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Columbia Missourian

Boone Hospital Center to receive $191,000 as part of a women’s health initiative

March 10, 2008 | 4:59 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — In Missouri, almost 40 percent of deaths in women are caused by heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular-related illnesses, according to the state health department.

Boone Hospital Center is hoping to change that statistic. The hospital will receive more than $191,000 as part of a women’s health initiative that will focus on preventing heart disease.

Donna Ware, director of WELLAWARE for the hospital, said the money will go to purchasing equipment and a van for a “Know Your Numbers” program that will deliver preventive screening to women in 26 mid-Missouri counties. The hospital will partner with other hospitals, doctors offices and YMCAs to measure Body Mass Index, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and glucose in a health fair-type environment.

“There’s a heavy educational component,” Ware said. “If they have a problem compared to the norm, we recommend that they make a lifestyle change or see a physician.”

In addition to the traveling health project, Boone Hospital Center plans to start an online health risk appraisal program in which women can enter information about their health and lifestyle and receive advice on how to make healthy changes.

U.S. congressmen Kenny Hulshof and Ike Skelton pushed for Boone Hospital Center to be included in a House, Labor, Health, and Education Appropriations Bill, which funds the hospital’s clinical outreach programs.

“This project will help educate women in mid-Missouri of the risk factors and the steps that can be taken to defend against the problems tied to heart disease,” Hulshof said in a news release.

The hospital has not yet named the initiative. Planning is under way, however, and Ware said the hospital hopes to kick off some early events by this summer.