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COLUMBUS, Miss. – Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle will be celebrating February’s Heart Month by offering a special heart screening to the public while also generating much needed funding for non-profit organizations in Lowndes County.

For a $50 fee, an individual can receive a Heart Score™ screening at the hospital. The screenings are being held by appointment in the hospital’s Outpatient Pavilion from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23. Twenty-five dollars of the total will be applied to the physicians’ cost to read the test. The remainder of the proceeds will go to the Lowndes County United Way.

A HeartScore™ is painless, non-evasive CT scan that takes images of the heart to detect the buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart. The more coronary calcium means the greater likelihood of narrowing in the coronary system and a higher risk of a future heart attack.

The screening is recommended for those aged 35 and older and those who do not have a known history of heart disease. For example, “if you already have stents in your heart, you do not need this test,” explained Baptist Radiology Director Tom Bailey.

“The scan requires no preparation, shots, treadmills or dyes. You will be in the scan room about five minutes with the scan itself taking just a few seconds while you lie on your back and hold your breath,” Bailey said.

“If calcium is present, the computer will create a calcium score that estimates the extent of coronary artery disease. The scan results will be examined by a radiologist on staff and provided to the individual’s primary physician,” Bailey added.

Those at higher risk for coronary artery disease include those with a family history of heart disease; males over 45 years of age and females over 55 years of age; past or present smoker; those with a history of high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure; overweight; high stress levels; and inactive lifestyle.

By pairing the screening with support to the Lowndes County United Way, Baptist Golden Triangle is helping the community in two ways, said Baptist Administrator and CEO Paul Cade. “We hope the screening will not only increase awareness of the dangers of heart disease and encourage people to be proactive about their heart health,” Cade said. “But, we are also happy that by combining the test with proceeds to Lowndes County United Way, we are helping to support agencies in the community that touch all of us in one way or another during our lives.”

“United Way is so grateful to be the beneficiary of Baptist Golden Triangle’s Heart Score™ screening, said Lowndes County United Way Executive Director Jan Ballard. “People who get the screening will not only benefit from learning about their heart health, but United Way funded organizations and programs that serve Columbus and Lowndes County will also be supported. We encourage everyone to call the screening appointment desk for an appointment for their own health and for a healthy quality of life in our community,” she added.

This is the third year the hospital has partnered with United Way in offering the screenings. About 800 people have been screened in the past two years with an average of 26 percent identified as needing further evaluation or testing. The event has generated more than $18,000 for United Way of Lowndes County.

To schedule a Heart Score™ screening, call Baptist Golden Triangle at 662-244-2979 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Baptist Golden Triangle is the largest regional hospital affiliated with the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care system. With physicians and surgeons representing almost every medical specialty practicing at the hospital, Baptist Golden Triangle offers a wide range of comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages. The hospital offers a variety of services to the community, including Baptist Cancer Center- Golden Triangle; Baptist Behavioral Health Care for those with behavioral and mental health problems; an emergency room with 24-hour ambulance service; an extensive rehabilitation department; and educational programs. Baptist Golden Triangle employs more than 1,000 health care professionals.

For more information, please call 662-244-1000, visit http://goldentriangle.baptistonline.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Baptistgoldentriangle.

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