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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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February 07, 2020


DOH-Gadsden staff promotes heart month outreach.

Michelle Fedrick, Public Information Officer

OFFICE: (850) 743-6083

CELL: (850) 518-9389

Quincy, Fla. — In our effort to promote prevention and increase awareness on the effects of heart disease, the Florida Department of Health in Gadsden County (FDOH-Gadsden) is sponsoring several local events and programs in support of American Heart Month. FDOH-Gadsden invites residents to visit the local health department to receive free screenings and to learn more about our free lifestyle change programs.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, resulting in one in every four deaths. In Florida, heart disease is the number one killer and accounts for one in three deaths. FDOH-Gadsden’s Health Officer, Adrian Cooksey states, “From 2016-2018, we have lost nearly 100 lives each year to heart disease in Gadsden County. We must find ways to reduce our risk through lifestyle and medical management. Every beat counts!”

This month, the Department will focus on implementing its Heart Health Plus program, which aims to prevent heart disease in communities that need it most. The program employs evidence-based strategies to affect faith-based organizations, health systems and local communities. FDOH-Gadsden’s Outreach Manager, Brittany Perkins states, “The purpose of the Heart Health Plus program, is to increase outreach and education in the community specifically related to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The program also educates residents regarding the related risk factors by increasing referrals to programs for the community including blood pressure home monitoring, diabetes prevention, diabetes management and smoking cessation.”

On February 14, 2020, visit FDOH-Gadsden at 278 LaSalle Drive, in Quincy to receive free blood pressure screenings 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. In addition to the free screenings, FDOH-Gadsden staff will also provide health education to ensure that residents understand what their numbers really mean. There are small adjustments we can make on the road to a healthier heart, so staff will also be providing samples of heart-healthy smoothies, healthy snacks and referrals to FREE Department of Health lifestyle behavior change programs for residents who stop by. If that isn’t enough, we will also have a special thank you gift for our residents.

The American Heart Association suggests following these steps toward a heathier lifestyle and healthier heart:

  1. Maintain a normal weight: Talk to your doctor about what weight is best for you. If needed, take necessary steps to lose weight; (Ask us about our Diabetes Prevention Program);
  2. Increase your physical activity: Spend at least 30 minutes 5 days a week being active. Brisk walking is an easy way to get started;
  3. Eat heart healthy foods: Select food that’s high in fiber and low in saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods;
  4. Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking or using tobacco greatly increases your risk for heart disease. It’s also important to avoid secondhand smoke; (Ask us about receiving a referral to the Quit Your Way Program);
  5. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation; and
  6. Visit your doctor regularly for preventive screenings like having your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked.

For more information about the Heart Health Plus program in Gadsden County, please visit or contact Brittany Perkins at (850) 743-6078 or

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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