BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- On any given day St. Joseph Baptist Church is a place of worship, Friday however, they were a community heart screening center. Church member, Patricia Stewart says it’s important for those who can’t easily access healthcare to have it available.
“We can’t do the whole village but we certainly can try, we wanted to make sure that we had somebody here to check them,” said Stewart.
It’s no secret, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC it affects 1 in 4 Americans, someone dies every 36 seconds from heart disease.
To help the community get ahead of this disease, health professionals are using technology, providing results in 15 seconds with the Echo Stethoscope. The device can detect a regular heart rhythm, and heart murmurs.
Local Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Antoine Keller leads the pop-up clinic; he said early detection and intervention is important.
“One of the most impressive things about people who develop valvular heart disease is that they don’t know they have it,” said Keller.
African Americans are at higher risks of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, all factors of developing heart disease. Dr. Keller said economics and trust play a part in the care received, but his team is working on changing the narrative.
“By coming into the community and spending time with people instead of just contributing resources to fix a problem that may or may not get to the problem we come here and we spend time with people, and we get to know them, and they get to know us,” said Keller.