Group Launches Campaign To Address Heart Disease

by Kobakila News

CHICAGO (jGLi) – The truism that “health is wealth” is finding application on the latest campaign by the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE) that healthy people means lower health care costs.

The Chicago, Illinois-based grassroots organization is teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and the Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELI) in inviting Filipino Americans in the community to attend a Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) Training Workshops to address heart disease, the leading cause of death among Filipino Americans.

Jerry B. Clarito, AFIRE Executive Director, said if someone is brought to the hospital due to chronic and/or debilitating disease, it is very costly for the patient, the hospital, and the health insurance company. On the other hand, healthier persons have lesser needs to use their health insurance and therefore can benefit them in lower premium over time.

One way for the people in the community to avoid expensive healthcare is to follow healthy living through better eating habits and exercise, to gain knowledge, skills, and motivation by attending community health education workshops like HHHF to help take action against one of the most common diseases afflicting Filipino Americans – heart disease.

Anybody interested to attend the health care workshop may write, call or email AFIRE at 7315 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60645, Tel. 312.925.8451 or email address, afire@afirechicago.org or may visit its website at afirechicago.org.

The next workshop, which is scheduled fortnightly, will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Healthcare Expo at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology at 3432 Oakton St., Skokie, Illinois 60676. Anybody interested to attend may inquire from AFIRE.

GOAL: TO ADOPT HEALTHY HABITS

The goal of the workshop is to help kababayans (Filipino compatriots) to adopt healthy habits and support common sense approaches to controlling health care costs. Additional information can be accessed by watching this video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rpkDPSxD6s&feature=relmfu

At its continuing workshop last Saturday, Sept. 29, at AFIRE’s office, participants at the two-hour workshop that started at 11 a.m. introduced themselves to each other while doing a 15-minute exercise. It was followed by a brief narrative that explained the reasons for holding the workshop. And it also gathered some vital statistics of everyone to find out their height, weight, age, waistline, etc. that could be the bases to determine if they have risk factors for overweight/obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol, etc. and still do something about them.

This gathering, which collects information about the health condition information about the Filipino community, will form part of the data that can be reported to government authorities to let them know that there are 114,000 Filipino Americans in Illinois (2010 US Census), Mr. Clarito explained.
“If they don’t hear anything from us, authorities think there are no Filipinos in this area. Baka akala nila dadalawa lang ang Filipino rito sa Illinois at mapagkakamalan pang mga Latino dahil kapareho sa Latino ang mga apelyedo natin. (Authorities think there are only two Filipinos in Illinois and might even think we are Latinos because the spelling of our names spells Latinos.), Clarito added.

“IF THEY DON’T KNOW THERE ARE FILIPINOS, THEY WILL IGNORE US”

“Kung hindi nila alam na may Filipino dito, hindi rin sila maglalaan ng pera para tulongan tayo sa ating mga problemang tulad ng pangkalusugan.” (If they don’t know that there are Filipinos here, they will just ignore us and they are not going to allocate money for our needs like health care.)”

In medical surveys in California and Hawaii, it was learned that the number one killer among Filipino Americans is heart attack. And the workshops will try to find out if this is also true among Filipinos in Illinois.

The baseline treatments for Filipinos in California and Hawaii will be applied among Filipinos in Illinois for the meantime, unless the workshop of AFIRE and other studies will say otherwise.

Filipinos, who are normally docile when they see their doctors, should start asking their doctors: “What are the side effects of this medication to me?” or “Is there an alternative to this medication? Politely ask your physician about his plan of treating you. Don’t be embarrassed to ask.”

A video from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute that was shown at the workshop showed that heart disease is the top killer of men and women. There are clot-busting drugs and other artery-opening treatments that can stop heart attack if given within one hour of the start of the symptoms.

Among the warning signs for a heart attack are as follows: Discomfort or pain in the center of the chest; Discomfort in the arm(s), back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; breaking out in cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

It also showed that heart attacks are not always sudden and intense. Many start slowly, with only mild pain or discomfort. One may not be sure what’s wrong even he had one. Each heart attack can have different signs. When in doubt, check it out.

If one has a heart attack, one or someone should call 9-1-1 within five minutes.

Participants were asked to learn the warning signs; should talk with family and friends about the warning signs and the need to call 9-1-1 quickly; talk with one’s health care provider about factors that increase one’s chance of having a heart attack and how to reduce the risk. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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PHOTO CAPTIONS

SIDEWAYS EXERCISE: — Participants to a Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) Training Workshop execute the sideways exercise last Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE) headquarters at 7315 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60645 to start the two-hour workshop that collected some vital statistics that could be the bases for finding out health risk factors among the Filipino American community in Illinois. Leading the exercise at foreground at left with back to the camera is AFIRE Executive Director Jerry B. Clarito. The workshop is co-sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and the Coalition of African, Arab, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAELI). The Filipino American community is invited to the fortnightly workshop. The next workshop will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Healthcare Expo at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology at 3432 Oakton St., Skokie, Illinois 60676. Anybody interested to attend may inquire with AFIRE. (jGLiPhoto by Joseph G. Lariosa)

WORKSHOP NARRATIVE: – Jerry B. Clarito (right), Executive Director of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE), stresses a point as he explained why there is a need for Filipino Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle that decreases the cost of health care in the United States. The two-hour Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) workshop was held at the AFIRE headquarters at 7315 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60645 last Saturday, Sept. 29. The next workshop will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Healthcare Expo at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology at 3432 Oakton St., Skokie, Illinois 60676. Anybody interested to attend may inquire with AFIRE. (jGLiPhoto by Joseph G. Lariosa)

WAISTLINE MEASUREMENT: — Designer and participant Wilfredo Imperial of the Vision of Life Ministry measures the waistline of Judith J. Seruelo, one of the participants, during the two-hour Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) Training Workshop held last Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE) headquarters at 7315 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60645. The workshop promotes healthy habits. AFIRE Executive Director, Jerry B. Clarito (right, standing) looks on. The next workshop will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Healthcare Expo at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology at 3432 Oakton St., Skokie, Illinois 60676. Anybody interested to attend may inquire with AFIRE. (jGLiPhoto by Joseph G. Lariosa)

GROUP PHOTO: — Participants to the Healthy Heart, Healthy Family (HHHF) Training Workshop pose for posterity after the two-hour workshop held at the office of Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE) headquarters at 7315 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60645 last Saturday, Sept. 29. Photo shows from left front row are Sally V. Richmond, Gloria C. Recede, Nellie Arijero, and Judith J. Seruelo; and back row from left are Willie Imperial, Tess Gutierrez, Flor Clarito, Anita Salvania, Daisy Schmookler, Nelia Marcos, Norie L. Argayoso and Jerry B. Clarito. The next workshop will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Healthcare Expo at Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology at 3432 Oakton St., Skokie, Illinois 60676. Anybody interested to attend may inquire with AFIRE. (jGLiPhoto by Joseph G. Lariosa)

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