Hospital reaches out to communityPublished 11:52am Saturday, February 8, 2014
FRANKLIN—John Sykes, who is the head of security at Southampton Memorial Hospital, thought he was in relatively good shape … then he had a stroke.
Sykes, who is in his early 50s, walked 10 miles each day as part of his job.
“I had a stroke back in January,” he said, as he was getting a free blood pressure screening at the hospital’s participation in National Go Red Day on Friday.
Dr. Chikako Ono, the new cardiologist at Southampton Memorial, said people need to make sure they are exercising and eating well.
“Don’t eat steak and gravy every day,” she said with a laugh. “Vegetables and fruit are, of course, important. I know it’s hard to do it, but it is recommended that you eat seafood at least three times a week.”
Ono, who is originally from Japan, has been in the U.S. for about eight years, and she has been in Virginia for about two months. She recently started at Southampton Memorial.
“It’s been busy,” she said. “There has not been a cardiologist here for a long time. I’ve already seen a lot of people who desperately need help.”
As far as the hospital’s event, Ono said probably more than 60 people had come through before 11 a.m., just an hour after she got started.
“This is my first time to do something like this,” she said. “People are very cheerful and nice.”
Staff also visited to introduce themselves to Ono, including Alice Stutts, R.N., who got some good news about her blood pressure.
“I have the blood pressure of a 19-year old,” she smiled. “I was surprised.
“It’s been a wonderful event. There was a good turnout, and I hope more people come.”
Kim Marks, assistant chief executive officer, said the event was important for multiple reasons.
“It is important that the community and public know about heart disease,” she said. “It’s also important for them to get to know the physician. Events like this are a nice casual opportunity to meet the doctor before they are in need of services.”
As for Sykes, he was happy to drop by and meet Dr. Ono and receive his free screening.
“I got good news,” he added, as his blood pressure was in the normal range. “I’ve been doing a whole lot better. I’m doing therapy here. I had an appointment earlier.”