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APhA-ASP members and volunteer preceptor SueAnn Wang ('12) are shown with the 'Mega Heart' exhibit. 

March for Babies  

APhA-ASP Gives Screenings to Nearly 300, Heart Education with "Mega Heart" Inflatable Heart to Thousands of March of Dimes Walkers at UH Campus April 27

Pari Wafayee was among the APhA-ASP members who performed blood pressure checks and blood glucose screenings for walkers and volunteers at the April 27 March for Babies at UH.

With thousands of walkers and volunteers helping to raise funds and awareness for healthy babies April 27, the UHCOP Chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) wanted to make sure participants didn't forget about their own health.

During the March of Dimes March for Babies Walk, chapter members provided free wellness screenings and promoted cardiovascular health with the help of a giant inflatable, walk-through heart display.

UH Pharm.D. students performed nearly 300 individual blood pressure and blood glucose screenings at the event for which UH has served as the Houston-area host site for the annual walk for several year.

"After getting their screenings done, many of the attendees went to recruit their friends and family members to do screenings as well," said Kathaleya Yindeemark, vice chair of the chapter's Operation Heart initiative. "Attendees spoke with us about their health concerns, and I feel like we were able to make a difference for many people that day by giving them advice to take home with them."

APhA-ASP members also educated attendees about cardiovascular
disease and prevention strategies with the help of "The Mega Heart," an interactive exhibit depicting the major features of the human heart with descriptions of their functions.

The chapter raised its own monies to rent the "Mega Heart" display, which student organizers say helped them raise awareness of heart health for several thousand of the attendees.

"The university has never had the Mega Heart on campus before, so we saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring it for the first time," Yindeemark said. "Heart disease is so prevalent in the U.S. and a key point to focus on is prevention. Being able to visualize what is going on inside of a diseased heart can help people to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle."