By Debbie Rolen
BLACK GEM, Ky. — First Baptist Church of Belfry opened its doors Tuesday to host the Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital “Love Your Heart” luncheon.
Those in attendance wore red as they took advantage of screenings and information on healthy living offered by ARH employees. Several speakers took their turn at the podium while everyone enjoyed a healthy lunch prepared by Caroline’s Catering of Phelps, Ky.
First Baptist Church Pastor Mark Helton welcomed the group and Williamson ARH Community CEO Tim Hatfield introduced the speakers.
ARH Board of Trustees member and Local Advisory Council Chairman Duanne Thompson was the first speaker.
“We love the uniting of the University of Kentucky and ARH in this endeavor that we deal with every day — the heart,” Thompson said. “I know we have some very good speakers today, doctors that know a lot about what we are getting into and can help each and every one of us. They have an important message for us today.”
Thompson invited anyone who had questions or concerns to contact one of the advisory council members.
Roy Milwee, with UK Cardiology Services, spoke about the affiliation with ARH.
“We are bringing UK and ARH together to fight the No. 1 killing disease in Eastern Kentucky and throughout the U.S. — heart disease. The whole idea of this partnership is to strengthen our local community hospitals,” Milwee said. “This is how we can bring our resources from the University of Kentucky to our local, rural areas and provide better healthcare. That is the mission here.
“We don’t want anyone to think UK is coming in and wants to take everything back to Lexington. By no means is that the case,” he said. “We want patients to stay close to home. It’s better for the patient and their family and it’s also good for local hospitals and the local economy as we keep that money close to home
“We know that the economy of Eastern Kentucky is struggling, and so keeping patients close is the mission. We both cherish and desire providing the highest quality of care so we are going to standardize things as much as possible and make ARH stronger,” Milwee said. “We appreciate ARH and all they do throughout Kentucky.”
Three doctors offered their comments on heart health.
ARH Chief of Staff Dr. Mansoor Mahmood works in clinics at Phelps and ARH, Dr. Ramon Colman gave a presentation on smoking cessation, and ARH Cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Dulnuan focused on healthy eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight or body mass index. The doctors also answered questions from the audience and encouraged everyone to visit their offices to address their health issues and concerns.
To learn more about heart health and healthy living, visit the American Heart Association website at heart.org.