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West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann recently signed a proclamation recognizing February as American Heart Month and Feb. 1 as Wear Red Day in the city of West Plains. Pictured with Pahlmann are members of the OMC Heart Care Services team. Seated, from left, Cardiac Surgeons Christopher Nicholas, MD, and Ann Connor, MD; Pahlmann; and Invasive Cardiologist A.K. George, MD. Back row, from left, OMC Chief Operating Officer Jeannie Looper, Physician Assistant Vicki Hibl, OMC Director of Cardiovascular Services Tim Kimball; and Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist Jim Streff. (Photo provided)

(West Plains) – West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann has joined with Ozarks Medical Center Heart Care Services to promote awareness of heart health by declaring Friday, February1 as Wear Red Day. This is a national event that encourages people to wear red to recognize the beginning of American Heart Month, celebrated each February. On this day, individuals wearing red may visit the OMC Cafeteria and receive a free apple.

According to Director of Cardiovascular Services Tim Kimball, OMC will host a number of free heart screenings and events during the month of February.

OMC will host free cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) screenings on February 8 in Fulton County, February 13 in Texas County, February 15 in West Plains, and February 22 in Mountain Grove. Appointments are required. For more information, call 417-257-6793. In addition, OMC will host a free Heart Health Breakfast at 7:30 AM February 7 at the Teacher’s Store Conference Room, 205 Washington Avenue, West Plains. Reservations are required by calling 417-257-6793.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States or one in every four deaths. Every year about 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 610,000 are a first heart attack and 325,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

Kimball said taking good care of your heart means controlling your risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and being overweight. He also encourages individuals to know the signs and symptoms of heart attack.

Symptoms include chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body including one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, and shortness of breath. Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

OMC Heart Care Services, located at 1115 Alaska Avenue, Suite 114, provides cardiac care to the community, from basic heart care to open heart surgery and everything in between.West Plai

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