WESTLAKE — Displaying their commitment to having a healthier workforce, the City of Westlake recently held a health fair for their employees, bringing HealthWise Clinic in for head-to-toe screenings.
The event was held at City Hall Dec. 11-13. "[We conduct] full body screenings mostly for ambulatory and circulatory issues," said Staci Byrd, manager of the HealthWise Clinic in Sulphur, on Friday morning. "What each person gets is a detailed exam."
Participants were put through their paces with such things as enduring a treadmill stress test, relaxing through an ultrasound of their heart and having photographs taken of the back of their eyes for a look at the arteries and veins.
They were screened for issues pertaining to heart disease, blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, circulation, thyroid problems, cholesterol, diabetes, sexual dysfunctions, fatigue, sleep problems, certain cancers and other symptoms.
The various tests performed, combined with information provided by participants, resulted in personalized scores and treatment protocols. "We are going to give them the information and then they will go on to see their doctor," said Byrd. Turnout to the three-day event was reportedly good. "We have had great participation," said Byrd, "I think that Westlake has about 85 employees, and we [should end up with] in the neighborhood of about 60 to 65 people having come through the program. Some of that [number] are spouses."
Westlake firefighter and Army veteran Francis Hildago, 40, showed up for his screening on the clinic's first day. "It was great and everything turned out okay," he said. But for some others, the results were surprising. "We had a 35 year-old come through with some defects in his heart," said Byrd. "He's slim, and he exercises and has no symptoms. But through the cardiac ultrasound, we found a defective valve and sent him to a cardiologist. The cardiologist said that at his age with this amount of issue with his valve, he was going to continue to watch it. But in the next eight to 10 years, they are going to have to do some type of procedure to fix it. Otherwise, this guy will have a heart attack when he's in his 50s."
"He might never otherwise have known [about the defects]," continued Byrd, "Because if you were to ask him how he felt, he would have told you that he felt fine." Any person interested in a screening can contact the clinic for a visit. You do not have to wait for your employer to host an event, and the screening is covered by most major insurance companies. "All they have to do is call our number," said Byrd. HeartWise Clinic, located on S. Beglis in Sulphur, can be reached at 337-476-3149.