FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, October 18, 2004
“Do Whatever It Takes” Campaign comes to life, and saves a life.
Take Care New York Month Activities Continue Throughout October.
At the Take Care New York Month family health fair at Kings County Hospital this month, a fifty-something African-American woman urged her husband to get his blood pressure taken – much like the situation spotlighted in humorous television ads running now for Take Care New York Month.
The real-life situation played out far more dramatically, though, than the ad. Moments after the cuff was wrapped around the man’s upper arm, he was swiftly and carefully escorted to the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). He learned he had dangerously high blood pressure, and was at immediate risk of having a stroke. He had never been to a doctor about his blood pressure – and didn’t have any idea that he was perilously close to disability or death.
The man was treated in the ED and monitored for several hours, until his blood pressure was lowered to a manageable level. He was sent home with medication and an appointment at a local clinic for ongoing treatment and education.
"Take Care New York Month is about saving lives, and there couldn’t be a better example than this gentleman’s situation. This is the month where we try to make people aware of how important health screenings are, ” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, president and chief executive officer of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC).
"We encourage all New Yorkers to learn to take care of their health before there’s a need for such a dramatic, lifesaving intervention,” Dr. Chu added. HHC has already sponsored five major Saturday health fairs this month where thousands of men, women and children received health screenings counseling and referrals. On Saturday, October 23, HHC will host two more family health fairs as part of Take Care New York Month at Queens Health Network in Flushing Meadow Park at the Fountain of the Planets, and at Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Network in Surf Playground in Coney Island.
In addition to the Saturday fairs, Take Care New York Month activities continue with hundreds of no-cost or low-cost screenings and educational programs at HHC’s acute care hospitals and clinics in all five boroughs throughout October. “We are on track to exceed the number of people screened in 2003,” said Dr. Chu. Last year, thousands of people with abnormal screening results were referred for treatment during the first Take Care New York Month, and many New Yorkers were enrolled in public health insurance programs.
Health screenings include cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and asthma. Screenings and educational programs also include lifestyle-improvement sessions, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, nutrition and exercise. Additionally, New Yorkers eligible for health care coverage, including government-sponsored health insurance like Medicare and Medicaid, can get help on-site applying for insurance.
Each year, HHC provides health care to 1.3 million New Yorkers - nearly 500,000 of whom have no health insurance - at its 11 acute care public hospitals and more than 100 community health clinics located throughout the five boroughs.
For more information contact Kate McGrath, corporate communications director.