The Erie County Clerk’s office and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo have teamed up to offer free blood pressure screenings at auto bureaus across the Erie County this month as part of American Heart Month.
The Downtown Auto Bureau, at 170 Pearl St., will host the first event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in Erie County and the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, officials said when announcing the effort.
The goal of the “Heart Healthy” Auto Bureau Blood Pressure Screening is to go into non-traditional settings to help prevent heart disease in a county where residents experience 33 percent more heart disease death than the average U.S. community.
“The concept of being able to receive a mini health checkup while stopping by your local auto bureau is non-traditional and unique, that’s why I think it will be useful,” Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns said in a news release. “The ways in which members of our community receive health care information are changing. We must be pervasive and expose people to health information where they would not, typically, be exposed to it. As a point in the community where a high number of people regularly visit, the auto bureaus are key places to start.”
Upcoming screenings will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following bureaus during the following days:
Eastern Hills Auto Bureau: Feb. 6-8
Erie Community College South Auto Bureau: Feb. 13-14
Cheektowaga Auto Bureau: Feb. 21-23
Elma Auto Bureau: Feb. 28
Friday is National Wear Red Day, which marks the threat of heart disease for women.
“Many people do not realize that the number one cause of death among Erie County women is heart disease,” Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said in a news release. “In 2015, 1,107 Erie County women died from heart disease. Many of these deaths might have been prevented with awareness, education, motivation, and action, such as exercising and healthy eating.”
Burstein encouraged county adults to schedule a visit with their health-care provider for a check-up, including blood pressure and cholesterol level testing. She suggested those who smoke stop, and that everyone exercise at least 30 minutes a day and make healthy food choices.