Port Macquarie, 5 August 2016 – HCF, leading not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, is once again working with Victor Chang to offer free heart health checks for members at HCF Port Macquarie.

The Victor Chang Health Check Booth will be operating from 17-19 August, and includes three quick health tests – blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose - to help members understand and track the risk factors that could affect their heart health.

HCF’s 2015 program showed an increase in Port Macquarie members presenting with high blood pressure (11% increase) compared to the previous year. Over a fifth (22%) of Port Macquarie members tested were referred directly to their GP for further assessment and health management.

HCF Port Macquarie aims to empower local members to put their health first, with the simple Heart Health Checks assisting with detection for treatable and preventable health conditions.

HCF Port Macquarie branch manager, Cassie Simadas, urges local members to take advantage of the free services available to help them become healthier:

“We’re proud to support our community by offering free services such as the heart health checks which will enable members to take positive steps towards a healthier lifestyle. The figures, which show an increase in locals presenting with high blood pressure, are a good reminder of how important it is to take care of our health”.

With over 25 years of experience we offer the Port Macquarie community a range of services that go far beyond just a claims centre.”

Last year’s results reveal that residents need to remain diligent in assessing and taking care of their heart health and the upcoming visit of the Health Check Booth is the ideal opportunity for Port Macquarie members to achieve this. 

The free Heart Health Checks are available for members with extras cover thanks to HCF’s ongoing partnership with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, a not-for-profit charity dedicated to fighting cardiovascular disease through research.

Port Macquarie residents can also make use of the many digital tools and free online resources from HCF to help them reach their health and fitness goals. HCF’s suite of healthy apps includes a Get Fitter app, offering advice and tailored exercise plans, a Be Happier app, including tools to improve mental and emotional wellbeing, and a Quit Smoking app to help smokers stay focused on their smoke-free goals.

Tips for a healthy heart

According to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, there are some simple ways that Port Macquarie residents can maintain a healthy heart:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and choose lean meats and poultry.
  • Cut down on salt.
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.
  • Curb your alcohol intake. No more than one or two standard alcoholic drinks per day is recommended. 
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your risk factors for heart disease.

HCF Port Macquarie encourages locals to put their health first with free heart health checks

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