Health screenings, information abound at conference

TUPELO – The 4th Annual Weston Reed Cardiovascular Conference was a combination of health education and awareness.
Hundreds of people attended the conference at the BancorpSouth Arena Saturday for free physicals, health screenings and information about common health issues like high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. Started four years after the sudden cardiac death of 11-year-old Wesson Reed at a soccer game at the Ballard Park Sportsplex, the purpose for the conference is to raise public awareness of sudden cardiac death, to train area residents in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), and to provide AEDs in public places throughout our community.
This year was the first year free physicals were provided for children in grades seventh and up. John Wilson brought his son Jasper, 13, and his daughter Kayla, 15, to get physicals.
“It’s good to get the checked out because being healthy and feeling healthy are two different things,” said Wilson. “I felt great six years ago when I found out I had cancer. Now I don’t take going to get checks ups for granted anymore. I think this conference is a great thing for the community. People need to be aware of the dangers of heart problems and other things that can sneak up on us.”
The conference provided checks for blood pressure and cholesterol levels, body mass index checks and CPR certifications classes.
With the expensive costs of health care these days, some people used the free screenings as a part of their yearly checkups. Sandra Collins, 73, suffers from high blood pressure and several other aliments. Although she says she has health insurance, going to the doctor still costs.
“To some people having your blood pressure checked is not a big deal, but to a person like me who suffers from high blood pressure it’s a very big deal,” said Collins. “So for me to be able to come and get it checked along with a lot of other things at no cost is a very good thing.”
The conference go kicked off Friday night with it’s first ever one mile fun run. About 120 people participated in the run.
All funds raised during the conference went towards purchasing AED’s to put n public places around the city.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

DANZA JOHNSON / NEMS Daily Journal