Katie Lucio, Health Educator, works in a number of programs including hypertension, diabetes, physical activity, and nutrition and they all have some overlap, and each plays a significant role in the Health Promotions division of TriCounty Health Department. Physical activity and nutrition are the two big things to work on to prevent hypertension and diabetes. With those programs I have been working with our Nursing department to implement a few things at the health department. The first thing is our free blood pressure checks or screening days.
Every Monday and Thursday, beginning July 9, will be designated free blood pressure check days/ free hypertension screening days. Hypertension isn’t something people are generally worried about because it doesn’t usually have any symptoms, and then there are white coat effects, and masked hypertension as well. This is why hypertension is known as the silent killer. I invite everyone to come down the health department in Vernal and participate in the free blood pressure check days, and if you live in Daggett County or one of those communities that are farther from town, we will also be offering those on Tuesdays at our mobile clinic.
The nutrition program has recently been implemented, by Lucio after it came to her attention that there are members of our community who don’t have access to fresh produce, and because of this their health is taking the toll.
“We’re seeing people with prediabetes, hypertension, etc., and believe this is linked to the very limited amounts of fruits and vegetables they have access to. The nutrition program is a six month program.” Lucio said, “Participants will set up an appointment with me to be entered in to the program and i’ll do an intake, we’ll discuss what barriers they have to obtaining fresh produce and set goals to overcome those barriers, and for the next six months we will work on those goals, and provide resources and education for those participants, and at the end of the session I will provide them with a $10 voucher to Davis for fresh produce, (or connect them to a more appropriate resource that might work a little better for them based off their situation). Each month that we meet they will receive a new voucher to redeem at Davis, much like renewing a prescription.”