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Making heart health a family affair

IselGalindo phlebotomist Methodist Hospitals takes blood sample for cholesterol glucose screenings as part Family Heart Health Day held Valparaiso YMCA.

Isela Galindo, a phlebotomist at Methodist Hospitals, takes a blood sample for cholesterol and glucose screenings as part of the Family Heart Health Day held at the Valparaiso YMCA. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media

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For more on programs at
the Valparaiso Family YMCA, 1201 Cumberland Crossing, call 462-4185, or visit www.valpoymca.org.

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Updated: April 5, 2013 6:07AM



While Karen Raderstorf got her blood pressure checked, her 8-year-old daughter and her daughter’s friend had other activities in mind, like family yoga and Zumba, as well as swimming.

Raderstorf, of Kouts, brought the kids to the Valparaiso Family YMCA Feb. 24 for the facility’s first Family Heart Health Day, in conjunction with its new health partner, Methodist Hospitals.

The event, which drew hundreds of people to the Y, also included healthy cooking demonstrations, sample group cycling and other exercise classes, and health screenings, such as body-mass-index testing and cholesterol and glucose lab screenings.

“I think it’s great,” Raderstorf said, before running off to activities her daughter and friend would find more appealing. “It’s a good opportunity for the community and members to check out the Y and see what Methodist has to offer.”

While the Y has held smaller programs, such as its annual Healthy Kids Day, the larger, more comprehensive fair with a focus on heart health was new, said senior program director Lee Baker.

The event featured 14 stations for visitors to check out, as well as seminars on such topics as stress and cardiovascular health. Methodist and the Y announced they were forming a healthcare partnership in January.

The Y will host future monthly educational seminars led by Methodist physicians, and also will have a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, Hiren Italia, at the facility twice a week starting in March, said Alex Horvath, vice president of human resources and marketing for Methodist.

“We see (the health fair) as kind of a kickoff for this to begin,” he said.

While she waited for a body-mass-index screening, Betty Turley, of Union Township, said she recently joined the Valparaiso Y. She came to the health fair for the free screenings.

“When I saw they were doing it for nothing, I thought that was wonderful,” she said, adding she also picked up some information on cancer. “It’s unbelievable what they’ve been doing today.”



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