remarked Billie Westernoff, Soroptimist president. “We value our partnership with Mark Twain Medical Center to help the women in Calaveras County take a proactive step to ensure their health and well-being by getting their cholesterol testing free during the month of February.” Mark Twain Medical Center and the local Soroptimist International club have provided over 3,000 cholesterol tests over their 10 year partnership.

For more information about the FREE cholesterol tests please call the MTMC Laboratory at 209.754.2583.

“The Take it to Heart project is very meaningful during American Heart Month,” said Sandie Lema of Mokelumne Hill, Sr. Director of Publications and Communications for the American Heart Association. “For the past ten years in February our Go Red For Women movement has raised awareness that heart disease is the No.1 killer of women and has also promoted healthy lifestyle choices for everyone. Friday February 7, is National Wear Red Day -wear red to raise awareness!”

In May, during the Calaveras County Frog Jump and Jubilee, MTMC and Soroptimist International will once again be hosting a ‘Rock It In Red’ to celebrate Go Red For Women.

About Mark Twain Medical Center

Founded in 1951, Mark Twain Medical Center is a 25-bed, full-access hospital providing inpatient acute care, outpatient services and emergency services. The Medical Center’s Medical Staff represents a broad range of specialties that ensure access to high quality medical care in a rural community. In addition to being a major provider of health services, Mark Twain Medical Center is also a major source of jobs for area residents. On average, more than 300 people are employed at the hospital and its five Family Medical Centers. The Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health, the fifth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation. Mark Twain Medical Center is also on Facebook.

Soroptimist International of Calaveras County

An international service organization, Soroptimist International joins Calaveras business and professional women in working to improve the lives of women and girls in Calaveras and throughout the world. 

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